For the Frenchmen who lived through World War II, the defining event of their lives was quintessentially political. It was the great refusal, embodied by General Charles de Gaulle, to accept the defeat of June 1940. With that refusal came a determined commitment to reestablish national sovereignty. . . . . Continue Reading »
Whether or not we find these contemporary parallels apt, Rahe’s focus may help us understand Sparta’s important role in early modern Europe, on which he has written significant scholarship. Rousseau modeled his ideal communities on Sparta. American patriot Samuel Adams dreamed of his native Boston as “a Christian Sparta” that valued virtue over wealth, though New England ended up pursuing the more Athenian path of a democratic commercial republic. With the deindustrialization of America and the growth of a large standing army, we may come to appreciate the virtues of Sparta once again.
Could I get some mayonnaise with these fries?” I asked the garçon in my broken French, imagining I was being a bit chic in eschewing ketchup. “Impossible!” he replied. I tried to rephrase the question in the certain knowledge that I am among the world’s best speakers of broken French. . . . . Continue Reading »
Not for many generations has the Church amassed as much prestige as it has under John Paul II and his successors. They underline (or have so far) the formidable quality of church leadership. Since John Paul II’s elevation in 1978, no nation on earth has been led better. That prestige ought to be used in an important cause, and one where it will matter. There is a desperate cause right under the Pope’s nose. What is he doing in the Philippines and South America at a moment when, throughout Europe, Christianity is dying? Continue Reading »
The case of Frank Van Den Bleekenthe Belgian murderer and rapist who requested to be euthanized rather than spend life in prisonhas provoked its fair share of comment. And rightly so, the facts of this case are undoubtedly shocking. But far more shocking is the rapidly growing euthanasia culture that made this whole affair possible. This increasing normalization of euthanasia is just one of many social trends that reveals a Europe that is becoming profoundly estranged from its Judeo-Christian heritage. As that happens, European societies are losing the moral and spiritual armory with which to resist the gradual slide into a complacent nihilism Continue Reading »
As with most academic traditions, and especially those that are viewed as soft, there are orthodoxies and fashions, and sometimes sudden turns, that are conventionally described—following Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions of almost half a century ago—as paradigm . . . . Continue Reading »