Solidarity and the Work of Free Men

From Web Exclusives

As one member of Solidarnosc said to me with some bitterness in 1990, “If you socialized the Sahara, in two years people would be lining up to buy sand.” In fact, most of those associated with the early years of Solidarnosc”the great Polish liberation movement SolidarIty”had had all the collectivism, socialism, government-controlled economy, nanny state, and thugocracy they could stomach… . Continue Reading »

On Loving Karen

From First Thoughts

Thank you, lady, for reminding me what it was like To fall in love with Karen Fifty years ago. It was her eyes that did me in, Blue as the sapphire stones She bought along the Indian Ocean. Blue, with sadness deep behind them, And merriment like candle’s flames on golden foil. Eyes incapable of . . . . Continue Reading »

Three Precisions: Personal Liberty

From Web Exclusives

“By its liberty, the human person transcends the stars and all the world of nature,” Jacques Maritain once wrote. No one has reflected more deeply on the phenomenology of the human person than Karol Wojtyla—John Paul II. The person, in his view, is an originating source of creative action in the world. The human person is able to reflect on his or her own past, find it wanting, repent, and change direction. Continue Reading »

Three Precisions: Common Good

From Web Exclusives

Three of the terms used most frequently in Catholic social thought”and now, more generally, in much secular discourse”are social justice, the common good, and personal (or individual) liberty. Often, these terms are used loosely and evasively. Not a few authors avoid defining them altogether, as if assuming that they need no definition. But all three need, in every generation, to recover their often lost precision. Otherwise, the silent artillery of time steadily levels their carefully wrought strong points and leaves an entire people intellectually and morally defenseless. … Continue Reading »