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A Call for Political Novels

April 11, 2021

Political philosophy inspired Eric Voegelin to explore the great questions that philosophers examined from the ancient Greeks though the 13th century scholars in universities that fostered the scholarship of St. Thomas. These men shaped “the West” and gave Western culture a unique “edge” that defines Western man.

Voegelin in his later works went to the core of social and cultural issues that motivates us to contemplate American culture with all the skills in our possession including narrative fiction.

As I observed on April 3rd, a colleague–shaped by the same scholars brought together at the University of Notre Dame in the 1960s and 1970s who influenced me–has expressed a fear that the American nation in the present day exhibits signs that it is defeated and occupied by a foreign power.

Barriers of law and practice that limit political power of “the State” have been breached and only killing of the occupied people remains to be accomplished.

Writing about this danger sounds shrill and off-putting since the occupying forces in the present day are our fellow Americans.

If this were simply a passing phase, we might relax our guard and wait for some favorable resolution of social forces. But all the instruments of civilization—universities, religious institutions, public media—have joined in willful destruction of our spirits and the just order that once was dominant—before we were dispirited.

We who practice political philosophy write scholarly works to alert our fellow citizens about this present danger. That was what I did in my 2015 study titled The Conservative Rebellion.

But the public’s interest in reading serious scholarship is non-existent.

For that reason I asked some scholars who have taken to writing narrative fiction—novels—to meet to discuss their craft. You are invited to listen to a first discussion about writing novels and the national interest that will be recorded and posted at the website of American Academy of Distance Learning.

Click here for a description of that event.

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