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Hello Again

July 30, 2022

My post on July 25 featured sketches by Svetlana Karnaukhova of scenes from my hometown, Pittsburgh PA.  I have lots to say about the “Burgh” but my right knee became so painful due to arthritis that on Thursday last I underwent surgery to replace it.

Two weeks later I can stand (painfully), use a walker and walk a few steps at a time, and am able to walk to my home office and compose this message.

Here’s what’s on my mind:

●what is involved if the Justice Department brings a criminal indictment of former President Trump for acts committed on January 6.

Long term, this discussion will include examination of the future of American politics immediately “After Trump” and a likely realignment of our “Two Party” system. This will require examination of Trump’s Nationalism as it stands in opposition to “the Democratic project.”

I need to draft an addendum to my critique of Trump’s militarization of the administrative state. George W. Bush began that process.

●the call to overcome domination of higher education by a “Left University,” how the founding of new colleges may overcome that domination and how and what they teach. “Great Books” examined and compared to teaching the “Liberal Arts.”

●what constitutes a liberal education.

For my part I will publish a memorial collection of essays honoring Professor Gerhart Niemeyer, make final edits to a book that examines the contest between justice and order and read dozens of books about persons of Christian faith who shaped the culture of the west in the era known as “first Europe.”

A collateral issue to be raised in that study is how the ancient republic of Rome became an imperial “War State” and how the many wars that the United States waged from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan shaped America into an imperial “War State.” That is a lesson I learned when I wrote Rise and Fall of the American Empire published in July 2022.

Sketches of Pittsburgh by a Russian Artist

July 25, 2022


July 17, 2022

The right and my friends

American Higher Education Reform

July 16, 2022

The names of reformers of higher education are many: a then-young member of Parliament, Margaret Thatcher assisted by LSE political theorist Michael Oakeshott, Robert J. Morris, Jack Eckerd, Fr. Robert Cook and Dr. Robert K. Carlson, Robert Luddy, Bruce D. Benson, the Australian Paul Ramsay, Dr. Richard Bishirjian and dozens affiliated with the startup University of Austin (Peter Boghossian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Kathleen Stock, Lawrence Summers, Nadine Strossen, and Arthur Brooks). Only one reformer has written a book explaining why efforts at higher education reform in America face enormous difficulties and are prone to failure.

All the Americans were motivated to reform American higher education by avoiding domination of “Progressive” programs and can be described as “anti-cancel culture” and “anti-woke.” At the University of Dallas southern scholars promoted study of Southern literature. Many sought, and some still do seek to advance study of Western Civilization through “Great Books” programs, but others revalidate the corpus of Western philosophy and theology. Some are motivated  by commitment to Catholic faith.

They are remembered at Eckerd College, University of Buckingham, University of Dallas, University of Plano, University of Austin, Thales College, and Yorktown University. Plano and Yorktown University are closed, Eckerd College remembers Jack Eckerd’s bequest but not his political philosophy of limited government, UD’s Politics Department still recalls its brief acquaintance with Willmoore Kendall who died in 1967, and Colorado University alumni who donated one quarter million dollars a year to fund the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy have been co-opted by tenured faculty in CU’s Department of Government.

The Trivium and Quadrivium of classic “liberal education” was abandoned after WW II when American higher education became commercialized for returning WW II vets using their “GI Bill” to earn a college diploma. What remains of Liberal Education may be found in courses taught by political theorists influenced by Eric Voegelin and Leo Strauss.

Three examples, all in Canada, are Barry Cooper at Calgary University, Grant Havers who teaches at Trinity Western University in British Columbia and John von Heyking at University of Lethbridge in Calgary. Essays published at VoegelinView reveal the expanse of Voegelin’s influence. The influence of Leo Strauss and “the Straussians” are sustained at the Claremont Review of Books.

Next: What they teach