Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day: Iran on Our Mind

Featured image With anti-regime protests in Iran making a little news in the West, and drawing little attention or public comment from the Biden Administration, it is worth recalling Roger Scruton’s demand for accountability that he wrote in The Times of London way back in 1984: “Who remembers Iran? Who remembers, that is, the shameful stampede of Western journalists and intellectuals to the cause of the Iranian revolution? Who remembers the hysterical »

Thought for the Day: “The lady’s not for turning”

Featured image Apropos our item earlier today about PM Liz Truss backtracking on her tax rate cut plan, let’s hear once again from the great Lady Thatcher, speaking to the Conservative Party conference in 1980: It isn’t the State that creates a healthy society. For when the State grows too powerful, people feel that they count for less and less. The State drains society not only of its wealth but of initiative, »

Thought for the Day: Dostoyevsky on Liberals

Featured image “I have found from many observations that our liberals are incapable of allowing anyone to have his own convictions and immediately answer their opponent with abuse or something worse.” —Dostoyevsky, The Idiot »

Thought for the Day: Are We Trapped in a Locke-Box?

Featured image With some of the leading National Conservative intellectuals—especially Yoram Hazony—casting shade on the imputed Lockeanism of the American Founding, it is worth recurring to just one of Willmoore Kendall’s fertile provocations about this point from more than 50 years ago: “The emphasis of Locke’s political theory is, ultimately, egalitarian, since if the consent of all is necessary for the ‘compact,’ then each man’s consent is as ‘good’ as any other »

Thought for the Day: Populism Galls Galston

Featured image William Galston, the liberal columnist for the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page (they always like to have one around) writing every so gently yesterday on the need for Democrats to pay attention to the legitimate grievances of populism lest they get buried in a populist electoral tide: “Powerful forces in the Democratic coalition oppose crafting the sort of moderate policies that could win back these [working class] voters. But if »

Thought for the Day: Civil War 2?

Featured image The speculation about whether the United States might somehow be hurtling toward a second civil war is usually dismissed because there doesn’t exist a clean sectional or geographic split as we had in 1860. But this misses the point. This passage from Harry Jaffa in 1964 would seem to apply very well to our current moment: “The Civil War is the most characteristic phenomenon in American politics, not because it »

Thought for the Day: Affirmative Action Chemotherapy

Featured image “Racial preferences should now be thought of like chemotherapy, a cure that can cause side effects that should be applied judiciously. We’ve applied the cure long past that point, and have drifted toward an almost liturgical conception of diversity that makes less sense by the year.” —John McWhorter, NY Times »

Thought for the Day: The Fiduciary Duty of Universities

Featured image Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, writing at Heterodox Academy last week: Universities can have many goals (such as fiscal health and successful sports teams) and many values (such as social justice, national service, or Christian humility), but they can have only one telos, because a telos is like a North Star. It is the end, purpose, or goal around which the institution is structured. An institution can rotate on one axis »

Thought for the Day: Chesterton on Virtue and Vice

Featured image “When a religious scheme is shattered…it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from »

Thought for the Day: de Jouvenel’s Warning

Featured image “The more one considers the matter, the clearer it becomes that redistribution is in effect far less a redistribution of income from richer to poorer, as we imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the State.” —Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Ethics of Redistribution Of course, for the left, this is a feature and not a bug. »

Thought for the Day: Hayek’s Warning

Featured image F.A. Hayek, from The Constitution of Liberty: The current situation has greatly altered the task of the defender of liberty and made it much more difficult.  So long as the danger came from socialism of the frankly collectivist kind, it was possible to argue that the tenets of the socialists were simply false: that socialism would not achieve what the socialists wanted and that it would produce other consequences which »

Thought for the Day: Cleveland’s Clinic

Featured image “Bodily movement alone, undertaken from a sense of duty or upon medical advice, is among the dreary and unsatisfying things of life. It may cultivate or increase animal strength and endurance, but it is apt at the same time to weaken and distort the disposition and temper.” —Grover Cleveland, Fishing and Shooting Sketches. »

Thought for the Day: Frederick Douglass

Featured image From Frederick Douglass’s speech “What the Black Man Wants,” April 1865, Boston: What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice.  The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. . . Everybody has asked the question, and they learned to ask it early of the abolitionists, “What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but »