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Freedom and Identity

Freedom and Identity

By John F. Doherty | “There is no doubt,” Joseph Ratzinger has written, “the era we call modern times has been determined from the beginning by the theme of freedom.” Today, says writer Jacques Philippe, “freedom appears very nearly the only value about which people still agree unanimously.” Most recently, this enthusiasm for freedom, the power of self-determination, has focused on the self as such, or identity. Some, as Yuval Levin notes…

Freedom of Expression in My Classroom

Freedom of Expression in My Classroom

By Mark Mercer | University students should be free from threat of institutional censure to state any opinion they wish and to state their opinions using whatever language they wish. At our university, however, students do not enjoy this freedom of expression. Various documents at Saint Mary’s University constrain what students may say and how they may say it. Students engaged in critical discussions of sensitive topics…

A New Segregation?

A New Segregation?

By Mark Bauerlein | As many of our readers who are parents know, it’s college planning time, and high school seniors scanning the amenities of the campuses they’ve chosen may be surprised by a particular feature they hadn’t expected: dorms and events for persons of color only, no whites allowed. I heard Dennis Prager discuss one example on the radio the other day, and it appalled him, as it does many conservatives… 

The Liberal Arts for Loss and Lament

The Liberal Arts for Loss and Lament

By Alex Sosler | For what purpose is our suffering? If this year of COVID has accomplished anything, it’s forced me to slow down. If you can remember back to those beginning months, there was one long pause from our collective work-a-day world. What do I do now? At first, it was a nice break. But then, slowly creeping inside me a question lingered: Why is this happening? Outside of the normal tragedies of the year…

Polyamory’s Bourgeois War On Normality

Polyamory’s Bourgeois War On Normality

By Casey Chalk | Consensual nonmonogamy, or “CNM,” is on the rise among the meritocratic elite. A 2016 survey of about 9,000 single American adults showed that one in five had previously been in a CNM relationship. A 2017 survey in Canada discovered similar results. The BBC in late March offered a sympathetic portrayal of CNM—such as a gay threesome with two children in San Diego—in its “work life” section. Even Amy Dickinson… 

In Defense of Normal

In Defense of Normal

By Micah Meadowcroft | Everyone wants to be special, but they also want to be normal. This is not only the paradox of life in mass society, but that of human nature, too. We learn to desire what others desire. Our forms of rebellion against the conventional imitate those who taught us to rebel. We wish to stand out from the crowd but we do not want to be alone. We want to be one of many, part of a many in one, e pluribus unum, without losing any of that particularity we think makes us individual. Few people…

How to Fight Leftism in the Classroom

How to Fight Leftism in the Classroom

By Anna Agresti | In her Advanced Placement government and politics class, a high school student named Anna was assigned to read a New York Times commentary that called the U.S. Constitution “imbecilic.” Many of her peers agreed with this conclusion based on the author’s argument that the Constitution is too difficult to amend. So, Anna approached her teacher with an article that explained why the Times’ piece was historically inaccurate and logically…

A Victory for Reality

A Victory for Reality

By Carl Trueman | Karl Marx looked at the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century and declared that all that was solid seemed to be melting into air, but witnesses of the Cultural Revolution of the twenty-first century might be tempted to respond that the Communist Manifesto had only the vaguest idea of what such dissolution looks like. It is one thing to replace the hand loom with the factory production line, quite another to replace the material realities of the world with linguistic…

Should I Get Canceled?

Should I Get Canceled?

By Wenyuan Wu | I spent my early years believing in a euphonious lie that modern China was beautifully multicultural, with all its 56 ethnic groups living as one family in utter adoration of the motherland. This patriotic belief, consolidated through years of Marxist and Maoist training, was slightly shaken when I met my college best friend—a Yao minority who talks like me, enjoys the same cuisines, and celebrates the same cultural traditions as I do. Conformity in the name of social harmony and nationalist renaissance has hijacked the Chinese-style ethnic studies, appropriated by…