Barba-Kay argues that we tend to resolve our cognitive dissonance by outsourcing all the choices that do matter and consoling ourselves with a plethora of choices that don't.
The liberty and justice which republics are erected to safeguard requires, as Milton and the Founders knew, a moral, virtuous, and religious citizenry. Without this moral and virtuous spirit, the citizenry is slothful and servile. Despotism takes hold once the bulwark of liberty and justice, moral love, has withered away. Welcome to the twenty-first century.
While many recognize the limits of human language and the ways it has sometimes been used to harm, they see language as capable of naming (or, at least, gesturing toward) the dance of matter and spirit that constitutes human existence.
Babbitt and More advocated the study of the humanities as a tool for the shaping of human souls toward virtue, helping confront what Babbitt characterized as the “civil war of the cave” that occurs in every human heart. Babbitt and More’s roughly forty-year friendship produced scores of letters that take the reader from the late nineteenth century into the 1930s.
Oppenheimer replies to him “Why I chose the name is not clear, but I know what thoughts were in my mind. There is a poem of John Donne, written just before his death, which I know and love.”
The ecomodernist approach of Regenesis relies on a mechanistic understanding of humanity. The presumption is that humans are merely fleshy machines that can adapt to flourish in any environment as long as their basic material needs are met. That doesn’t match with most people’s experience of life.
Conjuring makes me think of force and manipulation, which as writers we have to forswear. Readers will either notice they're being manipulated and throw our books aside—or maybe worse, they won't notice, and then we'll be called to account for whatever it is we've irresponsibly done to them.
What comes out is a story of a small group of Reformed Canadian Baptists who are rural, hardworking, self-educated (largely by reading the Bible), and persistent in becoming holy, but not without earning some dry humor along the way. Jeffrey excels at the hard task of publishing the culture of his upbringing, as well as some of the best of his private life, with both charity and clarity.
By now, no one should be shocked when a conservative says something unkind about the free market. Still, those unfamiliar with any right-wing tradition...