Tag: pomocon

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #24: Paul Seaton

 

This is the anniversary of the birth of the patron of PoMoCon, Peter Lawler, and so we’re beginning the second series of podcasts we’re doing in his honor. After talking to public intellectuals–you can find all the links below–I turn to talking to the people closest to PoMoCon, in its First Things and National Review incarnations, as well as now at the American Cinema Foundation. I talk to my friend Paul Seaton, who teaches politics and philosophy at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, who’s known Peter more than 30 years and can speak to his intellectual journey.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #23: Republican Collapse

 

The 2016 Republicans won everything at every level of American politics, from state legislatures and governorships to the Congress and presidency, and then started appointing federal judges in record numbers and a couple of justices. Victory complete! Some of us said at the time, this might just be the 1976 Democrats, driven by victory to suicide. Well, it’s happening–zombie Reaganism and the epidemic have made every formerly patriotic politician a coward and law and order is either nostalgia or a cynical hustle. What now? Now we’re looking forward to elections this November… It’s not going to be easy to stop the collapse. My friend Pete Spiliakos and I get to the insanity of our elites and how and why Republicans neither want to nor know how to stop it.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #22: Brian Smith

 

Friends, here’s our sixth conversation in memory of the late professor of political philosophy and public intellectual Peter Lawler. This week, Brian Smith, managing editor of Law & Liberty–my editor!–joins me for a conversation about his friendship with Peter, their work on Walker Percy, and Peter’s Tocqueville book, The Restless Mind–or rather how his insights shed light on our own crisis, since we have forgotten or neglected to be relational.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #21: Dan Mahoney

 

So here’s the fifth interview in my series in remembrance of Peter Lawler — today, I talk with Dan Mahoney, America’s foremost authority on the thought of Solzhenitsyn, and the author of several other important books, especially on the greatest French thinkers and statesmen of the last two centuries, some of whom he’s translated. (You can find his books on his Amazon page.) We talk about American individualism, the troubles of democracy, and Peter’s Christian reflection on what it means to be a person — both individual and relational, both homeless in this world and at home, in community, with that homelessness…

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #20: Mark Henrie

 

Here’s the fourth conversation in our series in memory of Peter Lawler–I’m joined today by my friend Mark Henrie, to talk about his work as ISI, where he and Peter educated a part of conservatism’s young academic elites in the liberal arts for the better part of two decades, and also their work together on their wonderful Whit Stillman book! In between, we talk about Peter’s family and his Catholic outlook–the CIA comes in, as well as many other things…

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #19: Yuval Levin

 

We continue our series in memory of the later public intellectual and professor of political philosophy Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with Yuval Levin, who served with Peter on the President’s Council on Bio-ethics in the George W. Bush administration, which was led by another distinguished conservative scholar, Leon Kass, Levin’s mentor. We talk about the council, about dignity, and the need for moderation, institutions, and a sympathetic understanding of each other, lest our conflicts lead to madness.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #18: Richard Reinsch

 

So this is the second in our series on the late professor of political philosophy and public intellectual Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with my friend Richard Reinsch, the editor at Law & Liberty, and co-author of Peter’s last book, A Constitution In Full, an attempt to retrieve the complex American history that made for the middle-class nation, especially to retrieve the complement to our excessive individualism–our relational being.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #17: Defend the Statues

 

Friends, today is a special UK edition of the podcast. British expat journalist Ben Sixsmith joins me to speak in defense of the statues now threatened in Britain, from Churchill on down. Churchill’s own blood apparently won’t! Somebody should, though, and apparently it’s those of us looking from afar. So we also attack the Tory elites that won’t defend the nation’s honor in its symbols, either in deed or speech. We damn the corporate-manager politicians who do not wield authority and do not seem to know their offices have dignity and importance. Where is Boris Johnson in this moment of national shame?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #16: Pat Deneen on Lawler

 

Here at the ACF we’ve started a series of podcasts to remember the late professor of political philosophy and public intellectual Peter Lawler on the third anniversary of his death. Peter was a friend and mentor to many of us at the ACF, as well as many others. The first in the series is a discussion with Prof. Pat Deneen of Notre Dame, who has become famous for his book, Why Liberalism Failed, one of the rare books recommended both by conservatives and former president Barack Obama. We talk about Tocqueville, Strauss, the dangers democracy faces, and the right style for conservatives–the debate between post-modern conservatism and traditional conservatism! Friends, listen, read some Peter Lawler, and share our podcast!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #15: Chris Arnade, ‘Dignity’

 

I interviewed writer/photographer Chris Arnade about his book Dignity, an all-American journey of 400,ooo miles around America for the best part of a decade, trying to fulfill the promise of Christianity and democracy, that everyone should count in some way as a human being. We talk about front-row and back-row America, the new education-based elites and the people they have forsaken while claiming to champion, about the resilience of faith in America and the desire for community taking root at McDonald’s in places that have nothing else, and about the hope and despair of the people our public discourse and media ignore. You can get his wonderful book on Amazon.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #14: Honor vs. Celebrity

 

I talked to my friend Scott Beauchamp about his book, Did You Kill Anyone?, honor’s criticism of commerce, or how the military is more of a community than, well, communities often are. We start with the strangest thing about our times–that we’ve replaced honor with celebrity! You can buy his book on Amazon!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #13: Very Online Conservatism

 

My series on new developments and developing writers in conservatism continues. Here’s my PoMoCon talk with Tanner Greer, who’s writing a book on America since 2003 for Tyler Cowen, about old conservatism’s Trump-shock and new, Very Online Conservatism’s Great Awokening shock. Tanner has an NRO essay criticizing Reform Conservatism while agreeing with its reformist intentions and time-honored purposes. He argues that older conservatives worry about politics, whereas newer conservatives seem to worry about the very ground of politics. The previous assumptions about institutions are upended, down to the family, so it’s no longer a matter of how should we be doing things, but who even are we!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #12: Plague Politics

 

Pete Spiliakos and I talk about politics in the age of the plague–what’s so insane about supply-side economics, what it means to think politically and prudentially, what the common good requires, and how to understand our weaknesses that we may deal with them. Fear is good, seriousness is required, preparing for the crisis unfolding, and planning for overcoming it is the sequence we need to go through. Pete and I have praise for Tucker Carlson and Sen. Tom Cotton, and a lot of criticism for everyone else.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #11: The Three Waves of Liberalism

 

This weekend, the podcast’s back to cultural criticism–Oliver Traldi and I continue our series of conversations about the world the internet is making. We about the quarrel between Progressives and liberalism, about the noble free speech stand of the Intellectual Dark Web and their difficulties with accounting for that nobility, about generational politics–Boomers, X-ers, Zoomers, and Millennials fighting it out to define American culture anew, the transformation of the internet from a place of anonymity to competitive exhibitionism, and also Aristotle’s treatise on the soul!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas

 

Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #9: Henry Olsen on 2020

 

Here’s my new podcast with Henry Olsen on democratic phenomena–vast increases in turnout in recent elections, which we expect will shock people in 2020, parties and administrations that cannot get a hold of their coalitions, much less represent them, and the entire shifting political landscape.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Thanksgiving Edition: Scott Beauchamp on Community and Honor

 

Friends, we have a special interview today in our PoMoCon series–with my friend Scott Beauchamp, who like many other young Americans, signed up for the military and deployed to Iraq, and like a large number of veterans, has talked about his experience (in this case, in a book). What makes Scott unique is, his war book is not a memoir, but a work of cultural criticism, much more his intellectual and spiritual autobiography than talking about himself. Scott has a lot to say about the good that comes of war, given that war is terrible–the community of honor and how it helps a man to grow up and what it suggests about what we’re missing in our society.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #7: Intellectual Dark Web

 

Hello and welcome to very online America–I talked to my friend Oliver Traldi about the online culture and academic wokeness that provoked the backlash of the intellectual dark web. To an extent, the internet gave voice to the pathological side of America, which is a complicated mess of escaping real life–meat space!–but also getting new things out of life that then turn out to have certain costs. Online conflict is between the woke attempt to perfect TED talks as a new ideology-etiquette for the urban, wealthier, more educated side of America–and their adversaries, who are themselves split between liberals and just angry people on the internet who don’t like woke bullying. The IDW attempt to restore Enlightenment public reason is for that reason noble, since it’s so unlikely that any institutional alliance could summon majority support.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #6: Ben Sixsmith on Twitter Culture

 

Culture in the age of social media–here’s my conversation with writer Ben Sixsmith about the vast democratization of communications brought about by digital technology and the vast concentration of the public space in a handful of corporations. It’s not made us happy and good, but instead created new political conflicts and social drama. It’s an interesting time, but hardly bearable–so you might like some thoughts on Twitter, YouTube, and various other observations about what it’s like to be human plus digital. Also, if you’re interested in a fine read on British-Polish relations, Ben’s book is the thing for you!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Pomocon #5: Education

 

Today, I interview Spotted Toad, of Twitter fame, about his book on education. He now works in public policy research, a moderately quant guy, as he says–but he was once an idealistic Teach For America kinda guy, who taught the sciences for ten years in public schools in New York and then upstate, among the poor as well as the well to do, in different communities and different periods of the ongoing failure of Progressive education reform. He eventually wrote a lovely, all-American, Emersonian book of reflections on his experience and you can buy it for 99 cents on Amazon as e-book and read it in an afternoon. It’s intelligent and poetic at the same time, devoid of narcissism, and serious about the problems a young teacher faces. This is the sort of conservatism I think we should encourage and so this is me doing my part!

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