The decline of Western civilization, redux

A review of Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah J. Goldberg, Crown Forum, 2018, 442 pp., $28. Suicide of the West is intended as a “serious” work, which it is indeed. Continue Reading...

The bishop, Balaam, and communism

Lester DeKoster begins his book Communism and Christian Faith, now out in a new edition from Christian’s Library Press, with a quote from Bishop Joseph Butler’s sermon ‘Upon the Character of Balaam’: “Things and actions are what they are, and their consequences will be what they will be: why then should we seek to be deceived?” Continue Reading...

Jerry Pournelle, Russell Kirk Conservative: RIP

Jerry Pournelle passed away in early September and is memorialized in this week’s “Upstream” segment of the Radio Free Acton podcast. An accomplished man in many fields in both the public and private sectors, he perhaps is best known as the author and co-author of a shelf-full of science-fiction novels. Continue Reading...

Does Russell Kirk still matter in today’s America?

Many might not even recognize the name “Russell Kirk,” and those who do often do not know the true impact of his contributions. Kirk quickly rose to prominence in American political discourse during the 1950s, but fell from the public eye following Barry Goldwater’s defeat in the 1964 presidential election, whom Kirk had firmly supported. Continue Reading...

Lenin’s Trip to Infamy

One hundred years ago, the man Winston Churchill dubbed a “plague bacillus” journeyed back from his exile in Europe to eventually seize the reins of power in his native Russia. Vladimir Lenin’s itinerary could not have been more fraught with peril and subterfuge, which makes it an ideal framing story for a recap of the rise of 20th century totalitarianism. Continue Reading...

Intellectuals vs Freedom

[Review of From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship by Paul Hollander, Cambridge University Press, 2016, 325 pp.] My former boss and current president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed, used to begin seminars by asking members of the audience when they “caught the liberty bug.” Continue Reading...