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A More Perfect Absolutism

It is part of the absurdity of American life that we decide questions of truth under the guise of settling contests of rights. Which means that we decide questions of truth without thinking deeply or even very honestly about them. Thus, while it is obvious to many that we are living through a . . . . Continue Reading »


MFA OR NOT?When I met Randy Boyagoda, I told him that I was pursuing an MFA in fiction and he genially disapproved: “No! Why?” I forget what I answered. But most MFAs, when surveyed, will say, “I want time to write.” Any MFA program worth getting into will give you a reasonable stipend for . . . . Continue Reading »

Technocracy Now

The recently revised New York City Health Department form for parents requesting birth certificates asks the “woman giving birth” whether she is female or male. The question is obviously absurd. But why do absurdities of this sort keep popping up? And why do most people fall in line, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Weakness of Laudato Si

Please enjoy this excerpt from “The Public Square” of the forthcoming August/September issue of First Things. To read more, subscribe here.Laudato Si addresses global warming and other environmental issues, as well as global development and economic justice. The conjunction of concerns is . . . . Continue Reading »

Bioethics and Question-Begging

Well it seems like Ivan can relax , Michael Peroski has just solved all of our problems : Proceeding from ideology-driven inquiry entails starting from an answer: “Research on human embryonic stem cell should be forbidden because embryos are equivalent to human lives” and working . . . . Continue Reading »

Creeping Technocracy-Watch

Secondhand Smoke has the scoop . Watching bioethicists consense is like watching water condense: dull, impersonal, and you know how it’s gonna end. Still, I’m sure there are many who would prefer it to all that nasty , dirty , tumultuous political stuff! . . . . Continue Reading »

Obama, Technocracy, and Honor

Another excerpt from some recent work: The basic political premise of techno-politics is that the classic question regarding competing claims to rule has been decisively answered: instead of Plato’s philosopher king we get its emasculated modern descendant, the rational bureaucrat. The . . . . Continue Reading »

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