This is the text of the full article from The American Mind. The Dr. J Chats video posted earlier, is an abridgment of this article. Ideas Don’t Have Consequences: Why Conservatives Keep Losing.
Ideas Have Consequences, a book by Richard Weaver, has animated countless conservative intellectuals and professionals for over half a century. What a pity, then, that the book’s title expresses but a half-truth at best. Still worse: the missing half is by far the more important one. Conservatives of all stripes need to take a sober-minded look at this bromide.
The true half of the half-truth is this. Getting the ideas right is important. Having concepts and ideas that are empirically accurate, historically truthful, and philosophically sound—all of this is important. Motivated by this fact, countless idealistic young people have dedicated themselves to intellectual pursuits. They hope to contribute to The Cause by getting the ideas right. Clarifying, correcting, and advancing the ideas will, they imagine, have consequences.
This was certainly my experience as a young academic. Back then, I identified as a free-market libertarian economist. I imagined that I would contribute to advancing the Big Ideas of liberty. I was involved in, and mentored by, several think tanks that help young academics succeed in their careers. I attended many meetings and seminars and colloquia. I can honestly and sadly report to you: never once did I hear anyone say, “You know, we really need to start attending the Faculty Senate meetings. We should at least keep track of what our intellectual opponents are doing in our institution.”
Continue reading “Ideas Don’t Have Consequences: Why Conservatives Keep Losing (American Mind version)”
Being afraid adds nothing to your health or safety. Worrying doesn’t protect other people.
Those of you who are familiar with the Ruth Institute may be surprised by what I’m about to say. I’m going to make the case for wearing masks.
The public health authorities have asked us to wear masks and to keep 6 feet away from other people. These simple measures make sense. But because of the highly charged, ideological times in which we now live, even simple things raise a lot of questions. Do these measures work? How fearful should we be? Will it be my fault if someone I love gets sick?
Those questions kick off another whole round of questions and anxieties. Should we do even more than we are asked to do? Should we comply under duress or fear and complain all the while? Should we flat out defy the public health authorities? Every time we leave the house, these questions and anxieties can plague our minds. And a big decision like whether to get on an airplane? That decision can paralyze us.
That is, unless we have a sensible decision-making rule of thumb. Continue reading “Be not afraid. Put on a mask and go out and about.”
Waiting around for the Apocalypse is not an honorable option. Text of a Chat recorded on Facebook Live on June 25, 2020.
“Ideas Have Consequences.” How many times have you heard that from conservative intellectuals and professionals? Alas, this cliché is a half-truth at best, with the missing “half” being by far the more important.
The true half of the half-truth is this. Getting the ideas right is important.
When I was a young academic free market libertarian economist, I imagined I would contribute to advancing the Big Ideas of liberty. I was mentored by several think tanks that help young academics succeed in their careers. I attended many seminars and colloquia. I can honestly report: never once did I hear anyone say, “You know, we really need to start attending the Faculty Senate meetings. We should at least keep track of what our opponents are doing in our institution.”
We have no right to whine and complain about the “Left’s Long March Through the Institutions.” They marched largely unopposed. We lost a game we never even showed up to play. Continue reading “Ideas Don’t Have Consequences: Why Conservatives Keep Losing (video version)”
Church Militant reported on an “experiment” in Sexual Revolutionary Germany in the 1970’s-1990’s. Child welfare agencies placed homeless children in foster care with known pedophiles. The “experiment” was to see whether the children thrived in the care of such “loving parents.” They asked for my comments. I let them have it.
Continue reading ““A Diabolical Experiment:” A quote for Church Militant”
We are in a marathon. Not a sprint.
Here at the Ruth Institute, we post a joke every weekday afternoon on our Facebook page. You may have wondered why a pro-family organization would do that.
We cover very dark topics. My talks on family breakdown stir up a lot of pain. I have had people run out of the room crying. The first time I saw that, I thought, “We can’t have this!” But we can’t ignore these difficult topics.
At our upcoming Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution, we will cover these topics.
- Surviving the LGBT Subculture
- Pornography Addiction
- Childhood sexual abuse
Doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun!
Who wants to come to a full day of that!!!
I’ll tell you who: you do. You want to come. Continue reading “Why we Laugh in the Afternoon”
The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution. And the revolution is always about power.
Did you see our Laugh in the Afternoon today? The Media kicks the coronavirus to the curb. The caption says, “Your services are no longer needed.” Let’s analyze what is so darkly funny about that image.
We know now that protecting people from the Wuhan flu was not really the issue. Of course, there were and are many conscientious people in the health care sector who sincerely care about their patients’ health, and who were sincerely trying to help as many people as possible. But those are the very people who, above all, realize that many of the measures imposed by the Public Health Establishment were pure theater or worse. The hardworking doctors, nurses, nursing home aids, hospice workers and EMT’s could see from the beginning that there must have been something else at work besides preserving health. Especially if you take mental health into account.
The media-driven panic was never about health. Keeping everyone in a fevered state of anger or fear is not healthy. The geniuses in the Public Health Establishment should have known that.
The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution. And the revolution is always about power. Continue reading “Media to coronavirus: “Your services are no longer needed.””
Be a rebel. Go hug someone.
I am recording this on June 8, 2020. Most of the world has been on Wuhan virus lockdown for 10 or 12 weeks or more. The Ruth Institute has no special expertise on infectious diseases. We do, however, have some knowledge about families, societies, and the human need to be social.
I’m seeing plenty of harmful consequences of prolonged social isolation. I’m seeing within my own community, suicides, substance abuse relapses, and people getting just plain edgy. I just read a story about suicide hotlines in California having a year’s worth of suicide attempts in a single month.
Let’s cut straight to the chase. Humans are social creatures. We need other people. Human interaction is not an optional extra, pasted on top of our material needs or our disembodied minds. We need to be touched. We need to look at other people to see how they are reacting to us. Are we behaving in a socially appropriate manner? Or are we going off the rails? That is pretty hard to gauge when you are all by yourself. Continue reading “The Subversive Hugger”
Countering our tired clichés about race
As I watch my own country tear itself apart over race, I keep thinking about my trip to Uganda. The people I met in Uganda have a sense of the sacred, which we have largely lost in the West. We have almost convinced ourselves that only the material world is real. If we cannot touch it or measure it, it doesn’t exist.
Yet, in our cultural past, we too once had a sense of the sacred. The Greeks had it. The Romans had it. The great civilizations of Asia had it. In fact, I cannot think of any civilization that has tried to completely wipe out the idea that there is something larger than man and the material world.
Here is a story of something that happened while my son and I were in Uganda. I gave my talk to the 5,000 young people at the Ugandan National Catholic Youth Conference. I told them that the Ancient Christian teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality are more correct than the “modern” nonsense that the United Nations is trying to foist on them. Continue reading “Ugandan Catholics: Who is really helping whom? “
I’m recording this on June 2, 2020. The United States is gripped by racial tension, including protests, riots, and lots of arguments. We’re kind of losing our minds.
When race is involved, I feel like we Americans are on a hamster wheel, running in place, going nowhere. That, or we are on a movie set of a very dark version of Ground Hog Day, doomed to experience the same day over and over until we get it right.
And let’s be clear. Race is one issue that America has never gotten right. We’ve never come close to getting it right. I realize that each person believes passionately that their own views are correct. But America as a whole? As a country, we are nowhere near getting race right. I hope we can all agree on that sad fact. Continue reading “Hitting the “reset” button on race, with the help of the Ugandan Martyrs.”
No humor today. I’m dead serious. We can’t go on like this.
I’m recording this on May 27, 2020. We have been on Wuhan virus lockdown for ten weeks or more. I have said nothing about the quarantine and other public health measures since the beginning of this whole saga. But I can no longer remain silent. I’m seeing people coming unglued from lack of human contact.
Let’s cut straight to the chase. Humans are social creatures. We need other people. We need to look at other people to see how they are reacting to us. Are we behaving and thinking in a socially appropriate manner? Or are we going off the rails? That is pretty hard to know if you are all by yourself. Continue reading “Hungry for Hugs”