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Civil Society

13 1418

A living system getting too close to the edge of chaos risks incoherence, but moving too far away risks rigidity, either case leading to extinction. Complex systems flourish at the edge of chaos. For the imaginative conservative, real thought, reflection, and learning often take place at the...
5 1709

Let it be known that I am not a prophet, and I will quite happily eat crow, eat my hat, eat my words... eat whatever is necessary when my prognostications prove preposterous and my prophecies prove to be not prophetic, but pathetic. Nevertheless, with my finger...
2 1266

I can guarantee that we will soon forget the absurd characterization of “KKKolumbus” in the South Bend History Museum. But every time I bring my son to walk through those museum rooms, I will be haunted by the characterization of our white ancestors as ravens who pluck out the...
0 1047

The great tradition of Western culture has proven peculiarly absorptive; it has brought influences from many disparate sources into a rich conversation. But it is Christianity that has for centuries formed its core. And it is, above all, this core to which “conservatism at its highest” remains...

Richard Weaver claimed his homeland was the "last nonmaterialistic civilization in the western world." Modernity to him meant at bottom institutionalizing most of the Seven Deadly Sins... Though his worth and stature were early established among them,...
1 1855

Every man is his own pope and philosopher-king on the Internet, where our semi-formed and semi-informed opinions are cast as absolutes. Convinced of our perfect knowledge and infallible righteousness, we denounce and demean in harsh, uncharitable terms the arguments of others, and even their very persons...
6 1575

The seemingly insignificant suppression of ladies and gentlemen on New York’s trains represents a giant step backward. It affirms that we need no longer behave like ladies and gentlemen, but rather like whatever we want to be, or happen to be, at the moment...
0 1202

The medieval achievement was so magnificent that it stands with the loftiest moments of human history... The most complete ordering of medieval life was found in its religious point of view and practice, in its Christian “cult.”...
4 2064

Modern man is an empty, soulless husk, a shadow of humanity. He looks the part, and he goes through all the motions, but he does nothing of his own volition... “Man himself faces this same question...
0 1117

In times of great social and political turbulence, when basic institutions are broken, discourse within them is futile. But it is precisely then that adherence to traditional morality is not only fitting but essential, for the virtues that establish a society are also necessary for its maintenance...

Members of democratic nations, especially Americans, have almost unlimited personal freedom because the constraints of class, local communities, and family have been greatly weakened. But we are also free to choose to step off the consumer treadmill, refuse to seek material success for us alone, and attempt...

To believe a republic is immortal is to destroy one’s own republicanism... Exactly how the Roman republic came into existence remains shrouded in mystery. Critically so. As with our tradition of English common law and...

Orestes Brownson so esteemed New England people, customs, and institutions that they dominated his writings and fit at the heart of his political ideas... The danger of majoritarian tyranny hangs over republics. The dilemma of constituting a virtuous...
2 1556

The left is politicizing our calming safety-valve institutions—the national anthem, marriage, statues, even leisure—damning them as expressions of an oppressive regime that must be overthrown. But these institutions need to be defended in order to relieve the pressures that are mounting and tearing society apart...