Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Why I Am Not a Liberal

I never called myself a liberal. For a long time, however, I ­considered liberalism a sound theory that, whatever its weaknesses, was committed to freedom of discussion, pluralism, and a general attitude of respect for the beliefs of one’s fellow citizens, even when they are wrongheaded. But I . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberalism Against the Church

The Lost History of Liberalism:  From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century by helena rosenblatt princeton, 368 pages, $35 Liberalism, says Helena Rosenblatt, has grown ineffective as it has forgotten the role that public morality, virtue, and conceptions of the common good played in its . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics After Liberalism

The Politics of Virtue: Post-Liberalism and the Human Futureby john milbank and adrian pabstrowman and littlefield, 418 pages, $39.95 Among the ideas that compete to determine the world’s future, one can count Catholicism, Islam, and (until recently) Marxism. But only one is dominant, . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberal Tradition, Yes;
Liberal Ideology, No

There are rumors of economic and political heresy at First Things. My reassessment of Michael Novak’s Spirit of Democratic Capitalism earlier this year raised suspicions that I’m guiding the journal in an “anti-capitalist” direction. Some say the magazine flirts with . . . . Continue Reading »

A Christian Strategy

The problem is the relentless aggression of liberalism, driven by an internal mechanism that causes ever more radical demands for political conformism, particularly targeting the Church. The solution is an equally radical form of strategic flexibility on the part of the Church, which must stand . . . . Continue Reading »

The Touchstone Effect

Everyone should have a copybook of maxims. So I tell my students at the start of freshman year. “You will meet priceless bits of wit and wisdom in the next eight semesters—write them down and tap them often.” They hear it as bad advice, though. Don’t they have enough to do already? But the . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Status Signaling

For those of upper-middle class sensibilities, the neoliberal order predicted by the 1990s remains inevitable. It’s as dreamy and poetic as it ever was, separated from practical reality only by the thin veil of a populist interregnum. Continue Reading »

Never Waste A Crisis

A social conservative he ain’t, but that doesn’t mean the Trump bomb is meaningless for social conservatives. Pope Francis isn’t the only one to observe that a nation that produces a spectacle like this can’t be healthy. With so much shrapnel flying, with so many settled conclusions being questioned, Christians have a rare opportunity to take stock and ask some basic questions about our polity. Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles