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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Taking Žižek Seriously

This recent interview with Adam Kirsch led me back to his stringent criticisms of Slavoj Žižek. The original and most systematic can be found in Mr. Kirsch’s review of Violence and In Defense of Lost Causes.  Žižek’s response to that review and then Mr. Kirsch’s rejoinder are also quite instructive. Finally, Mr. Kirsch gets in one last word, calling […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Alexander Schmemann on Ecclesiastical Counter-Utopia

Writing about a certain form of theological role-playing that we have encountered many times, the great Alexander Schmemann states: Now as a strange counterpart to that [more conventional Utopianism], we have the second fundamental tendency of our time; that is Escape, a kind of counter-Utopia. Our world today is not only the world of those […]

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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Philosophy Steven Wedgeworth

The Utopian Hope: A False Eschatology

Writing about the role of hope in utopian movements, Eric Hoffer says: Discontent by itself does not invariably create a desire for change. Other factors have to be present before discontent turns into disaffection. One of these is a sense of power… For men to plunge headlong into an undertaking of vast change, they must […]

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Archive Nota Bene Steven Wedgeworth

Nietzsche’s Sister and the Racist Utopian Colony in Paraguay

Writing for The New York Times, Simon Romero tells an amazing story about the racist founding of Nueva Germania, Paraguay: The year was 1887 when two of the best-known German anti-Semites of the time put down stakes here in Paraguay’s remote jungle with 14 German families screened for their racial purity. The team of Bernhard […]