“George MacDonald: a Life of Relationships.” Radix Magazine interviewed Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson about George MacDonald and what lessons he might have for us today. MacDonald and his circle “intentionally sought relationship with those around them even, perhaps especially, if they didn’t agree with them. And because of that they were so much more aware of the issues of the day; of how and where people were hurting and of the earth groaning. They knew how to speak into those issues because they didn’t restrict the communities in which they dwelt.”
“The Ethics of Decision Making: Result Oriented Judging and the Oven of Akhnai.” Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall gives a keynote lecture in which he considers the role of the judge and touches on debates regarding the common good.
“No, Packers Stock is Not a Scam.” The Green Bay Packers sold a bunch of stock this week. How does this work? Paul Noonan reports on the benefits of decentralized ownership that keeps the team rooted in its current community. These kinds of creative ownership structures could be adapted to other kinds of property and corporations as well.
“A Distinctly American Family Policy.” Patrick T. Brown outlines a robust vision for supporting families economically and politically: “we need to protect families from the harms of excessive government action, when it infringes on religious freedom, crowds out civil society, or burdens them with excessive economic regulations or taxes. But there are harms from government inaction as well.”
“Why America Needs National Conservatism.” Christopher DeMuth’s speech from the recent National Conservatism conference is worth reading and considering. He argues that “Natcons are conservatives who have been mugged by reality.” (Recommended by R.M. Stangler.)
“The End of the Liberalism Debate.” Jake Meador sorts through the various debates around post liberalism in recent years and concludes, “There is no time so dark, no sin so deep, that those who look to Christ cannot still expect resurrection. So our hope endures, not because we forge political alliances that will protect us, but because we worship a King who has conquered already. We follow him. And if we follow him truly, we follow him to a cross—and then an empty grave.”
“Arrest of Steele Dossier Source Forces Some News Outlets to Reexamine their Coverage.” David Folkenflik, NPR’s media correspondent, takes stock of the fallout from the recent disclosures about the origins of the Steele dossier: “the Steele report drove a lot of conversation and coverage for years. This harms the press’ credibility. When you get the facts wrong, when you contribute to misunderstanding, that was unfair to Trump and his supporters, as well as to the facts. And I think it hurts journalists right now who are investigating other possible wrongdoing by Trump for which there’s far greater evidence. Take the seeming efforts by the former president’s team to block last year’s election results–the press has to address this, I think.”
“His Reasons for Opposing Trump Were Biblical. Now a Top Christian Editor Is Out.” Ben Smith reports on the departure of long-time editors Marvin Olasky and Mindy Belz from World Magazine.
“Surprised by Friendship.” Gina Dalfonzo muses on the gap between C.S. Lewis’s practice of friendship and his theorization of friendship: “Maybe that’s the best that could be said of any of us—that despite our theories, our pronouncements, our little boxes into which we try to stuff people and experiences and ideas, somehow we still manage to be friends.”
“Willmoore Kendall and the Intellectual Roots of the Populist Right.” Matthew Continetti reviews a new intellectual biography of Willmoore Kendall: “The issues Kendall identified and the problems he defined continue to intrigue, galvanize, and vex conservatives. Kendall thought seriously about anti-elitism, suspicion of expert knowledge, “activist” judges, the pernicious biases of the mainstream media, the limits of permissible dissent, the place of free speech within public institutions, the nature of democratic accountability, and the sources of legitimacy in a constitutional republic.”
“When Demography Isn’t Destiny.” Zaid Jilani probes the political and cultural leanings of American immigrants: “In the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of oikophobia among America’s opinion-making institutions. Politicians, the news media, the creative class, and heads of major corporations line up to describe America as a dark place beset with backward, racist, and sexist inhabitants who lack the enlightened attitudes of our peers in the developed world. . . . But America’s immigrants take a different view.”
“They Called It Iron City.” John W. Miller reviews Gabriel Winant’s The Next Shift, which charts “how the health-care industry replaced manufacturing while downgrading the quality of American middle-class life, furthering inequality, and fueling political bitter divisions.”
“Oakeshott’s Countercultural Education.” Elizabeth Corey commends the educational vision of Michael Oakeshott: “When we do not aim at career or activism, at least part of what we are doing in universities has to do with helping young people to achieve a satisfying sense of personal identity. This requires both clearing away and building up.”
“When Do You Shower?” Rebekah Curtis attends to those people whom we often overlook: the utterly dependent and their caregivers.
“Xi Jinping’s Terrifying New China.” Michael Schuman describes the remarkable extent of Xi’s ambitions to control life in China: “China today is in the grip of the most concerted government campaign to assert greater control over society in decades, perhaps since the tumultuous days of Mao Zedong.”
“The Changing Face of Social Breakdown.” Yuval Levin responds to a recent report from the American Enterprise Institute and describes what sounds like a decadent culture: “the challenges to America’s social order now seem less like exorbitant human desires driving people’s lives out of control and more like an absence of energy and drive leaving people languishing and enervated. . . . There is less social disorder, we might say, because there is less social life.”
“Crisis of Legitimacy.” Rusty Reno argues that the increasing polarization and social distrust are symptoms of elite failures and betrayals. He concludes his reflections with a heart-wrenching account of burying his son last month.