“Notre Dame Press Virtual Book Exhibit.” Steve Wrinn and the University of Notre Dame Press are regulars at FPR conferences. Since we had to cancel this year’s main conference, the press put together a virtual exhibit for FPR readers. They have some great titles, and they gave us a code for 40% off and free shipping. Speaking of FPR’s canceled conference, plans for the Wichita gathering are taking shape: Russell Fox has a date, and the small gathering will be held in conjunction with the Eighth Day Institute’s Inkling’s Octoberfest.
“Restore the Guilds.” Gary Dorrien surveys the history of guild socialism in Britain, linking it to many sympathetic movements like distributism and suggesting how it might guide our political vision today.
“Solidarity Means Giving Yourself.” I’ve been learning from many of the essays in Plough’s newest issue. Sister Dominic Mary Heath’s essay is a moving articulation of radical solidarity; our digitally-interconnected world tends to warp this calling, but Sister Heath draws on her vocation as a nun to help us imagine what authentic solidarity might mean.
“Going Viral.” Jeff Reimer reflects on the bizarre experience of watching his tweet go viral: “If I was going to go viral over something, I suppose I’d want it to be over something like this. Over a particular place in the world filled with the people and the things I love.”
“The Pandemic Has Parents Fleeing From Schools—Maybe Forever.” Emma Green talks to parents who are homeschooling for the first time this fall. Some suspect the pandemic may be an inflection point that leads many more families to homeschool.
“Bring Back the Bison.” Santi Ruiz charts the odd political alliances working together to restore large bison herds to the American plains.
“Gardeners’ World and the Object of Attention.” Matt Civico praises a long-running British TV show: “Gardeners’ World’s host, Monty Don, doesn’t offer shortcuts or “life hacks” as he dispenses advice. Instead, he spouts steady and practical wisdom.”
“Suicide of the Liberals.” Gary Saul Morson asks why Russian liberals didn’t oppose the revolutionaries and Maximalists in the turbulent years leading up to the 1917 revolution: “If everything is political, then the cruelest means are not only permitted but obligatory.”
“Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow.” Joel Kotkin thinks progressivism’s failures to govern well will make their policies increasingly unpopular. And that might lead to political opportunities: “Forcing the two parties to go after these suburban and small-town voters is the country’s best long-term political hope. This would nurture a market for pragmatic policies, whether conservative or, like mine, more social-democratic.”
“Education Department Opens Investigation into Princeton University after President Deems Racism ‘Embedded’ in the School.” Tiana Lowe reports that “the Department of Education has informed Princeton University that it is under investigation following the school president’s declaration that racism was ‘embedded’ in the institution.” Some lawyers are going to make a lot of money.
“The Conservatives who Want to Undo the Enlightenment.” Damon Linker takes aim at Patrick Deneen et al and claims “a post-liberal world would be an awful lot like the pre-liberal world.” I think his genealogy of liberalism is wrong (and to the extent that it is correct, it also shows the fundamental hubris of liberalism), but his warnings are worth taking seriously.
“Every Angel Is Terrifying: A Review of The Elegy Beta by Mischa Willet.” Daniel Rattelle reviews Willet’s new book and praises it’s wise lightness: ”unlike Rilke, Willet is not ultimately afraid of the perfection of angels. He can turn our morbid foreknowledge into Christian hope. He does not require of art, as Rilke does, that it bring the dead back to life and thus he can afford to risk humor and downright frivolity.” I am reminded of Chesterton’s quip: “Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. This has been always the instinct of Christendom, and especially the instinct of Christian art.”
“The Insignificance of Voting.” Emily Brigham reflects on significance, propriety, and the act of voting.
“Independent Watchdog Report Finds Inequity in Farm Aid Payments.” Alan Rappeport reports on which farmers benefited from Trump’s $23 billion in aid to farmers hurt by the Chinese trade war: “Big farms also received the largest payments, the report found, with the top 25 recipients getting an average of $1.5 million each.”