Russell Arben Fox

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http://inmedias.blogspot.com
Russell Arben Fox grew up milking cows and bailing hay in Spokane Valley, WA, but now lives in Wichita, KS, where he runs the History & Politics and the Honors programs at Friends University, a small Christian liberal arts college. He aspires to write a book about the theory and practice of democracy, community, and environmental sustainability in small to mid-sized cities, like the one he has made his and his family's home. He also blogs--irregularly and usually at too-great a length--on politics, philosophy, religion, socialism, bicycling, books, farming, pop music, and whatever else strikes his fancy, at In Medias Res.

Recent Essays

Alan Jacobs on Ursula Le Guin and Anarchism

Alan Jacobs is not, to my knowledge, a Porcher, though he ought to be; his insightful reflections upon Christianity, literature, society, and the state...

Planning and The Politics of Beauty: Reflections on Stewart Udall

If you’ve ever visited Canyonlands National Park, or hiked the Appalachian Trail, or spent time at over a hundred other similar locations across America’s beautiful and diverse ecosystems and geography, it’s likely that you have Stewart Udall at least partly to thank.

Back to the Bottom-Line (Apocalyptically and Practically Speaking) at the Land Institute

Wendell Berry has written endlessly about the goodness of local work; if, for Berry, the goodness of such work is connected to agrarian virtue, while for Jackson it is connected to ecological necessity, does that make much practical difference?

Diversity, Race, and Radical Hospitality in a Bible-based Community

We academics unfortunately often fall into the trap of pride (particularly of the self-involved, self-satisfying, institutional kind), and hence a humbling such as this conference delivered was probably much needed. I have a Christian duty, as an educator and as a member of a Christian community, to think systematically about how I can live up, as a teacher and scholar, to the values of inclusion and equality

Localism, Intentionality, and Utopia (Socialist or Otherwise)

If you're looking intentionally at your locality, wanting to make it more just and more civil and more communal--with, say, better food practices, more responsible energy usage, and social arrangements premised upon love and respect rather than financial and racial advantage--well, that doesn't make you into a communard, fully engaged in the struggle to build a comprehensively new world. But it does mean, I think, that you share more with those inspired folk than you may think.

The Place (and Place-ness) of Occupy, Ten Years On

Holding up a sign, sitting at a lunch counter, sticking a flower in a gun, setting up a tent, and occupying a space in the face state and corporate power is an act of utopian belief and faith. A belief, to go back to Berry's insight above, that something may not be--and should not be accepted as being--an economic, and therefore social, inevitability.

Taking (Democratic) Control of One’s Own Traffic

Wichita, KS. That Charles Marohn is a friend to localist movements across the United States and beyond is indisputable. It’s not just that he...

Everything for Everyone book discussion–the final evening!

Long-time friend of Front Porch Republic, Solidarity Hall's Elias Crim, is opening up the final session of their weekly small-group Zoom discussion of the...

Regarding Mutualism, Cooperativism, and Other (Interstitially) Anti-Capitalist Alternatives

Popular discourse in the United States today—as well as in many places around the world—hasn’t been so open to alternatives to the liberal capitalist mainstream for close to a century.

Teaching (or Cultivating) Sustainability (or Inhabitance), Ten Years On

As utopian as "religious education" and "local food tours" may seem, that doesn't mean we can't approach them with a hope for real formation work in mind.

Grace Olmstead’s Uprooted Idaho, and My Own

Uprooted is partly a memoir of her extended family, partly a paean to a way of life that is both dying and which she never really understood while she grew up in the midst of it (and thus feels the loss of all the more deeply now), and partly a study of the causes of that dying, and how what has endured--the habits, the connections, the sense of place--has shaped her extended family nonetheless.

Some Possibly Helpful Thoughts on Localism, Populism, and Proximity During a Pandemic

The departure of Donald Trump from the White House will assuredly not mean the departure of Trumpism from American life. The collection of...