Edmund Burke and Constitutional Historicity

Shortly after the French Revolution began, and not far removed from the adoption of the American constitution, there appeared a pamphlet by the title Reflections on the Revolution in France. Edmund Burke’s publication inaugurated the pamphlet wars in Britain. It also established his reputation as the father of “modern conservatism”—though he is certainly not the first … Continue reading Edmund Burke and Constitutional Historicity

Machiavelli and the U.S. Midterm Elections

Another essay of mine, published by the wonderful online journal Merion West. This was a reflective piece on the recent U.S. midterm elections. In this essay, drawing on Niccolo Machiavelli's political outlook found in the Discourses on Livy, I argue that we should be celebrating the outcome of divided outcome and the prospects of political … Continue reading Machiavelli and the U.S. Midterm Elections

Schmitt, Trump, and History

My essay reflecting on Hegel, Carl Schmitt, the I-Not-I distinction as the friend-enemy distinction, American history, "the end of history," Cold War, and Donald Trump has been published at the online journal Merion West.  The essay is a historico-philosophical examination of the seminal question concerning the "end of history," dialectical politics, and how to make … Continue reading Schmitt, Trump, and History

Hegel on History, IV: The Age of Freedom and End of History

We last left off with Hegel’s philosophy of history with the failure of the Aristocratic Age to produce universal freedom.  If we recall, the Aristocratic Age, that age of great movement, creativity, and the arts, and the dialectic between the aristocrats and plebeians, failed because there was no notion that all men were equal.  This … Continue reading Hegel on History, IV: The Age of Freedom and End of History

Joseph De Maistre: The Metaphysics of the French Revolution

“Evil has nothing in common with life; it cannot create, since its power is purely negative.  Evil is the schism of being; it is not true.  Now what distinguishes the French Revolution and makes it an event unique in history is that it is radically bad.”  Those are the words of Franco-Savoyard lawyer and diplomat … Continue reading Joseph De Maistre: The Metaphysics of the French Revolution

Leo Strauss: The Three Waves of Modernity

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was one of the most important historians of political philosophy in the 20th century.  A Jewish emigre to America in the 1930s, Strauss made his name as an exegete of the classics (Plato, Aristotle, and Thucydides especially; Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Maimonides among Arab-Islamic and Jewish medieval philosophers, and Sts. Augustine and Thomas … Continue reading Leo Strauss: The Three Waves of Modernity

Marx’s Dialectical Historicism

One of the core elements to Karl Marx’s philosophy was his dialectical materialism and historicism, which come together in his dialectical historicism.  Most people are probably familiar with it.  There are five distinct stages (or epochs) of history: slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism.  But the movement of history is not linear-progressive, it is cyclical; … Continue reading Marx’s Dialectical Historicism