Niccolò Machiavelli

Gateway to Statesmanship: Selections from Xenophon to Churchill

Review of Intercollegiate Studies Institute President John Burtka IV’s new book “Gateway to Statesmanship: Selections from Xenophon to Churchill”

The Tragic Paradox of Military Ethics

Tragically, self-imposed restraints on the use of violence tend towards prolonging evil, not minimizing it

History & Democratic Piety

MLK’s arc towards justice doesn’t entail passivity and requires sacrificial labor with patience. It also offers confidence that such labors are not in vain. There is a cosmic superstructure, and its Architect presides and will prevail.

Where Are the Playful Realists?
Where Are the Playful Realists?

It is childish to demand the real world conform to one’s fancy; it is childlike to learn about the real world by playing in an imaginary one. Both the idealist and the cynical realist are childish. The Christian realist, by contrast, should be childlike.

Why Christian Pragmatism Isn’t Realistic Enough

Simply being good in order to do good is not enough. That is true. But simply being skilled—to have what Machiavelli calls virtú (as opposed to virtue)—in order to do good is also not enough.

Catholic Statecraft’s Disagreements with Realism

Realism and the just war ethic both pursue war in certain contexts, so they can appear to be close cousins. But the just war ethic shares less with realism than realism shares with pacifism.