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  • Preview of VoegelinView for March 2017

    February 26, 2017

    To recognize the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, VoegelinView will focus on Russia and Eastern Europe for March 2017.  Features will be published Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and occasionally on the weekend. The topics include Putin, the United States and Russia, the Russian Empire, the post-communist…

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  • The Russian Empire: The Amber Room

    February 25, 2017

    The original Amber Room was in the Catherine Palace: it was a chamber with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors.  It was created from 1701 to 1709 for the Prussian King Wilhelm I, who in turn gave it to Peter the Great (r. 1694-1725) in…

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  • The Russian Empire: Major Accomplishments

    February 24, 2017

    The Russian Empire was one of the largest empires in the world, spanning almost 14 square miles (36 million sq km) across eastern portion of Europe and the continent of Asia. The Russian Empire’s population was 170 million people of over 100 different ethnic and religious backgrounds.…

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  • The Disintegration of Traditional Civilizations

    February 22, 2017

    In the summer issue of 1993 the journal Foreign Affairs published an article by Samuel Huntington under the title “The Clash of Civilizations?” whose themes he enlarged in 1996 in the book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Contrary to his predictions, this…

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  • A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century

    February 20, 2017

    A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century. William F. Buckley with James Rosen, ed. New York: Crown Forum, 2016.   James Rosen provides the reader with a selection of obituaries written by William F. Buckley for National Review. The cast of characters memorialized include…

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  • Gnostic Wars: Islamic Terrorism, Positive Toleration, and How the Ideological Dynamics of the War on Terrorism Are Advantaging the Terrorists

    February 17, 2017

    Introduction The American debate regarding the policy needed to combat the dangers posed by immigration from nations who are currently hotbeds of Islamic radicalization is presently being vociferously fought.  This debate recently culminated with an Executive Order by President Trump that suspended travel from seven such nations…

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  • The Two Sides of the Same Coin: Political Realism and Political Philosophy

    February 15, 2017

    If you have the privilege, or assigned job, teaching a course on the ‘History of Political Thought’, you might think that most students of political science would be interested in the course. But it is not the case at all. If you were to ask them why…

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  • Political Realism and Wisdom

    February 13, 2017

    Political Realism and Wisdom. András Lánczi. New York: Palgrave MacMillan Press, 2015.  P. 211.   András Lánczi’s latest English publication, Political Realism and Wisdom, consists of seven chapters, bookended by a short preface and conclusion, all loosely bound by the large-order themes of the work’s title. The…

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The North American High Tory Tradition. Ron Dart. New York: American Anglican Press, 2016.
 
In his 1965 book, Lament for a Nation, political philosopher described the disappearance of Canada as a sovereign nation-state and went so far as to declare “the impossibility of Canada” in the modern age. Indeed, his use of the word “lament” provides conclusive evidence that for him…

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Merrill Hume and Politics of Enlightenment

Hume and the Politics of Enlightenment. Thomas W. Merrill. Cambridge University Press, 1915.
 
Thomas Merrill of American University introduces this book with reflections on the difficult relation of philosophy to politics, illustrated in the thought of Marx and Heidegger, each alienated from the dominant features of the modern situation, each committed to radical questioning of conventional assumptions, but each attaching themselves to…

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Havel 2

Then every thing includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite;
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make perforce a universal prey,
And last eat up himself.
Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 3[i]
 
Living in the era of the Tudors, Shakespeare knew a thing or two about power, will and appetite. It can be a deadly…

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Russia Martyoshka

1682                Brothers Ivan V and Peter I crowned czars
1695-1700      War with Ottoman Empire
1696                Ivan V dies, leaving Peter I as the sole czar
1696-97           Peter’s grand tour of Europe
1700-21           The Great Northern War
1703                St. Petersburg founded
1710-13           War with Ottoman Empire
1713                St. Petersburg declared capital of Russia
1721                Russia declared an Empire
1722-23          War with Persia
1725                Catherine I crowned Empress of Russian Empire
1727                Peter…

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Refugee US Challenges

With the inauguration of the new president approaching, I thought it might be worthwhile to review some of the challenges that the new administration will confront.[1] Although I was not a supporter of Trump during the election, I do wish his administration success for the good of the country, for the challenges that he will confront are myriad and formidable.…

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Natural Law Aquinas

Natural law is both a moral and legal theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and therefore has validity everywhere. As a moral theory, natural law claims moral standards that govern human behavior are in some part objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the world; as a legal theory, natural…

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Greek Vase Perephone Aristotle 5

Reflections on Aristotle’s Politics.  Mogens Herman Hansen, Copenhagen:  Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013.

 
Reflections on Aristotle’s Politics is another innovative and interesting work by Mogens Herman Hansen on Athenian democracy, but this time with a singular focus on Aristotle’s Politics. The book has eight chapters, seven of which are revisions of pieces previously published in various volumes, mostly from the 1990s, and…

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Aristotle 2

Aristotle on the Nature of Community. Adriel M. Trott. Cambridge, New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2014.
 
Adriel M. Trott’s Aristotle on the Nature of the Community examines Aristotle’s Politics by placing his understanding of nature (physis) at the center of political life. According to Trott, the human being and the polis operate according to natural ends which allow both entities to fulfill…

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Christopher Tindale Sophist

Reason's Dark Champions: Constructive Strategies of Sophistic Argument. Christopher W. Tindale. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2010. 
 
Christopher W. Tindale’s book traces the reputation, theory, and practice of the Sophists as a group who were linked by shared strategies about argumentation rather than by common epistemological beliefs. He challenges Plato and Aristotle's charge that the Sophists make the…

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Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 B.C.-65 A.D.) was a late, Roman Stoic who contributed to the concept of a cosmopolitan community governed by a global ethics. As a Stoic, Seneca conceived of the world as a single living, rational animal. This world animal had earth at its center and was identified with the Roman god Jupiter whose mind was perfectly…

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