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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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Plato Socrates David

Politics, Philosophy, Writing: Plato's Art of Caring for Souls. Zdravko Planinc, ed. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.
 
Too often Plato's dialogues are presented according to the latest school of thought in philosophy, reducing Plato to merely "a footnote in the works of other philosophers" (p.1). The edited volume Politics, Philosophy, Writing attempts to reverse this trend in scholarship by reinterpreting…

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Hesiod 1

According to the philosopher Eric Voegelin, there are no more than four fundamental modes of theoretical speculation. Voegelin identifies these four fundamental modes as: cosmogony, anthropogony, theogony, and historiogenesis. These modes speak, respectively, of the genesis of the universe, the genesis of human beings, the genesis of the divine, and the genesis of society.
Unsurprisingly, modern science speaks to these four…

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Ciero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) was the Roman philosopher who erected the basic conceptual framework of the “law of nations” which has influenced subsequent international law, theory, and ethics. During Cicero’s time, the need for a universal code of ethics had become pressing, as Roman conquest had created a polyglot empire with an elite suffused with a wide variety of…

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School of Athens Education Plato Socrates

Eros, Wisdom, and Silence: Plato's Erotic Dialogues. James M. Rhodes. Columbia, MO:  University of Missouri Press, 2003.
 
Although his name and his disciples have dominated American political theory for the past thirty years and have even influenced American politics, Leo Strauss has remained somewhat of an enigma to specialists and generalists alike. Was he the classical philosopher who argued that democracy as…

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Machiavelli 3

Scholars, practitioners, and more casual observers of leadership often talk about Niccolo Machiavelli in the context of leadership practices.  Substantially fewer seem to be well read on the (in)famous Florentine.  It is possible to consider Machiavelli, his writings, and ideas reputed to him, in a better, more informed, less condemnatory and more positive light.  This essay will try to show…

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Dont' Tread on Me Libertarian

According to Wikipedia, libertarianism is described as follows:
The term libertarianism originally referred to a philosophical belief in free will but later became associated with anti-state socialism and Enlightenment-influenced[8][9] political movements critical of institutional authority believed to serve forms of social domination and injustice. While it has generally retained its earlier political usage as a synonym for either social or individualist…

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Donald Trump identity politics

After the election, a student came into my office and asked me, “What is my major good for?”[1] The quote perfectly captured the post-election state of my profession as a political scientist of having wrongly predicted the presidential race. There were be several articles and books that will be published about the problems in the forecasting models but for now…

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Hail Caesar


Cultures show their substance by what they make easier and what they make more difficult. A true, illustrative story:
Me: “Hey, Siri, find me a Catholic Mass to go to.”
My phone: “I don’t know how to respond to that.”
Me: “Okay then, take me to a strip club.”
My phone: “Which strip club? Tap the one you want.”
Not for nothing are they called…

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Rashomon


Final grades were due a few days ago, and for those of us who teach, grading season has just come to a close. With visions of student papers dancing in my head, I can’t keep from thinking, Rashomon is a perfect movie for our culture.
Liberal democracy inclines us against ethical judgment. Though some call it tolerance, a better name is…

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