Resurrecting Bureaucracy

Or, How the Left Learned to Love Capitalism

C. S. Lewis penned the following awful words just after witnessing the rise and fall of the technocratic menace of the Third Reich, the dropping of the atomic bomb, and the final events of the Second World War:

The effect of modern war is to eliminate retrogressive types, while sparing the technocracy and increasing its hold upon public affairs. In the new age, what has hitherto been merely the intellectual nucleus of the race is to become, by gradual stages, the race itself… The individual is to become all head. The human race is to become all Technocracy.1

They were uttered by a member of a fictitious bureaucracy called the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E), which represents the “fusion between the state and the laboratory” in his dystopian novel That Hideous Strength (1945). The N.I.C.E. is Lewis’ earthy equivalent to the “lowerarchy” of Hell in The Screwtape Letters (1942) and aims at the eradication of mankind, or as another book of his has it, the Abolition of Man (1943). Like the British public during the Blitz, Lewis was profoundly disturbed by the nihilistic implications of Nazi bureaucracy and worked out a theology to address it. He concluded that any structure which aimed at cosmological power through an esoteric chain of command was a manifestation of the occult.2

Lewis was prophetic in identifying the bureaucratic impulses in post-war modernity with the anti-humane.3 In a world where the Left once again calls itself “progressive” after 100 years of abandoning that term, clamors for “systemic” equity, and demands conformity to a politically-endorsed community of “science,” the “common man” of older political rhetoric is now an endangered species. The New-Left has abandoned its radical social individualism of the last century (never a consistent ideology) for a radical social revisionism, which  aims at the systematic reformation of society rather than the abolition of the “establishment.” The Left resorts to “reconditioning” and invades the sacred precincts of the soul, taking captive liberty, civic virtue, and public morality before the advent of the “new man.” Thus, the “lowerarchy” descends.

The rise of the bureaucratic in the last century has been the result of massive industrial and technological shifts rather than of any particular political system. Yet, the largest shift in the past decade has been in the Left’s realization that it is again possible to transform global corporations, fractured academic disciplines, and institutional accreditation into platforms for large-scale social change. The millennium began with the Left’s protest of American democratic state-building throughout the world, and then matured into social protests against multinational corporate structures, such as Occupy Wall Street in America, the Yellow Vest Movement in France, and the Euromaiden revolution in Ukraine. But with the simultaneous maturation of human resource departments, the rise of strategic planning in large-scale corporations aims not just at actuary predictions, but at institutional frameworks. Furthermore, with the implementation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments (DEI) across corporations and educational institutions, it is becoming more obvious that the Left has been more successful inside corporate and academic structures than outside of them. The Left is championing large corporations like Disney, Twitter, Google, and Youtube in their attempts to deplatform politically incorrect views and to crusade for transgenderism, environmental awareness, human rights in Eastern Europe, and most recently restrictions on “assault rifles” in the US. This startling change is akin to what social historians have called the “corporate liberalism” of the turn of the last century, which culminated in Woodrow Wilson’s institutionalization of progressive politics in world finance.

Beginning in the post Civil War era, state courts began ruling in favor of corporate property over the older proprietary model of ownership, thus legitimizing boards of directors as collective entities and acknowledging their legal holdings to credit and investment in large trust funds. The new corporate structure coincided with the doubling of factory size during the 1870s and 1880s and the standardization of production processes. Investors in these trusts increasingly bought shares on the margin, in defiance of rules on the New York Stock Exchange. Congress pulled greenback notes in 1879 which it had introduced into private banks and restored the gold standard, but equally many senators maintained their close ties to high eastern financiers. The result was a massive growth in industrial production, but also a simultaneous shrinking of credit available to local and regional markets. Desperate for credit, farmers who would never see a dollar resorted to the crop-lien system. Many regional cooperative stores never succeeded in gaining substantial credit from eastern banking, provoking thousands of midwesterners to rally behind the highly problematic economic policy of bimetallism. Yet, they were right to realize that their businesses were on the losing end of the credit system. Between 1897 and 1904, corporations had merged into over 300 trusts with $7,249,343,500 in assets. Financiers had consolidated property by brokering deals with each other and with the state.4

The liberal response to the trusts was harsh and decisive. In 1904, the Supreme Court dissolved the Northern Securities Company. In 1903, the Bureau of Corporations was established to subpoena trusts for restraints of trade and Congress passed the Elkins Act (1903) and the Hepburn Act (1906), ending large freight rebates to trusts and regulating railroad rates. Gradually however, agencies like the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), National Reciprocity Convention, and the Chamber of Commerce favored regulatory politics over trust-busting. Many new government appointees implemented managerial tactics first pioneered in business schools serving many emerging industries. This is what made the liberal movement “Progressive;” it represented the concerns of many liberal middle-income businessmen who increasingly favored standardized business procedures overseen by highly-structured managerial agencies. They were supported by thousands of local chapters and town boards which called for a thorough revision of corporate procedures on the liberal model.5 In the words of President Woodrow Wilson:

We cannot abolish the trusts… We must moralize them… Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process.6

Progressives were initially hostile to corporate property, but gradually realized the power in a corporate regulatory state through a bureaucratic standardization of everyday life.

The Wilson administration changed the course of liberalism by nationalizing corporate regulation and initiating the broker-state. The Underwood Tariff Act (1913) lowered tariff rates to thirty percent and freed iron and steel from duties. Wilson then signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, which established twelve national banks to control the money supply. Its directors were comprised of prominent banking tycoons, and its central board included presidential appointees with regulatory experience, thus fusing a corporate and liberal interest with power over the elasticity of currency. Finally, Wilson created the Federal Trade Commission under the Clayton Act to regulate trust laws. Historians R. Jeffrey Lustig and Martin J. Skylar have called this fusion “corporate liberalism.” Skylar notes that the Court actually enlarged the exchange value of stocks by limiting the liability of corporate stockholders and favoring corporate over proprietary models.7 The Left had fully embraced bureaucracy by the end of the Progressive era.

After Allied nations had used this very corporate liberal system to conduct total war, systematically leveling whole cities, carpet bombing civilian populations, and unleashing nuclear warfare, many troubled Leftist intellectuals began having second thoughts about the morality of entrusting democracy to corporate bureaucrats. They looked both above the state to multi-national associations and below the nation to a radical social individualism. Marxist intellectuals E. P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm, and the Frankfurt School embraced a new socialism which simultaneously criticized the Stalinist Left and the Allied nations for their brutality and called for more direct action against the “establishment.” Thus, the New Left was born and with it more categories for social “oppression.” It quickly proliferated across the scholarly disciplines in the academies of Western Europe and America, and connected student activists with powerful Labor associations. Through the 1960s and 1970s, Leftist groups like Students for a Democratic Society in America, Socialist German Students’ League in Germany, and the Socialist Workers Party in Britain coopted the “free speech movement” to bring down institutional rules in education, politics, and society at large, calling for affirmative action, equal rights amendments, ethnic power, feminism, abortion laws, permissive drug laws, and an end to sexual morality and Biblical marriage. Although, a vanguard of American traditionalists kept the full implementation of these policies at bay in the United States, anti-authoritarians in the New Left were successful at disassembling the older Leftist rhetoric of corporate liberalism from the Progressive era and were well on their way to disassembling the “establishment” through countercultural tactics. The institutional order of the Western world hung in the balance.8

But the New Left was not the only force that saw bureaucratic stratification of society as evil; the Christian humanists9 were there before them and had anticipated both the deadening impact of efficiency and the barbaric impulse to destroy all order in society. Christopher Dawson, siding with 19th century Burkean Romantics like Coleridge and Walter Scott over liberals and utilitarians like Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and John Dewey, argued that social order was the organic result of religious and cultural forces embedded within civilizations over time. Following the historiography of Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee, Dawson saw modernity as a dangerous force within western societies. The philosophy of progress, he argued, secularized the West by reducing all ends to material and social outcomes and subsuming the individual underneath mass humanity and the state. Further, the modern political dependence on democracy was ill-founded, for “democracy involves the standardization and mechanization of culture and the supremacy of the mass over the individual.”10 He concluded that the modern development of Western nations would lead to vast consolidations of power:

The whole tendency of modern life is towards scientific planning and organisation, central control, standardisation, and specialisation. If this tendency was left to work itself out to its extreme conclusion, one might expect to see the state transformed into an immense social machine, all the individual components of which are strictly limited to the performance of a definite and specialised function, where there could be no freedom because the machine could only work smoothly as long as every wheel and cog performed its task with unvarying regularity. Now the nearer modern society comes to the state of total organisation, the more difficult it is to find any place for spiritual freedom and personal responsibility. Education itself becomes an essential part of the machine, for the mind has to be as completely measured and controlled by the techniques of the scientific expert as the task which it is being trained to perform.11

C. S. Lewis, Jacques Maritain, and Mortimer J. Adler concurred with Dawson on the point of modern education, arguing that social conditioning destroyed the spiritual ends of learning. They argued for a return to a Classical curriculum in the academy and a natural law tradition embedded in Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. T. S. Eliot was more pessimistic. When entire populations have been so brutalized by modern educational, political, and economic systems, they fly increasingly to creature comforts and are desensitized to spiritual ends. These are the “hollow men” walking in the “unreal city” of popular culture, who speak the thoughts of great men only in broken clichés (the contemporary equivalent of which being the “reaction” video on Youtube). Only in a return to the Logos as revealed through the natural order, but realized in the Christological drama of the redemption of man, can humanity find the timeless in history.12

Eliot’s concern about the passivity of modern man to the brutalized mass state served as the seed for new dystopian literature such as Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), and of course, That Hideous Strength. Nothing is more frightening to these dystopian writers than the efficiency motive in modern thinking. Lewis expressed his misgivings about the reversal of ends and means in the following, “If Science is really given a free hand it can now take over the human race and re-condition it: make man a really efficient animal.”13 For Lewis and his colleague J. R. R. Tolkien, the loss of spiritual beauty and of the love of the natural order is what is so tragic about modern efficiency. Tolkien described the efficiency motive as a vast social machine which exercised, as he put it, “all use of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents — or even the use of these talents with the corrupted motive of dominating: bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills.”14 He saw this clearly in the events of the Second World War, stating in early 1945:

The first War of the Machines seems to be drawing to its final inconclusive chapter – leaving, alas, everyone the poorer, many bereaved or maimed and millions dead, and only one thing triumphant: the Machines. As the servants of the Machines are becoming a privileged class, the Machines are going to be enormously more powerful.15

Tolkien believed that modernity was reducing humanity to slavery by transforming the world into apparatus (the universal machine) – “the tragedy and despair of all machinery laid bare.”16 He condemned not simply the over-intrusive technological innovation of tangible machines, but he reacted against the modern pseudo-science of mechanism (in the universe, of man, and in institutions). Art is content to dwell primarily in the mind, he argued, but machinery is by definition the violation of imaginative variety in nature; a machine tries to make more efficient the process of erasing all other forms of accomplishing the same task, a process which more recent scholarship has termed “technological momentum.”17 In this sense, it fails to be real in the primary sense, and should instead be considered a perpetuated frame of imagination foisted into nature (such as digital technology). The man-made is often pseudo-nature. Quoting Dawson, Tolkien stated:

“The rawness and ugliness of modern European life”—that real life whose contact we should welcome —“is the sign of a biological inferiority, of an insufficient or false reaction to environment.” The maddest castle that ever came out of a giant’s bag in a wild Gaelic story is not only much less ugly than a robot-factory, it is also (to use a very modern phrase) “in a very real sense” a great deal more real. Why should we not escape from or condemn the “grim Assyrian” absurdity of top-hats, or the Morlockian horror of factories?… The ideals of their idealists hardly reach farther than the splendid notion of building more towns of the same sort on other planets. It is indeed an age of “improved means to deteriorated ends.” It is part of the essential malady of such days — producing the desire to escape, not indeed from life, but from our present time and self-made misery — that we are acutely conscious both of the ugliness of our works, and of their evil. So that to us evil and ugliness seem indissolubly allied.18

We might expect these denouncers of progress to have thrown off as decadent the bourgeoisie in Rousseauian and Nietzschean fashion, but they did not. Tolkien defended the public morality of Jane Austen, if not the materialism of Victorian England.19 Lewis was even more generous, seeing generic beauty and ingenuity in the bourgeoisie, which as he claimed, “provided the world with nearly all its divines, poets, philosophers, scientists, musicians, painters, doctors, architects, and administrators.”20 The Christian humanist understanding of social order involved cultural life and vitality derived from Biblical and ecclesiastical sources; a chivalry drawn from the “wardrobe of a moral imagination” which Burke had set against the age of “sophisters, economists, and calculators.”21 A natural aristocracy of virtuous leaders is a moral good in society, they argued, and must be safeguarded against the leveling impulses of modern egalitarians and radical individualists.

In the wake of the Second World War, cultural conservatives and libertarians intensified their attacks on the emerging democratic socialist state. Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine (1943), F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944), Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind (1953) and Enemies of the Permanent Things (1969), and Eric Voegelin’s multi-volume Order and History (1956–1987) and History of Political Ideas (posthumous) warn that once civilizations neglect their spiritual order, they will socially engineer their own ideological means to utopian ends. These authors spare neither democracy, nor socialism, nor nationalism. Ultimately, they prophesied, all roads would lead back to mass man and bureaucratic government. It would take more than half a century for such a prediction to come true.

Further, the popular culture of the late twentieth century was solidly anti-authoritarian and against collectivism. Whether it celebrated rebels striking from a secret hidden base against an evil Galactic Empire, or the valiant crew of the Enterprise challenging the Borg, or Monty Python’s subversionist – albeit Marxist – Holy Grail (1975), or The Truman Show (1998), or Braveheart (1995), or the Matrix (1999), the battle for freedom was vividly and clearly defined against collectivism. Freedom was not considered relative to one’s social, ethnic, or gendered group, as it is in the Marvel and Disney franchises today. Furthermore, the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s, Warner Brothers’ return to the classics, and the subsequent rise of medieval heroes in film established Neo-Romantic archetypes of individual courage which would not be subverted until the advent of the existential anti-hero in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series (2005-2012) and in Disney’s Frozen (2012). There was no need or even room to over-politicize the message, because regardless of the political viewpoint, popular culture accepted the fundamental freedom and value of the individual on face-value.

Oddly enough, all sides of the newer political spectrum agreed that the “establishment” of the modern secular West was destructive to humanity. The New Left tried to destroy the public morality and political power of the “establishment,” Libertarians tried to privatize it, and Conservatives attempted to preserve older institutions from it. All feared the totalitarian nature of the bureaucratic. And while the New Left and New Right engaged in the vital “culture wars” over the public sphere, both the Old Left and the Neoconservatives remained in administrative positions of power and grew both the welfare state and the industrial military complex. Johnson’s Great Society and Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative represent fantastical points of contrast completely out of touch with the reality of the Civil Rights and Pro-Life movements which were changing the way Americans lived on the grassroots level. But with the success of the corporate boom in the 1950s, the downfall of communism in the 1990s, and the subsequent revolution in information technology, global corporations and multinational associations were once again in a position to merge cultural deconstruction into their social structures from top to bottom. Thus, the administrative state caught up with political culture when educational and business administration embraced the identity politics of the New Left after the turn of the millennium.

The cross-disciplinary nature of critical theory has made Neo-Marxist arguments about intersectionality, institutional power, and race, class, and gender inequalities very appealing to business leaders. The appeal of social justice against “systemic” inequity is a convenient one for the twenty-first century’s pioneers in corporate liberalism, because it claims guilt by association rather than by personal choice. Institutional empowerment depends upon proportionate diversity of underrepresented groups, rather than individual initiative. As critical theorists have argued, individual initiative is only possible if inequities in social benefits like education, living standards, and healthcare are overcome.22 In other words, the Left now claims, contrary to its intellectual tradition, that “systemic” reframing of institutions and social equity precedes the social freedom of the individual. Critical theory is tailor-made for corporate liberalism. It depends upon bureaucratic implementation on a large-scale, which contextualizes individuals within institutional power structures.

Just as schools of management had once embraced Progressive social justice theory at the turn of the last century, so now, business schools, human resource departments, education administration have embedded critical theory and identity politics into their hiring, training, and business practices. The growth of administrative power in both the public and private sectors has been enormous in recent years, as the latest case of Disney’s streamlining of gender policies has shown. Increasingly, university administrations are controlling curricular decisions once reserved to faculty. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments are implementing more and more progressive practices to corporate strategic planning.23 The results have been startling in recent years; the proliferation of critical race theory in primary public education, the purging of classic children’s literature, canceling anti-progressive viewpoints on Twitter, Facebook, and social media platforms, the promotion of trans-athletes, and the revision of personal pronouns. In today’s world, it is now possible to air a history drama like “The First Lady” and expect audiences to feel more sorry for Eleanor Roosevelt than for the average unemployed man or women in the Depression, simply because her job is framed in relation to her husband’s political career.24 In such depictions of history, viewers are constantly told that the national emergencies and presidential administrations are of less moral importance than small strides against the elusive patriarchy. It mirrors the institutional success the Left has had in the private sector, irrespective of federal legislation.

Never before has the Left come so utterly close to reconditioning culture through institutional means. Unlike previous attempts at institutionalizing corporate liberalism, which aimed only at a regulatory state for political action, the present Leftist establishment relies on re-conditioning, or manipulating thought processes to encourage only certain socially acceptable conclusions to moral questions. It is a bureaucracy of the mind. It draws on all the prior social revolutions of the last seventy years, but orchestrates them within an authoritarian system based on an official ranking of group identities set against an imagined “white male patriarchy.” In reality, the patriarchy is much larger than whites, males, and patriarchal family structures. It simply functions as a place-holder for all groups, individuals, churches, institutions, and traditional social structures which stand opposed to the changing revolution; not unlike totalitarian parties. This truth is now keenly understood by some of the Left’s strongest popular proponents, who speak out against “cancel culture,” such as Bill Maher, John Cleese, J. K. Rowling, and Piers Morgan.

As COVID descended, the political order of the Western world finally accepted the premise that there are some biological threats to humanity that are so great they can only be contended against by mass compliance to bureaucratic means, to the national and international medical establishments (CDC and WHO). Thus, states and nations evoked emergency power clauses in their constitutions, as they once had in the inter-war years, to abridge unqualified, long-standing constitutional provisions for rights to “assembly.” And thus governments forced vaccinations as they had in the darkest corridors of totalitarian laboratories. And thus the Left suspended its stay-at-home mandates in the wake of the George Floyd killing, when a greater threat to the social revolution was felt. Lewis warned us of all this long ago in That Hideous Strength: “the police side of the Institute was the really important side. It existed to relieve the ordinary executive of what might be called all sanitary cases–a category which ranged from vaccination to charges of unnatural vice.”25 Lewis was unique in realizing that the medical profession was perhaps the most apt to be vested with bureaucratic power over man. He equally realized that the medical profession’s gnostic heresies would be one day opposed by Christians holding forth Incarnational theology.26

The sudden legalization of anti-abortion laws within many states, the many voices on all political sides opposing vaccine mandates, parents speaking out against “wokeness,” Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and Disney’s corporate losses in recent months over gender give some reasons to hope that not all is lost. Though the institutions are now in the hands of progressives who wield immense “lowerarchical” power, the popular reaction against bureaucratic implementation of Leftist thinking – or rather of one very potent, but still very small sliver of Leftist thinking – shows that brainwashing is rarely successful. The fight to build parallel institutions more in line with our moral, religious, and civil order continues.27 As long as the Left achieves order through sheer mechanism in society, it will grow more totalitarian and unwieldy. It will ultimately fail to sustain its own weight. It will fall just as surely as Progressivism died, the Third Reich collapsed, and Communism fell. The lessons of the twentieth century are all against it.

The real question is whether the older institutional morality of Christian and Classical origins will survive the newer social justice of our times in the West. When individuals and institutions break free from progressive culture, will they fall prey to another revolution or will they give themselves utterly to the task of cultural and spiritual renewal? It is for all of us now living to take courageous stands in our “little platoons” of human action and to pray for a saner frame of spirit to prevail in the West.

Photo credit: Pexels

Show 27 footnotes
  1. C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1946), 302.
  2. The presence of an esoteric bureaucracy, or deus ex machina is echoed throughout his fictional writings, as in the unseen “god of the mountain” in Till We Have Faces (1956), Charn’s “deplorable word” in The Magician’s Nephew (1955), the White Witch’s “secret police” in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950), the green witch’s spelled army of earthmen in The Silver Chair (1953), and finally Shift’s mock-Aslan conspiracy in The Last Battle (1956). The bureaucratic is evil’s inversion of the celestial hierarchy in the Christian liturgy. It functions as an eschatological trope heralding the end of the world and the spiritual remaking of the universe.
  3. See James A. Herrick, “C. S. Lewis and Contemporary Transhumanism,” Evolution News & Science Today, August 22, 2020, Last updated June 7, 2022, accessed June 7, 2022,
  4. Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967), 23-25, 45, 76; Mark Wahlgren Summers, The Gilded Age or, The Hazard of New Functions (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997), 15, 64-68, 82-84, 87, 91-102, 194-195; Martin J. Sklar, The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1890-1916: The Market, the Law, and Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 35-36, 43-49; Steven J. Keillor, Cooperative Commonwealth: Co-ops in Rural Minnesota 1859-1913 (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 2000), 36-37, 43, 81-82, 210-211; Steve Leikin, The Practical Utopians: American Workers and the Cooperative Movement in the Gilded Age (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005), 1-24, 46-47; Edward K. Spam, Brotherly Tomorrows: Moments for a Cooperative Society in America 1820-1920 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), 2, 116, 138-144, 144, 237; John Milton Cooper, Jr., Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1990), 46.
  5. Nell Irvin Painter, Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877–1919 (W. W. Norton & Company, 1987, 2008), 176-189, 209; Cooper, Pivotal Decades, 46, 83-89; Wiebe, Businessmen and Reform: A Study of the Progressive Movement (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, Inc., 1989), 42-67; Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (New York: Harper Collins, 2009), 307-308; Henry F. May, The End of American Innocence: A Study of the First Years of Our Own Time, 1912-1917 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1969), 28-29, 132-136.
  6. Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (New York: Harper Collins, 2009), 312-313.
  7. R. Jeffrey Lustig, Corporate Liberalism: The Origins of Modern American Political Theory, 1890-1900 (Berkely: University of California Press, 1982), 83-90, 103-106, 183-192, 201-208; Sklar, Corporate Reconstruction, 47-51, 90-110, 147, 155, 166, 213, 324-332, 383-393, 401-412, 431-441.
  8. Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914–1991 (London: Abacus, 1995); Gabriel Jackson, Civilization & Barbarity in 20th-Century Europe (New York: Humanity Books, 1999); Ian Kershaw, “War and Political Violence in Twentieth-Century Europe,” Contemporary European History, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Feb., 2005): 107-123, accessed October 3, 2016,; E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Pantheon Books, 1964), 64-72; Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (Amgerst, New York: Humanity Books, 1941, 1999), 35, 52-55, 66-79, 148-149, 262-265, 384; Jurgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action: Reason and the Rationalization of Society; Vol. 1 and 2, Trans. Thomas McCarthy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984); Paul Blackledge, “The New Left’s renewal of Marxism,” International Socialism, Issue 112, October 12, 2006, accessed June 4, 2022,; Bryan D. Palmer, “Reasoning Rebellion: E.P. Thompson, British Marxist Historians, and the Making of Dissident Political Mobilization,” Labour / Le Travail 50 (2002): 187–216; Dave Isaacson, “SWP and women: Countless zigs and zags over women’s oppression,” Archived November 5, 2013 at the Wayback Machine Weekly Worker, No.945, 17 January 2013, accessed June 4, 2022,; “Rudi Dutschke and the German student movement in 1968,” Socialist Worker (Britain), April 29, 2008, accessed June 4, 2022.
  9. “Humanist” only in the sense of perpetuating the humanities within the liberal arts.
  10. Christopher Henry Dawson, Beyond Politics (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1939), 49.
  11. Dawson, Religion and World History: A Selection from the Works of Christopher Dawson, ed. Christina Scott and James Oliver (Image Books: 1975), 264.
  12. T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland (1922); The Rock (1934); The Four Quartets (1943).
  13. Lewis, Hideous Strength, 35-36.
  14. Tolkien, “To Milton Waldman, c. 1951,” in The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, a selection edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981), Letter 131.
  15. Ibid., “To Christopher Tolkien, 30 January 1945,” Letter 96.
  16. Ibid., “To Christopher Tolkien, 7 July 1944,” Letter 75.
  17. Thomas P. Hughes, “Technological Momentum,” in Technology and Society: Building Our Sociotechnical Future, ed. Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2021), 137-145.
  18. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories,” in The Tolkien Reader (New York: Ballantine Books, 1966), 82-83.
  19. Tolkien, “To Christopher Tolkien 18 April 1944,” in Letters, Letter 61.
  20. Lewis, Studies in Words (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 21.
  21. Edmund Burke, “Reflections on the Revolution in France,” in Selected Writings and Speeches, ed. Peter J. Stanlis (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1968), 457-458.
  22. Mark E. Engberg, “Improving Intergroup Relations in Higher Education: A Critical Examination of the Influence of Educational Interventions on Racial Bias,” Review of Educational Research, 74 (4) (June 30, 2016): 473–524; “Race, Ethnicity, and the Health of Americans,” Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy, July 2005, archived from the original (PDF) on September 13, 2012, assessed June 9, 2022,; A. H. Roslan, “Income inequality, poverty and development policy in Malaysia, International seminar on poverty and sustainable development, Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV, Bordeaux, France, CiteSeerX (November 2001): 1-24, accessed June 9, 2022,
  23. Kathy Gurchiek, “Peer Equity and Inclusion Coaches Can Help When Identity-Based Trauma Occurs,” Society for Human Resource Management, October 26, 2021,; Ewan McGaughey, “A Human Is Not a Resource,” King’s Law Journal 1., (January 10, 2018), (2020) 31(2), accessed June 9, 2022, available at SSRN: or; “15 HR-Recommended Strategies For Achieving True Diversity And Inclusion,” Forbes, January 12, 2021,
  24. Doreen St. Félix, “‘The First Lady’ Is a Bad-Wig Costume Drama,” The New Yorker, May 2, 2022,
  25. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 70.
  26. Here, Lewis anticipated Voegelin’s charge that liberalism was simply a return to gnosticism.
  27. Christopher F. Rufo, “Laying Siege to the Institutions,” Imprimis, April/March 2022, Volume 51, Issue 4/5, accessed June 9, 2022,
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Wesley Reynolds

Wesley Reynolds is the Director of the Wilbur Fellows Program at the Russell Kirk Center. He also teaches at Northwood University and has previously worked in public policy with the Mackinac Center. Reynolds is the author of Coffeehouse Culture in the Atlantic World, 1650-1789 (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022), as well as other articles and reviews.