Posts Tagged 'religion'

Rene Girard, scapegoats, and the next Holocaust

One of the most original thinkers of our time, Rene Girard, has an excellent article in First Things (one of the most important publications of our time), entitled “On War andApocalypse“.

He reviews his theory of mimetic rivalry and scapegoating, and then offers some related reflections on modern Islamism.  It is most thought-provoking, as RG often is.  And this is clearer than much of his writing (he is, after all, a Frenchman.)  Continue reading ‘Rene Girard, scapegoats, and the next Holocaust’

Leszek Kolakowski, 1927-2009

(by Mister Moleman’s philosophical friend Ben Finiti)

One of the greatest of modern thinkers passed away last month.  Leszek Kolakowski was rightly known for his searing critique of Communism, embodied in his magisterial 1978 survey, the 3-volume Main Currents of Marxism.  The 20th century had crushed his every favorable illusion about Communism (as it did for virtually every other Pole).  He exposed the ugly philosophical reality of Marxism as thoroughly as Alexander Solzhenitsyn exposed its hideous physical reality.  With Main Currents and Gulag Archipelago on a bookshelf, and only The Black Book of Communism between them, no library really needs another volume on the subject. Continue reading ‘Leszek Kolakowski, 1927-2009’

Conservatism, the Enlightenments, and Religion

by Mister M’s friend Ben Finiti

The Enlightenment of the 18th Century was the birth of the movement to articulate a rational basis for society and the freedom of the individual. 

 

The French Enlightenment (Descartes, Rousseau, Voltaire, Robespierre)  was directed against the church, seeing religion as mankind’s primary oppressor.  And it took a strongly ideological form from the start, being largely ungrounded in experience of local institutions that actually grew a sense of individual freedom.

 
The British Enlightenment (Locke, Hume, Smith, Burke) saw its task as the creation of a theoretical framework for the balancing of individual freedom and community interests.  Based on common sense and actual experience of freedom, Continue reading ‘Conservatism, the Enlightenments, and Religion’


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