The Expansion of Group Identities: From the Village to the Globe

For most of history, the far away problems occupied relatively small spaces in the minds of the average person. The challenges facing the village, city-state, or empire hundreds of miles away had little impact on our ancestor’s tight-knit community that faced challenges of its own: drought, crime, disputes with neighboring communities, a poor crop yield,Continue reading “The Expansion of Group Identities: From the Village to the Globe”

Tytler’s Cycle of Civilizations

In our recent article Dangers of Democracy we briefly touched on Tytler’s Cycle of Civilizations, named after Scottish historian and writer Alexander Fraser Tytler. The cycle is described in the quote below: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselvesContinue reading “Tytler’s Cycle of Civilizations”

Pertinax and Politics: One Good Leader Cannot Save a Nation

Election season is well underway in the United States with the midterm elections ending just days away. The United States has always been a country of sweeping emotions, whether of the brave spirits of the pilgrims, or of the freedom-loving cowboys of the West, or of college football fandom, or of the citizen entering theContinue reading “Pertinax and Politics: One Good Leader Cannot Save a Nation”

Is Freedom Doomed in Populated Nations?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the famous Enlightenment philosopher of the 1700s, wrote in The Social Contract that “the larger the State, the less the liberty”. As a freedom-loving American, I fear the potential that Earth’s population could doom the freedoms of future generations. But, in the first place, is a populous world doomed to ever fewer freedoms?Continue reading “Is Freedom Doomed in Populated Nations?”

Dangers of Democracy

The word “democracy” appears exactly zero times in the United States Constitution. And yet, no form of government is celebrated with the same fervency as democracy. Recently, the phrase “Our Democracy” has been coopted by nearly every politician as an attempt to appeal to the populace’s supposedly unshakeable faith in the voting process. Appeals toContinue reading “Dangers of Democracy”

The Importance of Sport in Society

In the Lascaux caves of southwest France, prehistoric cave paintings depict several fascinating images. Along with the more famous depictions of horses, deer, and bison, there are figures of sprinters and wrestlers engaged in their sports. Thousands of miles away in Mongolia dating to 7000 B.C., similar images portray wrestlers surrounded by a cheering crowd;Continue reading “The Importance of Sport in Society”

Capitalism’s Successor: Corporate Feudalism

Over the past several decades, corporations have steadily increased their power and control on society. One cannot fail to notice the symbols of this control everywhere around us. While driving down the interstate, flipping through television channels, or surfing the internet, one is bombarded by billboards, television ads, and sponsorships pushing products or services. CorporateContinue reading “Capitalism’s Successor: Corporate Feudalism”

Wisdom from Avatar: The Last Airbender

At ThinkingWest we take a special interest in the great books, however in this article we will focus on a different form of media: television. Though the passive nature of TV will always make it a less desirable medium for the development of the mind, certain content contains pros that outweigh the cons of theContinue reading “Wisdom from Avatar: The Last Airbender”

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office

J.R.R. Tolkien’s legacy-defining book The Lord of the Rings is not an explicitly Christian work. In fact, Tolkien disliked on-the-nose allegory, when a story contains a one-to-one function to some exterior idea and permits a message to lead the story. Nonetheless, in a 1953 letter responding to a Father Robert Murray, Tolkien admitted the followingContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office”

When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry

On November 8, 1519 Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his exploration party first made contact with Aztec emperor Moctezuma II. After a coup d’état resulting in the death of the emperor in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, the Spaniards found themselves at odds with the formidable regional power. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Spaniard’sContinue reading “When Civilizations Collapse (Part 3): Aztecs and AI Weaponry”