Conservative liberalism vs. progressive liberalism

Edmund Burke is considered the father of modern conservatism, while his contemporary Thomas Paine is a forerunner of modern liberalism.  Yuval Levin has written a new book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.

A review by Michael Gerson discusses his thesis that both theorists, for all of their differences, care about liberty and reform, though they seek those ideals through different means.  Burke and Paine–like many conservatives and liberals to this day–exemplify the conflict between “conservative liberalism” and “progressive liberalism.” [Read more...]

Pro-American vs. Anti-American conservatives

Political theorist Patrick J. Deneen notes two different and conflict schools among Roman Catholic conservatives:  one believes that Catholic Christianity is compatible with American democracy, with its ideals of freedom, individual rights, free markets, etc.  The other faction believes that all of these American ideals grow out of a philosophical liberalism that is incompatible with Catholic Christianity.

Read Prof. Deneen’s account, excerpted after the jump.  Can these arguments have resonance for non-Catholic Christians?  Or non-Christian conservatives?  Are American Christians too wedded to “Americanism”?  Or would the anti-American line of thought yield a political system that is far worse? [Read more...]

Policy lessons from the Beatles

The Beatles are hailed as icons of the Sixties counter-culture.  But in a lot of ways they were quite conservative.  Economics columnist Neil Irwin looks at their song lyrics and how they handled their money, drawing out what we can learn from the Beatles about taxes, retirement, and change. [Read more...]

Reducing religion & morality to what is “useful”

More from Daniel Schwindt on de Tocqueville, this time about how Americans–because of their rationalism and individualism–tend to see both religion and morality in terms of what is “useful.”  (Again, thanks to Daniel Broaddus.) [Read more...]

American rationalism and individualism

Alexis de Tocqueville, writing in the early days of the republic, was one of the most perceptive and prophetic observers of American culture.  He’s often misinterpreted, though, which Daniel Schwindt tries to address in a fascinating essay about what the French nobleman was really saying about religion in America.  (Thanks to Daniel Broaddus for putting me on to this.)

After the jump, an excerpt about how American’s rationalism leads to an unhealthy individualism and to a distorted version of Christianity.

[Read more...]

Religious freedom vs. human rights?

The rise of religion globally threatens human rights, according to British academic Stephen Hopgood in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post.  After the jump, read his argument and consider the thoughts I raise. [Read more...]


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