David R. Carlin

David Carlin, a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island at Newport, is the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America and Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?


Two Kinds of Politics


If we make a distinction between two kinds of politics, pragmatic and ideological, we may say that American politics has mostly been pragmatic in its 200-plus year history. Whether Americans have been liberal or conservative, they have mostly agreed on fundamental values. They have agreed that wealth, both national and individual, is a good thing; […]

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Moderate and Ultra Liberals


Why is it that so many politicians in recent decades (beginning, I suppose, with Ronald Reagan) have said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left me”? I am one of those. I used to be a rather prominent Democratic politician in Rhode Island: I was once the majority leader of the state Senate […]

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Two Kinds of Bribes


Francis Bacon, the essayist, great philosopher, and Lord Chancellor of England under King James I, when impeached by the House of Commons for taking bribes as a judge, confessed to his crimes but offered this mitigating explanation: “Yes, I took bribes, but I didn’t let them influence my decision.”  Now I suppose there might be […]

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The Road Back to Rousseau


What do St. Augustine (354-430) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) have to do with the recent riots in Baltimore? Lots. For many centuries the civilization of the Western world (the world that used to be called Christendom) was based on the Augustinian theory of human nature, according to which human nature is basically bad. Due to […]

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Feminisms — in the Plural


The word “feminism,” just like almost every other word in the English language, has more than one meaning. So when somebody tells you that she (or he) is a feminist, you are being given almost no information unless you are also told what kind of feminist. In the USA today, there are at least five […]

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They Heart Big Brother


Why are “liberals” or “progressives” great fans of big government? (I put the words in scare quotes because it seems to me that these people are, objectively speaking, illiberal and regressive.) There are, I suggest, four reasons. Liberals feel the need to repair the damage their moral values have done in the last half-century or […]

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Tugging Hillary to the Left


The “progressive” (or ultra-liberal) wing of the Democratic Party is trying to push Hillary further to the left. They do this in a number of ways: by urging Elizabeth Warren to get into the presidential race; by threatening to support Bernie Sanders if he runs for president as an independent; by telling Hillary that they […]

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Reducing Religion Down


Liberal Christianity is made up of three reductions: 1. The reduction of religion to morality. 2. The reduction of morality to love of neighbor. 3. The reduction of love of neighbor to tolerance plus welfare programs. The classic expression of the first reduction is found in Matthew Arnold’s definition of religion as “morality touched by […]

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Intellectual Dishonesty Is Winning Every Time


I am depressed. Normally I’m a cheerful guy, but this week I’m depressed. It isn’t because of any personal problems. Personally I’m doing okay. My health is good. I have money in the bank. My wife and kids and grandkids are fine. Even my cat is doing well. The only really negative thing in my […]

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Who’s the Racist?


White liberals sincerely judge themselves to be morally superior to conservatives, and they base this judgment on what they consider to be an undeniable fact, namely, that they themselves are free of anti-black racism while conservatives are drenched in racist feelings. Anti-black racism, liberals hold, is the greatest of all American sins. It is America’s […]

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