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The Philosophy of Commonsense: A Cultural War Primer

  • The Calhoun Institute


A presentation of an assertion that common-sense exists because first principles, natural moral law, and universal truths exist. Common-sense has served as a guide and a protection from ill-considered ideas and inflamed passions throughout history. It can guide us now through our current cultural war. Through an examination of the Strauss-Howe generational theory, the outcomes of past periods of history similar to our own era the book proposes that common-sense and the lessons our ancestors can teach us will be key in the solutions our children someday craft to resolve current issues. This book is important for parents to remind us of the knowledge we received from our parents and grandparents that we should pass along to our children. It is important for our children to help them understand that truth does exist and not everything from the past should be discarded willy-nilly.
The Philosophy of Commonsense : A Cultural War Primer
Barry Clark; The Calhoun Institute, Abbeville, SC; 2019
Available at Google and Amazon
Abstract: A presentation of an assertion that common-sense exists because first principles, natural
moral law, and universal truths exist. Common-sense has served as a guide and a protection from ill-
considered ideas and inflamed passions throughout history. It can guide us now through our current
cultural war.
Through an examination of the Strauss-Howe generational theory and the outcomes of past periods of
history similar to our own era this book contends that common-sense and the lessons our ancestors can
teach us will be key in the solutions our children someday craft to resolve current issues.
This book is important for parents (Generation X) to remind us of the knowledge we received from our
parents and grandparents that we should pass along to our children. It is important for our children
(Generation Z "Zoomers") to help them understand that truth does exist and not everything from the
past should be discarded willy-nilly.
Our children will have to be the ones to fix the mistakes of the three generations before them - we must
equip them.
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... You simply cannot have common-sense, universally applicable, without some set of unwritten, unseen but knowable truths; first principles. (Clark, 2019) ...
... It is not an exaggeration to say that through stoicism the oceans were explored, the west won, land cleared, industry was manned with workers and built by intrepid industrialist, essentially the entire current world order rest upon the foundation of men and women that got going when the going got tough. (Clark, 2019) ...
... The existence and the nature of the universe are independent of our perceptions and our interpretation of those perceptions. (Clark, 2019) Url: ...
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Common-sense, a form of stoicism and a worldview based upon realism informed by and shaped by Christian metaphysical realism, are the keys elements that built Western Civilization. Purpose: to clarify for simplicity, consistency, and reference the meaning of the defined terms and its use in documents related to the Fourth Turning Clash of Inter-Civilization Cultures Project
... Christian metaphysical realism 14 has formed the basis of the worldview of most ordinary people living in the West and in America in particular. (Right-reason 15 , Common-sense 16 , Metaphysical Realism, axiom #6 plus Christian theological worldview) 17 12. Social Continuity is Good. ...
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Twenty axioms used throughout the Fourth Turning Project
... Christianity, or perhaps more accurately stated a Christian inspired worldview by which law, justice, and morality are measured, has been traditionally and historically a key tenet, perhaps the defining factor, of Western Civilization and culture. In the West, Christianity is a Permanent Thing.(B. L. Clark, 2019) One cannot separate Western civilization and the various cultures that have traditionally comprised it from the impact of a Christian worldview. Russel Kirk described permanent things as: BY "THE PERMANENT THINGS" [T. S. ELIOT] MEANT THOSE ELEMENTS IN THE HUMAN CONDITION THAT GIVE US OUR NATURE, WITHOUT WHICH WE ARE AS THE BEASTS THAT ...
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Classical liberalism failed when philosophical thought turned away from the Scottish School toward the German school. The solution is to look back, not to Kant as a starting point in an effort to move forward, but to some of Kant’s contemporaries, those that the criticisms of Kant and other German school philosophers eventually silenced and banished from consideration. I propose that the Enlightenment went wrong when we eventually abandoned the Scottish School for the German School. Over the last two hundred plus years philosophy has progressively elaborated upon ideas that were flawed, slightly at first, at the start into what now might be simply called absurdity. Furthermore, I propose that the acceptance of Neoplatonic ideas of Thomas Hobbes by the Federalist, and their eventual total victory in United States domestic politics and interpretation of law, combined with other factors such as passions of the Transcendental generation and a progressive increase in bad philosophical ideas in the form of ideologies, completed the destruction of Classical Liberalism/Republicanism and lead to absurdity in economic thought and policy, as well as political theory and politics. These factors affect not only policy and history in the United States but have come to shape geopolitics and history.
... (B. L. Clark, 2019b) ...
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Why did classical liberalism fail to achieve the results its original proponents envisioned? Given the popularity of social liberalism modern liberalism and progressive causes and ideologies, as derivatives and permutations of classical liberalism, one might argue it has not failed in the first place, rather, perhaps it has not yet been fully realized and implemented. But the fact is classical liberalism has failed, as can be conclusively proven, it has failed because it ignored immutable metaphysical laws, the historic reality and an approach to human nature based upon realism. At the end of the road of classical liberalism the West arrived at social liberalism and progressive liberalism which beckon its adherents to seek greater authoritarianism to compel compliance and ultimately reduce individual liberty and increase governmental power. iii Abstract I propose a unified theory of sorts that combines The Strauss-Howe generational theory with a hybrid of Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilization's hypothesis explains in part the observation that the West has not reached the End of History as some propose. Rather, classical liberalism, as expressed through derivative ideologies of progressivism, social liberalism, socialism, and communism, has failed to provide the social order and tranquility that early proponents envisioned. At its core, classical liberalism failed to acknowledge immutable metaphysical laws, the historic reality and an approach to human nature based upon realism. The overarching intent of this work is to provide an umbrella under which related research will reside that fleshes out specific and more detailed aspects of the larger hypothesis presented above.
... Logically, one can hardly escape the reality that there either is or at least was an entity that we might term godlike involved in the creation of the universe. (Clark 2019) Below are is the mere skeleton outline of that argument based upon logic. ...
An appeal to an examination of mere, authentic Christianity. I concluded my last book, The Philosophy of Commonsense with the premise that Christian values had informed the common-sense of ordinary and extraordinary people throughout the history of the West to culminate in the formation of American culture. This work is a continuation of that theme with a discussion of precisely what is meant by authentic Christianity and why anyone that seeks to understand their place in the cosmos should at least give it the old college try.
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The megachurch movement was founded on bad ideology that can be traced to bad philosophy. Its communitarian ideologies are dangerous.
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The modern progressive movement in the United States, based upon ideology deriving from classical liberalism must invariably lead to greater authoritarianism. Classical liberalism began to fail as a philosophy as soon as it spawned ideologies that abandoned the notion of universal truth. Progressive ideology in the United States since the mid 19th century has demonstrated an increasing propensity to advocate a stronger central government, less Constitutional control and a decreasing adherence to the rule of law. Preferring de facto verse de jure. These trends in legal idealism at the expense of legal realism coupled with the growing passion and a propensity toward violence among the base indicate that increased left authoritarianism is not only possible but likely.
Christianity is a Permanent Thing; this work is about how Christians should defend Christianity and other Permanent Things in an increasingly hostile civilization. It is a continuation of the dialogue of Schaeffer, MacIntyre, Moore, and Dreher and owes much to Eliot, Yeats, and Kirk for inspiration.
Written by Thomas Hobbes and first published in 1651, Leviathan is widely considered the greatest work of political philosophy ever composed in the English language. Hobbes's central argument-that human beings are first and foremost concerned with their own fears and desires, and that they must relinquish basic freedoms in order to maintain a peaceful society-has found new adherents and critics in every generation. This new edition, which uses modern text and relies on large-sheet copies from the 1651 Head version, includes interpretive essays by four leading Hobbes scholars: John Dunn, David Dyzenhaus, Elisabeth Ellis, and Bryan Garsten. Taken together with Ian Shapiro's wide-ranging introduction, they provide fresh and varied interpretations of Leviathan for our time.
In the early morning hours of May 5, 1863, Union soldiers forcibly arrested Clement L. Vallandigham, a prominent Democratic politician and former congressman, for an anti-war speech which he had given a few days earlier in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Vallandigham's arrest ignited debate about freedom of speech in a democracy during a time of war and the First Amendment rights of critics of an administration. This Article is one in a series by Professor Curtis which examines episodes in the history of free speech before and during the Civil War. In this Article, Professor Curtis explores the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and the contention that other constitutional values must supersede this guarantee during a time of war. He discusses and evaluates theories that Vallandigham's contemporaries advocated in support of protection for anti-war speech, as well as theories supporting the suppression of anti-war speech. Curtis concludes that even in a time of war, free speech is essential to the preservation of a representative government and individuals' Constitutional right to discuss issues crucial to their lives.