The Fever Chart

"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Category: Placemaking

Boxed In

This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. A few years ago, my wife and I were assigned a case through our local conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. It involved a family – Dave, his girlfriend Ellen and their three small children* – who had fallen behind on their rent and electricity bill. [...]

Between State and Market: Robert Nisbet’s “Quest”

 This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Robert Nisbet’s landmark book, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom. Over the years, Nisbet has sometimes been cited as a father of postwar American conservatism, and The Quest for Community hailed as [...]

The Future of ‘Conservatism’

If it is to survive, the Republican Party must come to represent a conservatism that hews closer to the vision of Burke, Kirk, Fleming, Oakeshott, Burnham, Weaver, Scruton, Berry and Blond; a conservatism that stands opposed to the corrosive cultural influence of laissez-faire capitalism and the mass consumer society; opposed to the concentration of economic [...]

Don’t Choose Evil

Last January, I predicted that Mitt Romney would win the Republican nomination for president and go on to beat Barack Obama for the White House. I’m sticking to that prediction, although I also thought that Romney would be running with Governor Susanna Martinez, and that Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden would flip roles. The lesson [...]

Water and the Dignity of Persons

Today is World Water Day, a UN-sponsored annual event intended to focus attention on the importance of fresh water and the sustainable management of fresh water resources. Up to 80 nations experience chronic fresh water shortages. Some are systemic, others intensely localized, but together they affect over 2 billion people, including an estimated 400 million [...]

The Conservative Critique of Capitalism: A Brief Florilegium

It is commonly thought that criticism of capitalism has its exclusive provenance on the Left, but in fact there is a long tradition of conservative unease with capitalism. Now, by “conservative,” I obviously do not mean that weird and contradictory stew comprised of obscure Austrian economic theories, the “objectivist” ethics of Ayn Rand, Wilsonian idealism, [...]

Catholic Placemaking: “Econogenesis”

Is it possible to create whole-places that are resilient, sustainable, and human-scaled, and which combine widely distributed property ownership with an overarching concern for the common good? These aims, which are informed by and cohere with Catholic Social Teaching (CST), are the goals of a new theoretical paradigm for placemaking and economic development that my business partner, [...]