Introduction

From First Thoughts

 Since my name is now on the masthead, perhaps an introduction is in order.  My name is Patrick Deneen, and - like a few other people who write here - I am by trade a political theorist.  I teach at Georgetown University where I hold a chair in Hellenic studies and nearly three years . . . . Continue Reading »

Gothic Horror vs. PoMo Irony

From First Thoughts

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have . . . . Continue Reading »

An American Declaration of Christmas

From First Thoughts

It’s impossible to ignore all the characteristic signposts of the Christmas season—wherever you go the familiar sights and sounds are unmistakably evocative of the winter holiday. Our malls, shops, houses, television stations and radio airwaves are all transformed into vehicles of . . . . Continue Reading »

A Very Vegas Postmodern Christmas

From First Thoughts

An uninteresting collusion of circumstances locates me this week in Las Vegas, in a room not in but overlooking the Bellagio fountains (Of Claire de Lune fame, Oceans 11).  The fountains are lovely, but one has only to raise one’s gaze a few degrees to behold, across the . . . . Continue Reading »

Harking to Christmas Past

From First Thoughts

When one reaches a certain age there is an inclination to reminisce about how much nicer, better, or easier things were forty or fifty years ago. For most of us our youth was a special time, not so much materially, more so in a spiritual sense. As children we are less spiritually inhibited, more . . . . Continue Reading »

Evil Knowledge

From First Thoughts

The best torture is an effect caused by acts which are not torture. Andrew and Ross reflect. My basic stance on torture is pretty clear but also pretty modern: I want a strict, narrow definition of that which is absolutely impermissible. This suggests great skepticism and discomfort with what Ross . . . . Continue Reading »