Category Archives: Politics

As I Please: Orwellian Insights

The term “Orwellian” typically implies something ominous, especially in the realm of politics, thanks to the British writer’s monitory fantasies 1984 and Animal Farm. But here I use the adjective more loosely, referring to Orwell’s perceptive treatment of a wide … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, George Orwell, Literature, Politics

A Prophet Against Anonymous Dictatorship

“If you do not watch out, what the dictators wanted to achieve in a few years will materialize in fifty or a hundred; the result will be the same: the State will have conquered all, absorbed all; you will have … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Molnar on Bernanos

“If such a thing could be at all stated of a Christian… Bernanos could be called an ‘alienated man,’ somewhat in the sense in which Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Kafka were alienated. In reality, such a man is the least alienated … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics

Rebels, Greeks and Pedants

I am venturing into Albert Camus’ The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt with a mixture of curiosity and caution. I never quite know where Camus is going, and his thoughts are expressed in prose that is both dense … Continue reading

Posted in Existentialism, History, Philosophy, Politics, Theodore Dalrymple

The Rosenberg Distraction: A Lesson in Ideology

I first perused Ian Kershaw’s classic study The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich about thirty year ago and decided to reacquaint myself with the volume on a recent trip. It is a remarkably facile read for … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics

Assessing Marx’s Culpability

Referring to the obsessive personality of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Albert Camus points out that he “would kill everybody on earth in order to posses Cathy, but it would never occur to him to say that murder is reasonable or … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics

Aristotle and Others

I am selectively browsing Aristotle’s Politics. In Book II he critiques the views of his own teacher, Plato, author of the utopian Republic. Aristotle challenges the assertion, in reference to communal ownership, that it is preferable that “the whole state … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Roger Scruton, Theodore Dalrymple

Idealism and Exploitation

One of the things that struck me about Dean Detlaff’s sympathetic discussion of Communism is the inability to glean deeper lessons from the examples he offers—a case in point being the modern sweat shop conditions infamously endured by many Amazon … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Politics

Radical Differences

There has been a major verbal fray over Dean Detloff’s essay in the Jesuit-run America Magazine, “The Catholic Case for Communism.” Rather than detail the obvious historical gaps in Detloff’s apologia pro Karl Marx—i.e., the misery and oppression that accompanies … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Useful Pessimism, And Other Insights

Philosopher Roger Scruton prefaces his provocatively titled book, The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope (Oxford, 2010) by saying that he seeks to scrutinize exaggerated optimism and “show the place of pessimism” in moderate doses “in restoring … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Roger Scruton