“‘These Global Days.’” Adam Schwartz reviews the newly published The Grail Mass and Other Works, by David Jones. It conveys Jones’s critique of empire and globalism: “It was modern imperialism’s lethal implications for local peculiarities that made it especially disturbing to Jones.” There seems to be a lot of overlap here with William Cavanaugh’s “The Global and the Local” chapter in Being Consumed.
“Has Capitalism Become Our Religion?” Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins interviews Eugene McCarraher about his new book, The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity. Keep an eye out for FPR’s review of this book. (Recommended by Jesse Hake.)
“U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s World Food Day Message.” Perdue is really shilling for big ag: “While we are grateful to live in a food secure country, it is our goal to live in a food secure world based on technology and innovation. Our desire is to help the world in the spirit of Borlaug.” For more on why the spirit of Borlaug may not be an unalloyed good, read Russell Fox’s review of The Wizard and the Prophet.
“A Champion of the Unplugged, Earth-Conscious Life, Wendell Berry is Still Ahead of Us.” Hope Reese profiles Wendell Berry for Vox. It’s a bit Vox-y: the title figures Berry as more progressive than the progressives, and while the essay claims Berry advocates “an unplugged life, rooted in nature [as] the key to fulfillment,” I can’t think of a place where Berry has argued we should strive for “fulfillment.” Nevertheless, Berry always does a good job unsettling the certainties of his interviewers.
“Elites Against Western Civilization.” Joel Kotkin has some harsh words for our university-educated clersiy: “If we are to save our uniquely open civilization, we must counter the clerisy’s efforts to discredit our past and demolish our future.”
“The NBA’s Abasement, and Ours.” Michael Brendan Dougherty shows how China’s economic power is dictacting the bounds of acceptable thought. And this problem isn’t limited to the NBA: “The NBA’s hypocrisy is just the same as that of Apple’s Tim Cook, who also threatens boycotts and blockades of states that allow religious freedom, while saying nothing about religious freedom in China.” Alan Jacobs has also gathered and commented on some other responses to this situation.
“The Sum of Life: Zora Neale Hurston.” In a long, evocative essay for the Bitter Southerner, Michael Adno considers Hurston’s complex ties to place and her enduring legacy in those places, in particular Eatonville and Fort Pierce.
“Newman as Novelist.” Tomorrow, John Henry Newman will “become the first novelist to be elevated to sainthood.” Mark Gallagher writes for Commonweal about Newman’s fiction.
“Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan.” Franklin Foer’s Atlantic essay on Amazon’s founder is troubling, to say the least. One wonders if the word “limits” is even in Bezos’s vocabulary: “to say that Bezos’s ultimate goal is dominion over the planet is to misunderstand him. His ambitions are not bound by the gravitational pull of the Earth.”
“The Future is Mixed.” Darel E. Paul reviews Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann and reflects on nationalism, race, and religion. He concludes: “We need neither racial purity nor multiculturalist imperialism, but instead a limited society ordered toward material and spiritual sharing, a common good. Christian nations once mediated between city and empire, nature and human artifice, particularity and universality. If the religious really shall inherit the earth a century hence, they likely will do so again.”