Postmodern Conservative

The Future of Our Liberty Is Confusing

So I’m finally get around to putting together my seminar on the above topic.  Here are some projected “units,” which are pretty provisional. 

1. INTRODUCTION:  The places where Tocqueville makes predictions:  indefinite perfectibility, aristocracy of industry, the losing of our sublime faculties, soft despotism.  Ben Storey on Tocqueville and technology.  Solzhenitsyn’s “We have ceased to see the purpose.”  The dialogue in Brave New World between the Controller and the Savage.

2. LIBERAL VISIONS:  Rorty, Achieving Our Country with Madrick and Reich on saving capitalism through bigger government.

3. LIBERTARIAN TECHNO-VISIONS: Tyler Cowen, Average is Over; Brink Lindsey; Matt Ridley

4.  ENHANCEMENT AND TRANSHUMANISM: Peter Thiel; Charles Rubin in criticism; Nicholas Wade,  Ronald Bailey

5. DEFENDING HUMAN NATURE: Leon Kass; Wendell Berry; Ronald Dworkin, happiness as an engineering problem

6. RELATIONAL COSTS; Murray, Coming Apart; Last, What to Expect When No One Is Expecting

7. THE NEW TYRANNY?  Joel Kotkin

8. CONSERVATISM: Roger Scruton; Manent vs. democracy without nations

9. SPACE TRAVEL: Hannah Arendt, Walker Percy, Carl Sagan, Tom Wolfe, Interstellar

10. DIVERSION AND DISTRACTION, INNER LIFE: Matt Crawford, Sherry Turkle

11. Yuval Levin on the fracturing of democracy

Among my questions:  What’s missing? What’s a really powerful presentation of the eco-pessimistic position?  What would you drop?

 

Peter Augustine Lawler — Peter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College. He is executive editor of the acclaimed scholarly quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and served on President George ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
U.S.

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More
Elections

Fire Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More
Elections

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More
World

How Immigration Changes Britain

Almost nothing is discussed as badly in America or Europe as the subject of immigration. And one reason is that it remains almost impossible to have any sensible or rational public discussion of its consequences. Or rather it is eminently possible to have a discussion about the upsides (“diversity,” talent, ... Read More