1. First off, every darn REPUBLICAN out there ought to be following Pete on TWITTER.

2. Who would have guessed that Romney would be such a WHINER?

3. THE PRESIDENT is still whipping the Republicans every single day in the post-election contest. If the SEQUESTER cuts don’t end up hurting anything we really need, THE PRESIDENT will have delivered on the promise to delay reckoning on the deficit without touching ENTITLEMENTS. If people do feel real pain, it’s clear the “mindless” Republican Congress will lose the blame game. I’d like to say more, but I just can’t get my mind around SEQUESTER-nomics.

4. So it was a very classy program at UNC on Walker Percy held by THOMAS INTERNATIONAL.

5. I came away thinking that there are two big barriers to young people being turned around these days by Walker Percy’s LOST IN THE COSMOS.

6. First: No young person really feels in his or her gut the REALITY that was TOTALITARIANISM. So they can read that it was the ANGER of the AUTONOMOUS SELF that produced THE IDEOLOGICAL (TOTALITARIAN) SELF, but they don’t really get it. I could go on and explain again for you slow learners that the totalitarian temptation was to reduce persons to part of HISTORY—to HISTORY FODDER—and nobody really buys HISTORICISM these days. That’s what THE END OF HISTORY really means. There’s no doubt that the INDIVIDUALISM vs. COLLECTIVISM dynamic that energized COLD WAR conservatives doesn’t psych up the young these days. Even the Rand readers don’t really get it. Walker Percy writes about THE SOLZHENITSYN ENVY experienced by American writers. Many American conservatives these days suffer from SOLZHENITSYN NOSTALGIA (I know I get a touch of it now and again).

7. Second: Young people aren’t EXISTENTIALISTS or attracted to existentialist writers from Sartre to Camus to even Nietzsche these days. That’s not to say that Solzhenitsyn wouldn’t still hear, quite accurately, the HOWL OF EXISTENTIALISM just beneath their happy-talk pragmatism. It’s just that the young, for reasons I guess I’ll have to speculate on later, don’t think of the existentialists as providing the self-help they really need. Although some of the existentialists (Heidegger, Sartre) fell prey to the totalitarian temptation, I’m still for “disrupting” our world to make some room for existentialist self-help programs.

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Articles by Peter Lawler

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