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Be Thou my Dignity: A Reformed View of Human Dignity

The dominance of human dignity-talk stands firm in Western public discourse. Both the religious and non-religious deploy “dignity” with ease and confidence, proudly proclaiming the universal, invariable, and immutable value of man. All things must conform and contribute to the affirmation and actualization of each person’s dignity, and no acceptable system of thought can subordinate or neglect its central importance. But strangely, the discussion on the nature of dignity itself is largely absent

Boulainvilliers' Project for Aristocratic Rejuvenation

The name of Henri, comte de Boulainvilliers (1658-1722) is, thanks to Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt, largely associated with his Germanist position on the origins of the French nobility, which is frequently held to be an early example of modern racism. Actually, the Germanist thesis predates Boulainvilliers' output and held no such connotations. It emerged in opposition to the traditional ethnographic practice which held the Franks to be the descendants of Trojans. Boulainvilliers himself ex

Progressivism on Steroids: The "Conservative" Anti-Humanism of Jonah Goldberg

Way back when, as a student interested in the analysis of modern mentalities of government, I picked up the following, simple set of methodological procedures for going about the analysis of discourse, considered as the empirically observable point of access to mental phenomena that can't be studied directly. Assemble, as data for the analysis, a corpus of pertinent verbal statements (which can assume the form of texts, interview data, institutional rules and regulations, etc. as relevant to the

Giacinto de' Sivo: Enemy of Italian Unification

Having spoken about il Risorgimento and the "partito moderati" in revolutionary Italy before to various degrees, a logical next avenue to pursue is the question of who best epitomizes the intellectual legacy of the Lost Cause of the Italian South. The Lost Cause of the American South had and continues to have various partisans and spokesmen, but the one in Italy is much more sparsely represented. Over 130 years later, Jefferson Davis' The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881) remai

The Patriarch & the Moral Mosquito

There is a lot to be said for perspective, and by that I do not mean opinion, but the position from which one observes; ‘objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear’, that sort of thing. This is important to consider when comparing two individuals and the moral character of their actions, as often those who are foreign to the observer may appear further away and thus their virtues minimized, while the virtues of a rank charlatan who is familiar may be amplified, especially if said charl

"Call None Father upon Earth": The Implications of Clerical Celibacy

This article was originally composed to be part of a three-part series on the dangers of clerical celibacy to the preservation of a Christian society. It will be clear from the structure of the argument that the author is not a confessing member of the Roman Catholic Church, and so it is necessary to clearly state here at the beginning that this is meant to be an analysis solely of the practice of clerical celibacy based on a biblical, historical, and sociological basis, and is in no way meant t

Dead Letters of a Contrarian: On the Career of Christopher Hitchens

The cultus behind the life and work of Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) can only be understood in the context of our fame-obsessed and fundamentally illiterate age. His invocation this past week, in the context of whether Hitch would still be considered hirable by his former employer, the Atlantic Monthly, is a testament to the man’s hold on the intellectual class, even if his work fails to sustain its hold on the intellect. I used to be one of Hitch’s biggest fans. I remember when his last com

Back to Ch'ang-an: The Twilight of Chinese Civilization

Pits of ash not yet cold; rebellion broke out east of Hsiao Mountains: Liu Bang and Hsiang Yü’s illiteracy was revealed -Chang Chieh, Early T'ang Dynasty Comparisons between the Ch‘in Shih Hwang-ti and Mao Tsê-tung are not original—critics of Mao have drawn comparisons to the close-minded and dictatorial fashion of rule of the first emperor and the Cultural Revolution already. Usually, though, these rhetorical attacks are limited to just that: political rhetoric directed against the memory of C