Tag: totalitarianism

Law & Order or Rule of Law?

I believe in law. I believe in order. Those words have come to the forefront of our consciousness as a nation in the wake of disorders in a number of cities, and it’s very easy to rally to anyone crying “law and order” because we rightly fear for life, property, and liberty if we descend into disarray and chaos. Tweeting those words in all caps with multiple exclamation points is more an exercise in bluster than an answer to the… Read more »

The Alt-Right Isn’t Right

I would like to gently—okay, forcefully—make a point today about a mischaracterization being promulgated in the media. It’s also prevalent in academia. It has to do with how the political spectrum is explained. We all know, since the Charlottesville episode, that the so-called Alt-Right has come under greater scrutiny. This is a group that, although it claims not to be Neo-Nazi or part of the KKK, nevertheless finds ideological companions in those detestable movements. In reality, the Alt-Right is just… Read more »

Reagan: The Principled & the History Makers

Yesterday, I wrote about my new book on Ronald Reagan and Whittaker Chambers. Both men are as relevant to our day as they were to theirs. As we near the end of another year, and as we consider the challenges that loom, some select quotes from Reagan may help us focus on our responsibilities. There are some quotes from Reagan with which many people are familiar, but I’ve chosen to pull out some that are less well known, yet just… Read more »

Lewis & the Omnicompetent State (Part 4)

This will be the final installment of my paper on “That Hideous Strength’s Omnicompetent State.” In this segment, Lewis points to developments in the Britain of his day that showed a drift toward the belief that government can solve all things. Lewis’s concern about societal planners reveals itself in letters he wrote to Americans. After WWII, Britain ousted the Conservatives and installed the Labour party in power. Rationing continued unabated despite the war’s end. The national government began to insert… Read more »

Lewis & the Omnicompetent State (Part 1)

C. S. Lewis often protested that he had no interest in or taste for politics. What he really meant by that was the type of politics he imbibed growing up in a Belfast suburb, listening to his father discuss with friends the nature of the local and national politics of his Irish/English homeland. Was it the pettiness that turned him against political discussion or the boredom he suffered from those overheard conversations? Whatever the cause, he normally abhorred purely political… Read more »

The Smiley Face of Totalitarian Experts: A Hideous Strength

My C. S. Lewis course is now concentrating on Lewis’s deep concern over the direction he saw society going during WWII and what he feared would happen in the future: a totalitarian government ruled by scientists, psychologists, sociologists, educationalists, and other “experts” who would tell everyone what to do. This concern revealed itself in his essay, “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,” was more fully explicated in The Abolition of Man, and then put in story form through That Hideous Strength…. Read more »

Tocqueville’s Prophetic Word

Alexis de Tocqueville was a Frenchman who visited America in 1831. He traveled extensively, made many notes of what he experienced, and wrote them down in a massive tome called Democracy in America. It is a classic, and is still being used today in university political science courses. It points out both the strengths and potential weaknesses he saw in this new nation. If you saw Dinesh D’Souza’s movie America, you saw also his depiction of Tocqueville in the film…. Read more »