Category: Editorials

Home Editorials
Post

Sobering Up With SSM

Same-sex marriage still does not exist. Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion, 5-4, covering Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases, which effectively makes “same-sex marriage” the law of the land.  But five “justices” or 50 million Facebook “likes” cannot change what is woven into the fabric of creation. Of...

Post

Life on the Frontier

The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia enjoyed a full 24 hours of resurgent infamy before Gay Day came and took it all away. Screaming and shrieking throughout the process was the puerile, facile, and ultimately Manichaean Weltanschauung of our ruling class, which is best summarized in the phrase, “We are on the...

Post

Abolishing America

June was a depressing month for genuine conservatives.  Apart from the Supremes putting their stamp of approval on ObamaCare, the horrifying murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, unleashed a jihad against the Confederate Battle Flag (Beltway “conservatives” piled on in support of the jihadists), while a majority of the robed Politburo found...

Post

Beyond “Immigration”

The United States has Mexico, and below her Central America, south of the border.  In ¡Adios, America!, Ann Coulter claims that 30 percent of the Mexican population, today over 122 million people, has moved to the United States within the past several decades.  Directly south of the European Continent lies the continent of Africa, population...

Post

Two Flags

From the welter of democratic hysteria, illogic, historical ignorance, and political self-positioning and posturing, the eminently sensible remark by Tate Reeves, lieutenant governor of Mississippi, regarding the public display of the Confederate Battle Flag stands like a stone wall above the general confusion.  “Flags and emblems,” Mr. Reeves said, “are chosen by a group of...

Post

Laudato si

The release of Pope Francis’s second encyclical (and the first that can truly be called his alone, since Lumen fidei was essentially cowritten with his predecessor, Benedict XVI) was anticlimactic.  By the time the final text was released on June 18, there seemed hardly any point in reading it, since FOX News and Rush Limbaugh...

Post

Enter the Vandals

As everyone in America knows, on the night of June 17 Dylann Roof, armed with a .45 Glock, slaughtered nine black men and women in Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME church.  Well before Roof was apprehended the following day, the mediasphere went ballistic.  Hoping to start a “race war,” Roof generated instead what the Rev. Rep....

Post

The Color of Money

In the midst of the uproar over the Confederate Battle Flag (America’s latest Two Minute Hate), an odd rumor began making the rounds on the internet.  As far as I can tell, it began on InfoWars, the website of crank conspiracy theorist and talk-show host Alex Jones.  As companies like eBay and Amazon began pulling...

Post

What the Editors Are Reading

Several weeks ago I finished reading (studying, actually) David Bromwich’s The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence.  A detailed and painstaking analysis of Burke’s writings and speeches and perhaps the best single work on Burke I’ve ever read.  (Volume II to follow in time.) Having watched the Masterpiece...

The Devil You Know
Post

The Devil You Know

I read Rosemary’s Baby for the first time in late October.  I had watched Roman Polanski’s 1968 film adaptation years ago, but I had never bothered with Ira Levin’s novel, assuming that it would have, at best, the literary merit of an Amityville Horror, and surely not rise even to the level of an average...

Post

Children of the Revolution

We are all children of the Revolution.  Wherever we look, in the office or at church, whatever professions we examine or traditions we cherish, we are hard pressed to discover a single significant aspect of human experience that has not been transformed by a perpetual revolution that has inverted all the ancient truths and turned...

Post

Panic on the Left

President Bush’s nomination of Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court has caused something just a little short of panic on the left.  The day after the announcement, the New York Times told its readers that Roberts and his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, are “devout Catholics.”  The following day, a front-page headline proclaimed that...

How the World Works
Post

How the World Works

As an economics professor, I taught from the Chicago School scripture about the superiority of private business over any contending sector of society.  I could never teach so naively again after spending almost a decade observing the Washington legislative sausage factory.  Republicans and New Democrats have merged business interests and government policy into a symbiotic beast...

Post

Church and State

President Bush wants to do for churches and Christian charities what the Department of Education has done for pubUc schools; Attach them so firmly to the teat of big government that it would be impossible to unlatch them without financially crippling them. The funny thing is, this does not appear to be a concern for...

Post

A Confederacy of Dunces

The death of a social movement is an instructive and sobering phenomenon. After years of greatness and influence, an idea eventually sickens and dies, until its adherents are reduced to a pathetic handful. Somewhere in history, there must have lived the last Albigensian, the last Ranter, the last native practitioner of ancient Egyptian religion. Somewhere...

Post

Censorship: When to Say No

Every Aprilsince1981theAmericanSocietyof journalists and Authors sponsors an “I Read Banned Books” campaign. Theyroutinelytrotoutcopiesofchildren’sbookslikeAlicein Wonderland or Maty Poppins and modern classics like Ulysses—all of which have been censored by somebody somewhere. One of them inevitably quotes Jefferson ontolerating”errorofopinion,”andsomeprofessionallibrarianis suretowarnusthatiftheprudeshavetheirway,theywillsoon be removing copies of Shakespeare and the Bible from the library shelves. This year the New York...

Nostalgia Trips
Post

Nostalgia Trips

“Long ago there was something in me but now that thing is gone…That thing will come back no more.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald   Douglas Unger: Leaving the Land; Harper & Row; New York.   William McPherson: Testing the Current; Simon & Schuster; New York.   It would be off the mark to regard Douglas...

Future Directions?
Post

Future Directions?

“The way up and the way down are one and the same. “ -Heraclitus   Newt Gingrich: Window of Opportunity: A Blueprint for the Future; TOR Books; New York.   Robert Kuttner: The Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice; Houghton Mifflin; Boston.   The idea of progress provides much of the rhetorical...

Post

The Natural Man

This issue brings together a number of discussions of man’s place in nature. Stephen R. L. Clark, Tibor Machan, and jay Mechling explore the implications of the animal rights movement. Debating the “moral status of animals” (to borrow one of Prof. Clark’s titles) is interesting not so much for what it reveals about beasts as...

Animals and “Other Awkward Cases”
Post

Animals and “Other Awkward Cases”

“[After creating man] He immediately created other animals besides. God’s first blunder: Man didn’t find the animals amusing – he dominated them and didn’t even want to be an ‘animal.'” -Friedrich Nietzsche   Bernard E. Rollin: Animal Rights and Human Morality; Prometheus Books; Buffalo, NY.   Mary Midgley: Animals and Why They Matter; University ofGeorgia...

Importing Trouble, Exporting Hope
Post

Importing Trouble, Exporting Hope

“One scene of arts, of arms, of rising trade . . .” –    James Thomson   Kevin P. Phillips: Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy; Random House; New York. Michael).   Fiore and Charles F. Sabel: The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity; Basic Books; New York.   David F....

Post

Why Another Magazine of Ideas?

Leopold Tyrmand founded Chronicles in 1977 to provide a conservative and “value-oriented criticism” of arts and letters, morals and manners. From the very first, Tyrmand’s Chronicles exposed the pretentions of the radical chic culture and subjected the permissive, “anything goes” world view of liberalism to an eloquent and withering scorn. Under his editorship, the magazine...

Post

The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot

“Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens Gloria Teucrorum. “ (We once were Trojans, there once was Troy, and the vast glory of the Teucrian race.) -Vergil   Peter Ackroyd: T. S. Eliot: A Life; Simon & Schuster; New York. “Ackroyd’s is the most comprehensive full-length critical biography we have of this almost talismanic figure of literary...

Scrambling the Schools
Post

Scrambling the Schools

 “With the same cement, ever sure to bind, We bring to one dead level ev’ry mind.” -Alexander Pope   John Dewey: Types of Thinking; Philosophical Library; New York.   William C. Ringenberg: The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education in America; Christian University Press/William B. Eerdmans; Grand Rapids, ML   As easy as...

Post

In the Mail

Science Fiction in America, 1870’s-1930’s: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources by Thomas D. Clareson; Greenwood Press; Westport, CT. Although the first entry is Flatland and the final is Zamitan’s We, the second and the penultimate are more telling: number two, The Man With the Broken Ear, includes a character who believes that “humans are...

Special-Interest Democracy
Post

Special-Interest Democracy

“Millions endeavoring to supply Each other’s lust and vanity.”    – Bernard Mandeville   Milton and Rose Friedman: The Tyranny of the Status Quo; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; San Diego, CA.   Amitai Etzioni: Capital Corruption; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; San Diego, CA.   It is a commonplace that modern democracy suffers from a grave malady, namely...

As a City Upon a Hill
Post

As a City Upon a Hill

“A steady Patriot of the World alone, The friend of every country — but his own.”           -George Canning    John Crewdson: The Tarnished Door: The New Immigrants and the Transformation of America; Times Books; New York.   Victor Ripp: Moscow to Main Street: Among the Russian Emigres; Little, Brown; Boston.   Lewis A. Coser:...

Post

A Prudent Progressive

When I first came to these shores, almost 20 years ago, an escapee from communism’s lethal embrace, a sort of antiwar was raging here. I felt be­trayed. As anyone who lived under the most intricate tyranny of mind and body, I believed it every free man’s sacrosanct duty to combat commu­nism’s reptile stranglehold on truth...

Essay: The Literature of Order
Post

Essay: The Literature of Order

Nature imitates art: so Oscar Wilde instructs us. Whether or not natural sunsets imitate Turner’s painted sunsets, surely human nature is developed by human arts. “Art is man’s nature,” in Burke’s phrase: modeling ourselves upon the noble creations of the great writer and the great painter, we become fully human by emulation of the artist’s...

Post

Screen

Saccharin Sobs Places in the Heart; Written and Directed by Robert Benton; Tri-Star Pictures. by Stephen Macauley Robert Benton is the man behind Still of the Night and Kramer vs. Kramer. Places in the Heart, his latest film, is set in a small Texas town during the Depres­sion. The subject—like Kramer vs. Kramer—is separation, but this...

Censorship: When to Say No
Post

Censorship: When to Say No

Every April since 1981 the American Society of journalists and Authors sponsors an “I Read Banned Books” campaign. They routinely trot out copies of children’s books like Alice in Wonderland or Mary Poppins and modern classics like Ulysses—all of which have been censored by somebody somewhere. One of them inevitably quotes Jefferson on tolerating “error...

Truth Dwells in the Imaginary
Post

Truth Dwells in the Imaginary

The United States is a great country, as everyone knows. This is why America has many friends, among whom one must also take account of its less amiable, jealous friends. One must not forget that America saved France in 1918 with the disembarkation for the second battle of the Marne and saved Europe from the...

Post

Confluences

From Dewey to Huey   To a superficial observer, philosophers seem like people who inconsequentially spin their idle theories in their ivory towers while the real world blithely goes its own way. The truth is otherwise. Aristotelian thought refurbished and re­ shaped by medieval Thomists, for centuries governed life in Western Europe far more pervasively...

Post

A Prudent Progressive

The world is in its present condition (and many suspect that this state is much worse than before, even if “before” may mean only in our own individual mem­ory) because of ideas. Three of those ideas can be credited to three historical figures: Rousseau, Marx, and Freud. Marx came to the conclusion that human economic...

Commendables
Post

Commendables

A Gloaming Raymond Aron: The Com­mitted Observer; Interviews with Jean-Louis Missika and Dominique Wolton; Regnery Gateway; Chicago. On 17 October 1983, thelight in the world of the intellect and action became dimmed with the passing of critic, scholar, thinker, teacher, journalist Raymond Aron. Aron, of course, left much behind him—40 books, enlight­ened students, journalism, lec­tures,...

Post

Importing Trouble, Exporting Hope

both at home and abroad. The stakesnare too high to trust the outcome tonuncontrollable events in other nationsnor to a global “invisible hand.” Competitionnproduces winners and losers.nThose who do not play to win willnlose.nPhillips provides a solid overview ofnthe “neomercantilist” policies pursuednby the expanding Asian economies lednby Japan and b’ the Europeans. Foreignnnations commonly subsidize...

Post

Future Directions?

Walzer and William Ryan have assertednthe primacy of equality of economicnresults, and Kuttner takes that asnsufficient. Kuttner writes merely tonreassure his reader that other statesnhave combined more equal distributionnof wealth with relative prosperitynin a democratic order. He seems confidentnthat, once comparative economicsnprovides the evidence that it couldnbe done elsewhere, we will leap intonaction to achieve...

Post

Special-Interest Democracy

that new Administrations iiave nonmore than a short time to enact majornchanges in law and public policy, butnalso that even if these are made withinnthe brief favorable period, they arenunlikely to have a permanent effectnunless they reflect or produce a seanchange in public opinion.nIt follows, according to this argument,nthat in modern democracies,nsimply changing the rulers...

Screen
Post

Screen

Goodbye, Peter Pan The Big Chill; Directed by Lawrence Kasdan It is unique in that it has something for virtually everyone to hate. Consider the characters, all eight. They are the types of people that our parents warned us about in the late 60’s and early 70’s: not the drug pushers who lurked behind bushes,...

Post

As a City Upon a Hill

would like to believe. But then, Americansnare the only people naive enoughnto expect newcomers to be completelynsatisfied and at home. In a series ofnwell-drawn portraits of the experiencesnof Soviet refugees, Ripp, whose ownnbackground gives him a certain insidernstatus among them, makes the ambivalencenclear. One does not alter overnightna lifetime habit of suspicion andnresistance painfully formed...

Post

Scrambling the Schools

RENASCENCEn”A New Mimesis:nArt and Literature As An Imitation of Nature”nVol. 37, No. 3 Spring 1985nRenascence, a quarterly in its 37th year of publication, is a critical and scholarly journalnconcerned with the study of values in literature. The editorial perspective is Christian thoughtnand values without limitation to subject matter.nEditor: Joseph Schwartz, Professor of English, Marquette UniversitynThe...

Post

In the Mail

tional amendment. Within such anframework, the pubhc must choosenspending reduction or tax increases.nBoth the supply-siders and the economynshould win that one.n”Although he is surely too serious-mindednan ideologue to have planned it that way,nMr. Roberts’s book yields a description ofnthe egos, power grabs and ambitions of thenpeople involved that turns “The Supply-nSide Revolution” into a kind...

Post

A Prudent Progressive

A PRUDENT PROGRESSIVE by Leopold TynnandnThe year of the yuppie?nIt seems so, if you read Newsweek.nEvery poHtical season and every decadencan be characterized by the emergencenof some subclass: its very coalescenceninto a social phenomenonnattracts attention. Every year belongsnto this or that mobile or active sectionnof society and the circumstance thatnthe so-called yuppies (a sobriquet asngood...

Post

Essay: The Literature of Order

Thefolknving is the text of Russell Kirk’s address at the 1984 Ingersoll Prizes Awards Banquet.nNa I ature imitates art: so Oscar Wilde instructs us. Whethernor not natural sunsets imitate Turner’s painted sunsets, surelynhuman nature is developed by human arts. “Art is man’snnature,” in Burke’s phrase: modeling ourselves upon the noblencreations of the great writer and...

Post

The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot

order, Eliot reminded the 20th century.n”If you will not have God (and he isna jealous God) you should pay yournrespects to Hitler or Stalin,” Eliotnwrote in The Idea of a Christian Society.nEliot scandalized many because henwent all the way to “the awful daringnof a moment’s surrender”—that is,nsurrender to the divine.n”It is a tendency of creative...

Post

Church +/- State (Part 1)

Church ± StatenA DIALOGUEnThe Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in AmericanRichard John Neuhaus: The NakednPublic Square: Religion andnDemocracy in America; Wm. B.nEerdmans; Grand Rapids, MI.nJames Hitchcock is professor of historynat St. Louis University. His latestnbook is The Pope and the Jesuits,npublished by the National Committeenof Catholic Laymen.nGeorge M. Marsden is professor ofnhistory at Calvin...

Post

First Things First

essential condition of tiie Jewish people,”rninevitably secularizes as well the supernaturalrnunderstanding of “Israel” —rnmeaning those who know God —byrnwhich the Jews defined the social entityrnthey so long constituted. The framing ofrnthe issue facing the Jews, the selectionrnand orchestration of events into an historicalrnnarrative—these beg the theologicalrnquestion that Vital finds himself imablernto confront.rnAny history should allow...

Post

The End of Something

REVIEWSrnThe End ofrnSomethingrnby Jeffrey MeyersrnHemingway: The AmericanrnHomecomingrnby Michael ReynoldsrnCambridge, MA; Basil Blackwell;rn264 pp., $24.95rnHemingway: A Life WithoutrnConsequencesrnby James R. MellowrnBoston: Houghton Mifflin;rn704 pp., $30.00rnHemingway continues to fascinate.rnThe legendary hfc and heroic exploitsrnof the man who was so admired,rnhonored, and imitated are now wellknown:rnfisherman in the Michiganrnwoods, reporter in Kansas City, woundedrnwar hero, foreign correspondent fromrnConstantinople...

Post

Commendables

381 CHRONICLESnCOMMENDABLESnIn Turbulent Seasnby Tommy W. RogersnOtto Scott: The Other End of thenLifeboat; Regnery Books; Chicago;n$18.95.nRobert Ruark has nothing on OttonScott for ability to provide simultaneousnpolitical commentary and Africanntravelogue. A careful historian andnshrewd observer with the ability to setnforth his observations with apt parsimony,nScott has written a book eclectic innsweep, including incisive commentarynon the state...