T.S. Eliot & Ritualistic Nihilism

Lately, I’ve heard one too many emo kids misread T.S. Eliot as being one of their own. In Russell Kirk’s words, it is easy for the “rootless and aimless” of the new generation to over-identify with Eliot, seeing him as a spokesman “for the futility and fatuity of the modern era, all whimper and no bang — a kind of Anglo-American ritualistic nihilism.” And whining, pining, Anglo-American ritualistic nihilism is the cultural trend of the day, whether you look at the musically and lyrically directionless music that tops current charts, the shapelessness and androgyny seeping into high fashion, or the melodramatic and attention-seeking ways teenagers and college students spend their social time (not the least of which takes place on the Internet, through personal blogs, Facebook, and chatting). Continue Reading...

Putnam on Diversity

Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam provoked a cottage industry of commentary and debate on the question of “social capital” when he published his book, Bowling Alone, a few years ago. Now he’s at it again with an intriguing study concerning the effects of diversity on civic life. Continue Reading...

‘A Power Out Of Ourselves’

Enthusiastic atheists are on the offensive in an effort to tear down private faith, now that religion has increasingly lost influence in the public square. Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion”, and Christopher Hitchens’s, “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Continue Reading...

Lord Acton on Literature

Picking up on the themes of the importance of narrative from recent weeks, I pass along this worthy saying of Lord Acton: “Government rules the present. Literature rules the future.” Continue Reading...

Our Counter-Majoritarian Constitution

In his review of Sanford Levinson’s Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) in the Claremont Review of Books, Randy Barnett highlights some of the same features of the US political structure as particularly unique that Lord Acton emphasized. Continue Reading...

Speaking of ‘Priestly’ Science

Speaking of the “priestly” voice of science, Given all the atheist militancy raising a ruckus lately, I suppose it isn’t too surprising that I am stumbling upon more regular and more baldly dismissive declarations these days about the ineradicable incompatibility of science and religion among Science’s self-appointed Elite Champions online. Continue Reading...

COE Review from the Mises Institute

Thomas Woods from the Mises Institute blog has posted his thoughts on the Call of the Entrepreneur. Woods praises the film saying, “For once, the moral dimension of entrepreneurial activity is brought to the fore and celebrated. Continue Reading...

Trivial Pursuit

Here’s a map of the US that replaces state names with the names of countries with similar GDPs. Pretty fascinating stuff in that it allows a look at just how huge the US economy really is. Continue Reading...

Eurabia or God’s Continent?

One of my favorite historians of religion, who has recently acted more as a contemporary observer of religion than an historian, is Philip Jenkins of Pennsylvania State University. His newest book, God’s Continent, takes on the grimmer views of where Europe is headed. Continue Reading...