The Covid-19 pandemic and the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd have raised vital questions about the future of the United States and whether it will remain a free society. Scholars associated with The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) have had much to say recently on both topics from various perspectives.
The American Mind, a publication of the Claremont Institute published an essay, “Armageddon Now,” by AHI Senior Fellow Juliana Pilon. Dr. Pilon explores the Marxist orientation of the Black Lives Matter movement. “What unites woke radicals,” she maintains, “is a hatred of evils it identifies as racism, inequality, Zionism, sexism, which are all presumably caused by capitalism, currently epitomized above all by America, with Israel close behind.” With impressive erudition, Dr. Pilon connects the utopian and millenarian elements of Marxist thought to the ambitious agenda of the current crop of organized radicals.
Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture published an Independence Day piece, “Which Revolution Are We Celebrating?” by AHI President Robert Paquette. Dr. Paquette compared the reaction of the founding generation to the French Revolution to the current cultural revolution underway in the United States. “Today,” he observed, “a firm idea of the meaning of ‘American’ appears to be dissolving away into the obsolescence of decadence. Give thanks, in part, to the dumbing down of a population, [o]ne that is developing an almost Pavlovian response to the sooey-calls of political charlatans and their academic allies to gorge themselves at the capacious federal trough.”
American Greatness, a website devoted to the defense of American ideals and institutions, has recently published articles by AHI Resident Fellow Mary Grabar and AHI Academic Advisor Roger Kimball. In “Trump’s Rushmore Speech Exposes Howard Zinn’s ‘Web of Lies,’” Dr. Grabar applauds President Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech as a much needed response to the trashing of America’s heritage by woke mobs and their corporate allies, whose unconscionable funding of radical groups have metastasized the monster that now threatens the heritage of a free society.
Dr. Grabar also published a commentary “Scholar Disputes Source of Criticism of Columbus.” It defended former Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who is seeking to replace Anthony Brindisi as United States Representative in New York’s 22nd district. Tenney had challenged upstate activists to build a better America rather than petitioning for the removal of all Columbus statues in the Syracuse area. Dr. Grabar pointed out that that Tenney’s critics in making their case for the removal of statues were misusing history by relying on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, which Grabar has unmasked as a fraud in her own book Debunking Howard Zinn (Regnery 2019).
In “It’s All About November 3,” Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books, reflects on the events that have led “to the desecration of the Lincoln Memorial,” “the looting and burning of businesses across the country,” and the “multiple paroxysms of woke self-abasement” to the nihilists by American business and financial leaders. Election day, 2020, Kimball concludes, will not merely pit Donald Trump against Joe Biden. “It is civilization and America on one side, anarchy and woke tyranny on the other.”
The Federalist, a popular web magazine “focused on culture, politics, and religion,” published “America Can’t Take Another Lockdown. Protect the Vulnerable And Carry On,” an opinion piece by Paul Rahe, Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage, Hillsdale College. Dr. Rahe, who is also an AHI academic adviser, argues that much of what is published in the mainstream media about the pandemic “is noise, not news,” and thus the public is being ill-served in distinguishing real dangers from acceptable risks. Rahe argues for “a radically different approach, one that is simple and far less costly. Authorities should identify those with comorbidities, and steps should be taken to protect them. Otherwise, we should reopen our schools, our businesses, our universities — and we should keep them open.”
The Abbeville Institute, an organization devoted to the study and preservation of the best of the Southern heritage, published “Leave Calhoun Alone,” by H. Lee Cheek, a Methodist minister and Professor of Political Science at East Georgia State University. Dr. Cheek, who is also an AHI Senior Fellow and an authority on the political thought of Calhoun, defends Calhoun against a wide variety of woke critics. “Defending slavery,” Cheek maintains, “was not the touchstone of Calhoun’s political thought,” although “it is also accurate to acknowledge his support of the institution.” For Calhoun, as for Thomas Jefferson, “the need to preserve the Republic and to improve the citizenry’s understanding of the regime’s foundational elements were of greater importance.”