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The Fed Soc Debate Turns Inward

American Compass coalitions director Wesley Hodges discusses the developing debate within the Federalist Society about the roles and potential threats of corporate and government power.

Freedom, Fairness or Flourishing: America’s Fundamental Economic Policy Choice

Knowing that many Americans see flourishing as the right goal, both the freedom and fairness camps claim their policies generate flourishing. But mostly they don’t.

Post-Liberal America

Today’s upsurge in Catholic integralism is a one of the many signs of growing dissatisfaction with liberalism’s efforts to keep metaphysics out of public life.

The Collapse of the Smithian Well-Ordered Society (And What to Do About It)

The great moral philosopher Adam Smith is often considered the founding father of the discipline of economics. Like many of today’s economists, his goals include both understanding how and why markets function as they do and making vivid the many potential advantages of markets over alternative ways of organizing economic life.

Asymptotic Freedom

Far from being on a censorship slipper-slope, Big Tech will soon lose their ability to confine our interactions altogether.

National Developmentalism ≠ Critical Theory Radicalism

After years of dismissing the rise of critical theory-inspired identity politics, many conservatives have become “woke” to just how divisive this movement is. The problem, however, is that some free market fundamentalists see both radical intersectionalists and Hamiltonian supporters of national developmentalism as desecrators of the Founding Father’s principles.

Corporate-Sponsored Censorship

Parler, the alternative to Twitter, is being strangled by the tech giants. Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores. Amazon removed the company from its web-hosting service. These companies claim these actions serve the public interest.

Is There a Case for Principled Populism From the GOP?

Marshall Auerback discusses how a principled populism that addresses working-class interests could emerge in the GOP.

The Real Science Denialism

The American Revolution was in many ways inspired by the scientific one. But this says at least as much about science as it does about America—and as vaccine-related controversies renew calls to “listen to scientists,” it’s worth considering how the philosophy of science parallels the philosophy of the Founders, and what those parallels suggest about the nature of scientific authority.

The Trump Apocalypse

In popular parlance an “apocalypse” means an epic disaster. As a simple transliteration of Greek (apocalypsis) the literal meaning is more pedestrian: “uncovering,” or to use a fancier word, “revelation.” But one understands the popular sense, for it is often unsettling (or worse) when the true nature of things is revealed. This is the case in last book of the New Testament, which bears the name Apocalypse.

Postliberalism’s Pornography Problem

Postliberalism and pornography are independently controversial subjects—so perhaps I should have thought twice before conjoining them in a semi-snarky, slightly ambiguous tweet, which sparked a number of strong reactions:

The Pandemic’s Postliberal Pull

Within 48 hours of Thanksgiving, two documents were released that addressed this year’s seasonal theme: how to balance private liberty and salus populi. 

The Revolution™

On June 1, early in the BLM uproar, I went to Union Square to view a protest march. The empty concrete canyons echoed with chants as two or three thousand people walked past. Clench-jawed Deputy Commissioner Terrance Monahan brought up the rear, flanked by ranks of police officers

Roger Scruton: Philosopher of the “Small World”

In a discussion with the journalist Toby Young on the Quillette podcast earlier this year, the Conservative politician Daniel Hannan suggested that the influence of the late philosopher Sir Roger Scruton (1944–2020) “is only going to grow with each passing year.”

Seven Deadly Political Sins

Self-examination is a useful exercise. I’m grateful to Henry Olsen, Micah Meadowcroft, Josh Hammer, and Michael Lind (in a cognate posting) for their reflection on the sins of the American right. I’d like to add my voice to this collective mea culpa. As a sometime theology professor, I’ll key my observations to the classical list of seven deadly sins.

How the Policy Consensus Changes in America

There are two theories of how major policy changes happen in the United States of America.  One theory is popular, widely believed and mistaken.  The other is correct.

Republicans, Democrats, and Definitions

Anyone who cannot stand the phrase, “Actually, America is a republic,” had best stop reading now. This post is not for you. Except ye be converted, and become as little Read more…

The Rules of the Game

In the unlikely event Trump ekes out a victory in November, it will be because the electoral college let him win without the popular vote, and the democratic imprimatur it Read more…

From Freedom to Solidarity on the American Right

Campaign books are not written for the ages. But they can be telltales. A New Catholic Moment: Donald Trump and the Politics of the Common Good is a good example. It indicates a shift away from freedom as the leading motif on the American right and toward solidarity.

The Limits of Principle

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s death roiled an already unsettled the political scene. A pitched battle is underway over who will succeed her and when. David French urges Republicans to stand Read more…

A Conservative Jurisprudence Worthy of a Conservative Economics

The New Right, in contradistinction to the liberalized Hayekian governing mentality that American Compass’s Oren Cass has called “Let the Market Rip,” is unafraid to wield the levers of political power in the service of good political order.

Labor for the Future

This is one of those half-baked blog posts that are the point of a blog but increasingly rare; after all, in the digital era everything seems to just get slicker and more centralized. There are only three sites to post to and you have to be on, and casual-Friday professional, you know?, for your brand. If you want to spitball you can just tweet. Anyway.

Yoram Hazony’s Liberal Nationalism

In a previous post, I used the term “synthetic nationalism” to describe what is increasingly the default premise of many conservative nationalists—or, in their words, of many national conservatives.

Republicans Are Ripping Out ‘The Very Heart and Soul’ of Their Party

Reason magazine’s Stephanie Slade cites American Compass’s work on Corporate Actual Responsibility as evidence that conservatives are pushing libertarianism out of the Republican Party.

Integralism, Rightly Understood

Since at least Woodrow Wilson and arguably since the Mayflower, Americans have struggled to conceive of their interests as distinct from their ideals. Blurring that distinction is sometimes said to be the original sin of neoliberalism (or “globalism”; take your pick), but the truth is it’s been blurry for almost four centuries, from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” to George Bush’s “Freedom Agenda,” from the rise of Puritanism to its official fall. What’s good for us must be good for the world, we think, and vice versa—an assumption the rest of the world does not necessarily share.

More Than Materialists: Class and Religion

When does something become a cliché? I’m not sure. Truisms lose a certain power after much repetition, but it doesn’t make them less true. That fundamental political conflicts are always theological is an old observation by theorists that still bears repeating, always suggesting something new.

John Ruskin and the Purpose of Political Economy

As we seek a realignment in American political economy we would do well to rediscover the thought of a 19th-century critic who did not like us very much. John Ruskin (1819–1900) found Americans obsessed with a liberty he considered license and naively committed to an ideal of equality he believed impossible: “also, as a nation, they are wholly undesirous of Rest, and incapable of it.” In her utilitarian preoccupation with commercial ventures, America had inherited Montaigne’s English vice of inquietude and seemed unlikely to recover.

Liberalism is Bringing About the State of Nature it Sought to Escape

Liberal theory starts by imagining a state of nature: a world that never existed, could never have existed, and leads liberals to a wholly unreal view of human nature.

Hamiltonian Means, Jeffersonian Ends

My American Compass co-blogger, Michael Lind, likes to portray America’s development as a tug of war between the ideals of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson — nation builders and industrialists on the one hand, and laissez-faire localists on the other. 

“One Nation” America

This paragraph was penned by G.K. Chesterton in 1925 about William Cobbett, 1763-1835.

Toward a New Anti-Corruption Statecraft

Matt poses some important questions below about how conservatives must defend anti-corruption statecraft against (tellingly) American libertarians and Chinese communists. I think it is right to suggest that the founders and their generation generally shared a robust sensibility that opposing, combating, and defeating corruption was properly political activity at the regime level.

Whither Corruption and Conservatism?

Oren Cass invited me to contribute to this site not as a conservative but as a lefty and Democrat who is fascinated by the project of intellectual revival in which this network of thinkers is engaged.

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