Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak writes from Cleveland, Ohio.


What Notre Dame Taught

Life

What Notre Dame Taught

Notre Dame taught a clear lesson today, in its decision to have President Obama as a comme...
The Whipping Boy

News

The Whipping Boy

Since the fall, auto sales have collapsed. This collapse has affected foreign manufacturer...
Israel and Us

World

Israel and Us

If I had to live in the Middle East, I would want to live in Israel, a modern, democratic ...
The Truth About “€œThe X-Files”€

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The Truth About “€œThe X-Files”€

There have always been hints that the worldview of “The X-Files” is far closer to paleoconservatism than is generally found in anything emanating from Hollywood. Sam Francis, a avid “X-Files” fan had always been put off by the liberal plot lines he found in other fine examples of television science fiction, such as the “€œTwilight Zone”€ or the original “€œStar Trek.”€ Unlike those series, “€œThe X-Files”€ had a certain conservative sensibility, and had not a trace utopia or even progress in the human condition. It’s telling that the first X-Files movie bore the reactionary title “€œFight the Future.”€ Rather than guiding the way to a bright future, Mulder and Scully face the same fundamental problems human beings have always faced, including the persistence of evil.

Springtime for Fascism

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Springtime for Fascism

One of the stranger aspects of contemporary American “€œmainstream conservatism”€ is the obsession with “€œfascism,”€ a political philosophy one might have supposed was safely buried under the rubble of 1945 Europe. Neocons have, indeed, used “anti-fascism” to justify all manner of things. On his new “Liberal Fascism” blog, Jonah Goldberg has argued, “€œconservative dogma is the great bulwark against fascism or fascistic policies in part because it breaks the historic linkage between activist foreign policies abroad and totalitarian impulses at home.”€ In other words, invading foreign countries at will is now okay and definitely not “€œfascist”€”€”as long as you still want to repeal the “€œdeath tax.”€ Goldberg and all the other budding “€œanti-fascists”€ on the right would do well to remember that Hitler is consigned to infamy not because of the Autobahn but because of his own “€œactivist foreign policy,”€

The Broken Compass

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The Broken Compass

Somehow, one doubts that either the USCCB or Hollywood studios would have taken such a benign view of a film whose villainous organization were named “€œThe Synagogue,”€ whose villains wore rabbinical rather than clerical garb, and whose author had been quoted as saying “€œI”€™m trying to undermine the basis of Jewish belief”€ and “€œmy books are about killing Yahweh.”€ Opponents of bigotry would have been outraged”€”and rightly so.

Hitchens”€™ Hubris

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Hitchens”€™ Hubris

It is true that the triumph of atheism in the West need not necessarily produce what the triumph of atheism produced in Russia — mass murder and cultural devastation on a scale previously unimaginable. But we already have before us cultural devastation of a different sort, the result of the very assault on faith — both faith in God and faith in our past — that Christopher Hitchens wants to accelerate: a culture centered around self-gratification, with comfort its highest aim; a high culture devoted to ugliness and degradation, and a mass culture marked by tawdriness and vulgarity; a loss of morals and a coarsening of manners, with notions of duty, self sacrifice, and restraint seen as anachronisms at best and tools of oppression at worst. As Waugh wrote, “€œIt is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis on which it rests.”€ It is time to fortify the admittedly thin and tenuous roots still connecting us to Christendom, not to tear them up and hope for the best. No civilization worth the name has ever been defined by atheism; we are unlikely to create the first.


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