The Challenge: Implementing Arendt’s Solution

He who would fix the pattern of decision by confining the American choice to one and only one mode of response—whether this be in politics, diplomacy, economics, literary form, or morality itself—such a one, in the light of our history, is the “truly Un-American.” —Perry Miller (1967) Only if citizens can recover their heritage of … More The Challenge: Implementing Arendt’s Solution

How to Govern through the Local Council System

For all they achieved, the Founders and the U.S. Constitution failed to create a permanent space where citizens could participate in political freedom by expressing, discussing, and deciding issues relevant to their lives and communities. (In their defense, the eighteenth-century Founders could count on a vibrant local political life among citizens in local townships and … More How to Govern through the Local Council System

Introduction: Hannah Arendt and the Council System

Hannah Arendt is perhaps most highly regarded for her insights into political authority and totalitarianism, her critiques of Western philosophy and modernity (especially her blistering criticism of the “social sciences”). Hannah Arendt’s defense of politics as uniquely humanizing and ennobling rests on her conviction that, for “the realm of human affairs,” opinion is more fundamental … More Introduction: Hannah Arendt and the Council System

AMERICANS HATE RELIGION AND ABANDONED THEIR POLITICAL HERITAGE

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that 63 percent of Americans profess absolute belief in God (with Evangelical Protestants at 88 percent, edged out of the lead only by Historically Black Protestants at 89 percent). In 2015 Pew found a modest decline among Americans who profess belief in God, pray daily and attend church … More AMERICANS HATE RELIGION AND ABANDONED THEIR POLITICAL HERITAGE

NEGATIVE CAPABILITY

The difficulty of all things is at the heart of a child, impatient at being told what to do, who longs to be grown up and take his rightful place in the world, never guessing how atoms, configuring differently, change the mist through which he flies (You cannot live for another person, define yourself in … More NEGATIVE CAPABILITY

AMERICA’S REAL CROSSROADS: ABOUT THAT EQUALITY THING

I recently gave a talk on Hannah Arendt’s analysis of Western political experience. Afterwards, a man came up to me and said “There’s no such thing as equality.” He doesn’t get it. Of course there is no equality of traits like strength, talent, good looks, education, social status, and economic position among humans. But the … More AMERICA’S REAL CROSSROADS: ABOUT THAT EQUALITY THING

JONATHAN EDWARDS-Part III: THE SENSE OF BEAUTY

For Edwards, “the emotions are one and the same with whatever is meant by the will.” This is something that Edwards’ enemies could not understand. …[T]o the Davenports, emotions are irresistible seizures, like love in popular balladry, and man is their victim; to the Chauncys, emotion is something to be measured out in judicious quantities … More JONATHAN EDWARDS-Part III: THE SENSE OF BEAUTY

ENTREPRENEUR’S PRIMER

Junior wanted money, Judy wanted time, so they saved their pennies & they learned to rhyme. I have a little money,I have a little time.I render unto Caesarthe fruits of Caesar’s crime.So Junior got his MBAwhile Judy stuck to rhyme.Now Judy’s making moneywhile Junior’s doing time.

THE PURITANS HAD SOMETHING RIGHT

The Puritans had something right: when confronted with adversity, the whole society took the responsibility upon itself, every individual, regardless of position or status, as God’s punishment for their collective sins. The Puritans knew how to respond. Shipboard fasts repeatedly saved the vanguard of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from the peril of storms and seasickness. … More THE PURITANS HAD SOMETHING RIGHT