Feature

Spain with a Spine

Next Sunday [November 10], Spain goes to the polls for its second general election in seven months. Here’s a brief look at the rise of the VOX party, which offers Spanish voters a real alternative for the first time in years.

Debating the Future of the EU

Just as in a Roman arena where each ‘position’ was strongly and fiercely held, all vigorous debates require two opposing parties. But too often, in the midst of battle, the nuances of the debate — as well as some of the substance — are lost. Much the same has been true regarding debates over the origins (and merits) of the European Union.

The Problem with Cultural Marxism

‘Political correctness’ has always been a misnomer. The pushing of biology-defying gender ideology in schools, for example, is neither political nor correct; instead, this is the latest advance of a broader cultural movement to subvert conventional norms and values. Anyone who criticises such teaching as ‘PC’ confirms their status as ‘un-PC’, thus unwittingly giving credibility to the dominance of an ideology that trumps common sense. We argue that political correctness is a lame phrase that masks something far more sinister.

Italy after the Elections

Unlike previous European elections, Italian political parties in the elections of May this year focused squarely on the functioning of the European Union — rather than on the Italy’s internal or domestic politics. In fact, much of the debate was driven by the role that Italy could play in European affairs — particularly in reference to EU policies and the European economy.

Voegelin’s Plato (III)

Plato’s political efforts were animated by his more fundamental conviction that the health and salvation of the soul were man’s primary concern. He meant this in the existential sense: the soul must flee non-being, temporality, and disorder and become lovingly attuned to the ground of being, eternity, and order.

‘Europe’ is Dead—Long Live ‘Europa’!

Not long ago a train departed for nearly the last time from Amsterdam. It was headed to Warsaw, or at…

A Real Conservative in the Cabinet

The new Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has reconfirmed his conservative credentials by issuing a short style manual to his staff. Mr Rees-Mogg wishes to expunge from office communications hackneyed words and phrases, illiterate punctuation, inappropriate forms of address, and sloppy writing in general. The only regrettable thing about this undertaking is that it should be necessary.

Defender of the West

A few years ago, I attended a small conference in Vatican City on “Poverty and the Common Good”. Organized by the Rome-based Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), the conference was held in the Casina Pio IV, a 16th-century villa built in the middle of the Vatican Gardens, now housing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. It was memorable for many reasons — but most of all because Steve Bannon joined participants via Skype.

The Rise of Anti-Christian Attacks in France

[T]here is nothing at all unusual about an attack on a Christian religious site these days in France — or, for that matter, elsewhere in Europe. The French police recorded 129 thefts and 877 acts of vandalism at Catholic sites — mostly churches and cemeteries — in 2018, and there has been no respite this year. The Conference of French Bishops reported 228 “violent anti-Christian acts” in France in the first three months of 2019 alone, taking place in every region of the country. What’s going on?

Individualism Waning in the West

[T]he growing conflict between traditionalists and progressives is causing stress, with divisions exacerbated by social media. In this context, there are signs of the West shifting towards collectivism. This will bring security — but with a regrettable loss of liberty.

Converting America Means Thinking Differently

The 13 June 2019 Catholic Herald carried a provocative article by a colleague whom I greatly respect: Matthew Schmitz. Entitled “Longing for lost worlds won’t convert America,” it roused rather conflicting feelings in me — which was very odd.

How John Lukacs’s Confessions Still Speak to Us

When John Lukacs died in May 2019 at the age of 95, he left behind a massive body of work spanning more than 60 years. “That admirable historian” (as Russell Kirk called him) wrote two works about himself: Last Rites (2009) and the more substantive Confessions of an Original Sinner (1990) …. one of the richest and most rewarding of his works.