Reading about Antifa, its modi operandi, its motives, and its insidious influences on our Western societies has been a long-time pre-occupation of yours truly. Growing up in Western Europe there was never any shortage of developments surrounding this topic. But, notwithstanding its dangers back there and then, Antifa’s European activities at the time couldn’t hold a candle to what happened in the United States in 2020.Continue reading →
It is a boring platitude that history has produced its share of intellectual folly. Jean Jacques Rousseau, for example, believed that humans are born a “blank slate” and only corrupted as they grow up in modern society, an assertion he could have known to be insane merely by paying a few hours of attention to the handful of children he fathered and sent off to the orphanage right after their birth. Karl Marx falls neatly into the same category: Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he spent most of his life staring at books and had little actual regard for the “proletariat” he purported to elevate. This showed in his writings, which betrayed a one-dimensional view of the capitalist economies in the West.Continue reading →
Yours truly finished reading two books last week, each of which rather instructive in its own way. The first is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume The Gulag Archipelago. In this world-famous, monumental work published in 1973, the author offers a horrifying look into life in the Soviet prison camps. Contrary to popular opinion at the time, Solzhenitsyn traced the gulags‘ origins all the way back to Lenin and argued that they were inherent to the Soviet political system. This came as a shock to gullible Western intellectuals who excused the existence of the camps as a mere deviation under Stalin.Continue reading →
It has been my conviction for a while now that social media and the daily phony outrages they help spur are rewiring our brains as we speak and make us more stupid. (Ever been on Twitter? Yeah.) Moreover, reading the drivel passing for political insight on our feeds makes us desperate to avoid the latest spat involving President Trump when we talk to these Facebook philosophers at an uncle’s birthday party. Better to change the topic to, say, the Patriots’ ‘Deflate Gate’. It’s bound to get some voices raised, but at the end of the day that feels better than having to battle accusations of secretly cherishing Nazi sympathies.Continue reading →
During a good chunk of the mid-twentieth century the great conservative giants of that era argued over the question of what conservatism is. For Russell Kirk it transcended particular cultures and was, in the words of Bradley Birzer, “a natural longing to preserve the best of human thought as divined by, through, and across the slow process of the experience of humanity, tied to an omnipotent source of creation.” To Robert Nisbet, in contrast, conservatism was a modern phenomenon formed in reaction to the French Revolution and essentially launched single-handedly by Edmund Burke.