- Rusty Reno considers the politics of the current day as a rejection of the metaphysical poverty of a world governed by technocratic elites and a desired re-embrace of the “strong gods” of place, loyalty, and nation–in short, of making the public sphere sacred. I do not exaggerate when I say that this essay is one of the most cogent and perceptive analyses of our current situation I’ve yet read. We must remember a deep and profound truth–metaphysics always trumps politics. The West has forgotten this–or perhaps it is more appropriate to say we have attempted to destroy this truth, or to simply reinvent metaphysics into something that can be politically managed–and thus our current moment.
- The closing of Reno’s essay brings to mind what Peter Augustine Lawler, in his brief editorial introduction announcing his place as the new head of Modern Age, refers to as conservatism’s ultimately “relational” character.
- A book about the Gilded Age, and what it has to teach us about our own technocrats-v.-Populists moment.
- Finally, another book review that fits neatly beside all the rest of today’s readings. David P. Goldman critically considers Walter McDougall’s political history of the American civic religion–idealistic technocratic tinkering.
A detail from the altar of the Lutheran parish church in Krems in Kärnten, Austria.