Many Americans, particularly but not exclusively younger ones, seem mesmerized by socialism. Many were born or grew up after the fall the of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and don’t have any personal knowledge or experience with the Soviet version of socialism. And even though I would fall way outside the proposed limits, I see proposals like Bernie Sanders’ “wealth registry” for asset taxation purposes and think this will not end with the wealthy; there simply aren’t enough rich people to pay for all that free stuff. Perhaps we should all take a deep breath and read some Russian literature; Gary Saul Morson did, and he wrote about it for The New Criterion.
And speaking of the Soviet system, in October 1984, Jerzy Popiełuszko, the vicar of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Warsaw, was murdered by the Polish communist secret police. At The Imaginative Conservative, a former parishioner remembers and tells what happened.
Further extending the discussion, Scribner’s has published a new edition of Darkness at Noon at Arthur Koestler, first published in 1941. Adam Kirsch at The New Yorker calls the book the most important political work of the 20th century, and it put the lie to what too many Americans wanted to believe about Stalinist Russia at the time.
More Good Reads
Writing and Literature
Books Won’t Die – Leah Price at The Paris Review.
Routed by Liberalism: How usury killed Christendom – A.N. Wilson at Standpoint.
The Worship Song I Can’t Bring Myself to Sing – Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition.
The Moral Law, Comfort, & Wishful Thinking – Alan Snyder at Pondering Principles (Hat Tip: James Doyle Moore).
You Can’t Argue Anyone into the Kingdom – Zak Schmoll at Entering the Public Square.
Standing on Our Knees – Sophia Lee at International Mission Board / SBC.
Who Was the American in 1775? – Bradley Birzer at The Imaginative Conservative.
Mary Berry: Extending Wendell Berry’s legacy is “the most hopeful work I can think of” – Interview at Library of America.
‘I Am Doing God’s Work’ - How Abortion Normalizes Unjust Killing – Scott Klusendorf at Desiring God.
A Message for Children about Climate Change – Scott Adams.
The Girl on the Roof – Seth Lewis.
The cure for consumerism – David Warren at Essays in Idleness.
Listening for the Mystery: Poet Maurice Manning on the Wonder of Language, the Value of Form, & the Legacy He Hopes to Leave – David Kern at Forma Journal.
For Wife and Child – Joe Spring.
‘Subversive Modernism in Art’ – Sarban Bhattacharya at Society of Classical Poets.
Consecrated – Ana Lisa de Jong at Living Tree Poetry.
Mastery – Susannah Sheffer at The Threepenny Review.
The King of Autumn – Chris Yokel at The Rabbit Room.
Bunches – Susan Etole.
The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, sung by Voces8
(Hat Tip: Paul Philips)
Painting: Woman Reading in the Studio, oil on paperboard on wood (1868) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.