Postmodern Conservative

Marilynne Robinson’s Calvinism and Progressive Democracy

It worried me that my favorite novelist, Marilynne Robinson, was also Barack Obama’s. It turned out I was right to be worried. A sensibility that has its beauty, and its truth, in a literary context proves to be a very defective touchstone for sober thinking about politics, and therefore about the human condition as a whole. In a new piece over at Law and Liberty Forum, I argue that there is fundamental kinship between Robinson’s Progressive Calvinism and the modern scientism she deplores. For Robinson the mysteries of Christianity and Progressive democracy converge in their movement away from all traditional categories and constraints, with their implicit teleological assertions, a movement guided by the “vision of the soul, all souls, realizing itself in the course of transforming everything that has constrained it and them.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More