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History

Historical background related to current issues and/or events.

Nineteen Eightyfour: Orwell's dystopian novel and its relationship to today

When I read George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four, over 40 years ago, I hoped that knowledge of the possible abuses of government would be a sufficient warning to prevent it. I hoped that the dystopia it described would never come to birth. George Orwell was way ahead of his time, yet he had already seen the possibility of the deluded polity that would enable the creation of this system.

Diagnosing Republican factionalism. What is the cure?

The basic problem with the Republican Party is that it suffers from dissociative identity disorder, colloquially referred to as a split personality.

It's possible to identify at least the following distinct political personalities in the G.O.P.

Secularism vs. Sectarianism in Domestic and International Power Politics

Secularism began as a philosophical reaction against Christianity in the 18th century in Europe. Like the religious rebellion of the 16th century, it had its roots in outrage at the vices of religious and royal officials. And, like its earlier religious counterpart, it began to invent and to live by its own rules. As a movement, therefore, it exhibited all of the tendencies of moral and cultural drift that all major cultural movements and even civilizations have displayed throughout human history.

The Age of Moral Confusion (Part II): moral drift

I have offered simple orbital mechanics, and the earth/sun "system", as a metaphor for the importance of the connection between the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital act. I would like to suggest another metaphor to help us understand and appreciate the notion of "moral drift" in the absence of divine replenishment. In analogy with the thermodynamic law of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics), I would like to suggest that there is a kind of moral and spiritual equivalent.

The Age of Moral Confusion: How did we get here?

A century ago it could be said that there was a reasonable consensus regarding basic moral questions among Americans and Europeans. Today, that consensus no longer exists, except in isolated pockets or communities. Why the difference?

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