Gorsuch Victory Lap Speech at the Federalist Society: Some Correctives

As Politico reports, Neil Gorsuch on Thursday night delivered a victory lap speech at the annual conference of the Federalist Society. The article tells us that Gorusch’s big applause lines concerned his: Snide reproach to those who characterize the Federalist Society as a secret cabal scheming in darkness to infiltrate and control the federal judiciary;… Read More

Analogies for Our Time – The Spanish Civil War

Many analogies exist, in history and in literature, for our straining efforts to account for our inverted times. Our instincts are to obey our laws, trust our institutions, have faith in our leaders. But in these times, fealty to our laws, institutions, and leaders risks our destruction as a nation, if not as a species.… Read More

Freedom From "Fear Porn": In Defense of Cosmopolitan Elites, Polyglot Cultures, and Global Integration

Much has already been written about Donald Trump’s speech to the Polish people earlier today. This speech, written (presumably) by White House fear-mongers Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, adopts a dark and legitimately creepy Saruman-like vibe similar to Trump’s inaugural address. James Fallows commented on the shift in tone of this speech from famous (and infamous)… Read More

Robby George's Primer on Natural Law: Let's Break It Down

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis, 1:28)

In 2007, Professor Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, delivered the John Dewey Lecture in Philosophy at Harvard Law School. George himself received his legal education at Harvard, and was there introduced to ideas about the relationship between law and morality, the study of which, as he happily tells us, became his life’s vocation.

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From Steve Bannon to Robby George: The Catholic Foundations of American Conservative Thought

This essay traces the arc within movement conservatism in the United States from Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist to President Donald Trump (and arguably the most reviled and feared conservative political actor in American public life) to Robby George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University (and arguably the most respected and influential conservative political thinker in… Read More

Worship the Creation, Not the Creator: An Immodest Proposal for Immodest Times

While writing about hunchbacked Nostradamus Steve Bannon, and other topics in the past year (mostly, but not all, Trump-related), I’ve often had the sense that I am (metaphysically speaking) sitting on the shoulders of something, unformed and drenched in darkness, but real and mutable and worth exploring further, no matter what the risk. Writing anything worthwhile is usually about this sort of exploration or quest to uncover the large, masked forms of our existence, and this process requires commitment and trust, that we can figure out things as we go along, that creation (and storytelling) is an adventure of discovery, not the schematic unfurling of foreknowledge.

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