We did something a little unusual for this week: a crossover episode. We sat down with Susannah Black Roberts and Peter Mommsen—the hosts of Ploughcast, from Plough Quarterly, a Christian magazine of ideas and culture—for a conversation about the "post-liberal" movement as well as broader questions of the "common good" (does it exist?). All four of us are coming from vastly different perspectives and backgrounds, and that came out in our spirited conversation.
Our conversation about the common good led to deep questions about the nature of politics and law. What are the practical implications of saying, as Martin Luther King did, that "an unjust law is no law at all?" If all humans have souls (even Damir) what does that mean about how we should organize political communities? And how can citizens with fundamental differences be reconciled?
We also discussed the recently released National Conservative Statement of Principles: a manifesto signed by many leaders of the post-liberal right. All four of us had significant disagreements with the Statement—but for different reasons. Will its advocacy for a more robust role for Christianity in public life crowd out religious minorities, as Shadi notes? Susannah, as a self-identified Christian post-liberal herself, goes further, wondering if a Christian conception of the good can even be the foundation for an American political movement.
We also talked about how Christian ideas of justice cohere—or don't—with liberalism. Damir makes a bold claim: articulating a "common good" can't be done without reference to religious principles, and anyone claiming otherwise is deluding themselves. Needless to say, everyone else on the podcast disagrees (the word "Satanic" comes up).
The National Conservative Statement of Principles.
The open letter responding to the National Conservative Statement of Principles (The European Conservative).
“Our Post-Liberal Moment,” by Susannah Black Roberts (The Spectator World).
Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick Deneen (Amazon).
The AP’s recent report on Canada’s euthanasia policies (The Associated Press).