Saturday, December 7, 2019

33. Review: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins' best-selling book, The Selfish Gene, examines the fundamental nature of the replicating gene in a competitive environment, and all of the consequences thereof. I look specifically at the origins of life and DNA, and the evolutionarily stable strategy of behavior development in a game theory context.



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Find The Selfish Gene at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

32. Review: Suicide by Emile Durkheim

In Suicide, Emile Durkheim explores the sociological factors that lead a society toward greater or lesser rates of suicide. I specifically explore his analysis of egoistic suicide, or suicide driven by the breakdown of integrated social institutions and the dominance of individualism in a culture. I also touch on anomie, the disappearance of social norms that, in a healthy society, provide the structure of culture that help provide people with a sense of social stability.


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Find Suicide at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

31. Review: After the Flight 93 Election by Michael Anton

In this episode I look at Michael Anton's After the Flight 93 Election, a discussion of the danger, both to conservatism and the nation as a whole, posed by the post 1960s left. Anton's famous essay explains the need to elect Trump and to hold the left at bay at all costs, and the failure of conservatives to do so for decades. I also explore Anton' explanation for the the basis of republican government.

 

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Find After the Flight 93 Election at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

30. Review: Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert

In this episode I explore Bronze Age Mindset, the independently produced exhortation that calls for a renewed dedication to the pursuit of vitality, beauty, and excellence in our ugly modern bug world. I look at Bronze Age Pervert's recommendations for political and social action.



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Find Bronze Age Mindset on Amazon.

The Atheist Conservative

Just throwing out a quick post to recommend The Atheist Conservative. There are very few places where conservatives who don't subscribe to the standard Judeo-Christian vision of conservatism can gather and discuss their ideas without having to defend them from religious folks. Nothing against the religious folks, but it's nice to have a space of our own. The Facebook page is pretty active, and the website has tons of great articles.

Check them out!

Monday, October 14, 2019

29. Review: Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell

In this episode I look at the functions of myth and ritual, and the challenge that is posed by science to the enduring viability of mythology. I also look at the premise of the Jungian archetype. This is all in Joseph Campbell's classic, Myths to Live By.

 

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Find Myths to Live By at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

28. Review: The Greeks by H. D. F. Kiitto

In this episode I look at the concepts of wholeness and arete (excellence) as envisioned by the ancient Greeks, through H. D. F. Kitto's superb overview, The Greeks. I look at the polis and how it impacted the life and thought of the Greeks.


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Find The Greeks at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

27. Review: The Right Side of History by Ben Shapiro

In this episode I examine Ben Shapiro's theory of Athens and Jerusalem as the twin roots of Western civilization, as presented in The Right Side of History. I look at his prerequisites for a flourishing society, and the connection between the Enlightenment and Western values.



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Find The Right Side of History at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

26. Review: A Handbook for Right-Wing Youth by Julius Evola

In this episode I look an array of Julius Evola's essays collected after his death into A Handbook for Right-Wing Youth. I explore the need to have a positive doctrine as opposed to a negative critique, democracy vs monarchy, and the modern world's fascination with the young.


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Find A Handbook for Right-Wing Youth on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

25. Review: The Fourth Political Theory by Alexander Dugin

In this episode, I look at Russian philosopher and geopolitical strategist Alexander Dugin's vision of a new political order to replace both liberalism and its natural culmination, post-liberalism. I mention the need to differentiate a specifically American version of the fourth political theory, moving toward a position of pragmatic eclecticism that can absorb some of the disjointed remnants of liberalism that infuse our Constitution and society.



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Find The Fourth Political Theory at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

24. Review: Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen

In this episode, we look at Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen. In particular, we examine Deneen's claim that fundamental to liberalism is a rejection of the constraints imposed upon us by nature, and the attempt to overcome those constraints through science, technology, and the destruction of culture's symbiosis with nature. We also examine Deneen's ideas about what comes after liberalism.



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Find Why Liberalism Failed on Amazon.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

23. Review: The Virtue of Nationalism by Yoram Hazony

In 'The Virtue of Nationalism' Yoram Hazony describes the benefits of a political order based on a multiplicity of nation-states. This order is compared to the state of anarchy and the imperial drive toward conquest. We look at those components of Hazony's theory that most closely support a philosophically naturalistic approach to nationalism.



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Find The Virtue of Nationalism on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

22. Review: The Paleoconservatives by Joseph Scotchie

Edited by Joseph Scotchie, The Paleoconservatives: A New Voice for the Old Right is a collection of essays that explores many aspects of paleoconservatism, as envisioned by writers from both the old right era and the 1990s paleoconservative revival. I discuss Russell Kirk's essay on traditionalism, William Hawkins on protectionism, Clyde Wilson on populism, and Sam Francis on nationalism.


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Find The Paleoconservatives on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

21. Review: America First! By Bill Kauffman

In this episode we look deeper into the political environment of the first half of the 20th century, from the populist movement to the start of the Cold War, through Bill Kauffman's book, America First! Its History, Culture, and Politics. We look at such figures as Amos Pinchot, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and Jack Kerouac. We look at the politicians of that era and dip into what it means to be an American.


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Find America First! on Amazon.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

What Sort of Awakening Shall We Have?


If you've been listening to the podcast, you know that I promote an early 20th century nationalistic version of conservatism. Any intellectually robust study of nationalism therefore immediately piques my interest.

Currently generating the most interest among nationalist thinkers is Isreali-American scholar Yoram Hazony. I recently read Hazony's The Virtue of Nationalismand while I haven't reviewed it yet, my copy has dog-ears and highlighted passages throughout, in preparation for the task. When I saw that Hazony was one of the organizers of the new National Conservatism Conference, I was sold.

After attending the event, I tossed around the idea of recording a podcast or even writing an article about my experiences. On the other hand, sticking to the book reviews seemed a little more on task for a podcast and website dedicated specifically to book reviews. I also had been turning over a variety of fresh ideas in my head and didn't want to jump into any sort of commentary until I had adequately percolated.

Then I read an analysis of the event on the Christian website Mere Orthodoxy. Much of my own thoughts concerning the event revolve around an atheistic, naturalistic interpretation of the current zeitgeist, and while I essentially concur with much of what was written there, a point-by-point response seems like the ideal avenue to raise a few important considerations.

Brad Littlejohn's article, 'A National Awakening', raises seven major points. He postulates three concepts that the new national conservatives repudiate, and four that they affirm. I'd like to respond to these one by one. First, the repudiations.

Monday, July 8, 2019

20. Review: Ship of Fools by Tucker Carlson

In this episode I explore Tucker Carlson's best-selling book, 'Ship of Fools.' Carlson lays out the case that the American elites have been completely derelict in their management of the nation. I pay particular attention to the rending of our social fabric by infatuation with multiculturalism at the expense of cultural integrity.



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Find Ship of Fools on Amazon.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

19. Review: Reclaiming the American Right by Justin Raimondo

In this episode I look toward the thinkers of the pre-WWII American right wing, commonly referred to as the Old Right, and the usurpation of the conservative movement by successive waves of neoconservatives. Raimondo weighs the prospects of the libertarians and paleoconservatives, and explores the notion of a new fusionism between the two. I contrast this with my own vision of neofusionism.



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Find Reclaiming the American Right on Amazon.

18. Review: In Defense of Freedom by Frank Meyer

In this episode I look at the origins of the concept of fusionism, from which neofusionism takes its cue. In 'In Defense of Freedom and Related Essays' Frank Meyer lays out the 1960s fusionist vision of merging libertarianism with traditionalism to create what we now call conservatism. I examine the relation between freedom, reason, virtue, and tradition, as well as the associated different roles of the state and the culture in maintaining a society that is both free and virtuous.



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Find In Defense of Freedom on Amazon.

17. Review: In Defense of Tradition by Richard Weaver

In this episode I dive into Richard Weaver's vast array of essays contained in the collection 'In Defense of Tradition.' Weaver covers such topics as dialectic vs rhetoric, the existence of human nature, and the effect of technology on the human condition.



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Find In Defense of Tradition on Amazon.

16. Review: Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

In this episode I examine the fundamental principles of Heidegger's existentialism, seeking the ways in which he describes Being from the experiential perspective of dasein, or the human being. This examination explores thrownness and facticity, and the striving toward authenticity that we can utilize in building a naturalistic foundation for paleoconservatism.



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Find Being and Time on Amazon.

15. Review: Revolt Against the Modern World

In this episode I look at the conflict between modernity and tradition from a pre-Christian, spriritually Traditionalist perspective in Julius Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World. I explore how we can look at time cyclically, and embrace the past though the notion of home. I begin to explore the similarities between ancient pagan thought and modern conservatism.

 

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Find Revolt Against the Modern World on Amazon.

14. Review: The Roots of Romanticism by Isaiah Berlin

In this episode I explore the Romantic response to the Enlightenment, in Isaiah Berlin's The Roots of Romanticism. I look at the German thinkers Hamann and Herder and their focus on the incapacity of the Enlightenment paradigm to account for the full richness of the individual and group identity.



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Find Roots of Romanticism on Amazon.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

13. Review: The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism by Peter Gay

In this episode I take a deeper look at the philosophical concepts that undergird the Age of Enlightenment, through my examination of Peter Gay's 'The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism.' In this book, Gay examines the connections that the philosophes felt with the ancient Greek and Roman thinkers, and the culture of criticism that they fostered in their conflict with Christianity.



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Find The Enlightenment on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

12. Review: The Cave and the Light by Arthur Herman

In this episode I track the conflict between realism and idealism all the way back to Plato and Aristotle in Arthur Herman's epic 'The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization.' We explore Aristotle's influence on John Locke and the Enlightenment, and seek to assemble a philosophy that embraces empiricism, pragmatism, and the constrained vision.


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Find The Cave and the Light on Amazon.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

11. Review: The Great Debate

In this episode I will dive deeper into the philosophical divide that I explored last episode. This is well exemplified in the debate between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. I look closely at tradition as the inheritance that connects generations and man's nature as a social being in a given circumstance.

 

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

10. Review: A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell

In this important work, Thomas Sowell explains the difference between the constrained and unconstrained vision. I compare this dichotomy to those we've seen in previous eposides. I take a particular interest in the constrained vision, as this is the one which allows for a distinct human nature crafted by the processes of evolution.



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Find Conflict of Visions on Amazon.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

09. Review: Pragmatism by William James

In this classic of American philosophy, William James introduces us to the tender- and tough-minded temperaments and the flaws in rationalistic, idealistic philosophy. We also begin to look at the nature of truth, its instrumentality, and its dependence on approximation and shorthand.



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Find Pragmatism on Amazon.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

08. Review: The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker

In Steven Pinker's classic 2002 masterpiece, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Pinker gives us a panoramic view of the landscape of human nature and the politically motivated rejection of the science of evolutionary psychology by the established leftist academia.



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Find The Blank Slate on Amazon.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

07. Review: On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson

In this episode I begin to zero in on that aspect of nature that most impacts politics: human nature. On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson presents some of the language and metaphors I will using while I explore that intersection of biology, behavior, public policy and political philosophy.







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Find On Human Nature on Amazon.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

06. Review: Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist by Sharman Apt...

In this episode, I explore the more religious side of naturalism, pantheism. Standing in the Light by Sharman Apt Russell takes us on a path through the history of pantheism, from the ancient Greeks to Spinoza and evolutionary theory.



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Find Standing in the Light on Amazon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

05. Review: No-Choice Theory by Ahmad Safavy

In this episode, I explore naturalism as a hard deterministic view of reality. Ahmad Safavy presents a stepwise explanation of the cause and effect nature of matter and energy, tracing the structure and function of particles, molecules, and life forms from the big bang to the present, with additional discussions of chaos theory and quantum mechanics.



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Find No-Choice Theory on Amazon.