Glenn wants to dive deep into different philosophical topics this year. As CRT and woke curricula are demonizing the "western tradition," it is vitally important that we preserve the tradition that gave birth our nation and gives context to the culture we live in today. Here are the top 11 books to give you a crash course in the western philosophic tradition. If you don't have the time to read them, you can find an overview to each of the books below!
1. Plato's Republic
The first titan of Greek philosophy, Plato articulated the set of questions that would drive the future western philosophical tradition. The pre-eminent question among Greek philosophers was "what is the thing that explains everything." In philosophical lingo, this question is framed as "what is the logos or the good." Plato argued that reality could be explained in terms of the "forms." For example, when you see multiple examples of a "courageous" act, then, Plato would argue, there is such a thing as "courage." The form of "the good" is the form that gives meaning to all of reality. Humans use their rational minds to contemplate what is good and then align their desires to "the good" in order to pursue it.
2. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
The second titan of Greek philosophy was none other than Aristotle, who was a student of Plato. Aristotle deviated from his teacher's claims about "forms" and instead argued that every single thing has a purpose, a telos. For example, the telos of a chair is to provide a place for someone to sit. In the same way that a chair's purpose is to provide a place for someone to sit, Aristotle argues that the telos of human beings is to pursue happiness.
In the first page of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle claims that every action is done for the sake of pursuing happiness, although, all too often, our actions are misplaced. We often pursue things we believe will make us happy when, in reality, they are fleeting, momentary pleasures that result in despair, heartbreak, or pain. Rather than conforming the world around us to fit our momentary desires, Aristotle argues that we achieve happiness by understanding the nature of the world around us and how we fit into it by actively cultivating virtues in order to make our soul "fit to be happy." Work and action, therefore, are not mere moral "to-do lists," but rather bring us fulfillment.
3. Augustine's City of God
If Plato is the first titan of ancient philosophy, then Augustine is the first titan of medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy begins with the re-discovery of ancient philosophical texts that had been lost throughout the Roman Empire. As Christianity had taken root and spread across the western world, medieval philosophy integrated these newly-discovered texts into Christian theology. Augustine is the pre-eminent medieval Neo-platonic philosopher, incorporating Plato's philosophy into Christian theology.
Augustine claimed that God himself is the ultimate "form" or "the good" from which all of reality derives its meaning and existence. A thing is "good" insofar as it coalesces with the way God intended it to be. When a thing stays away from God's intention, it is "not good." From this, we get the Augustinian definition of "evil" as a "privation" or "absence of goodness," which ultimately corresponds to God's nature and character.
4. Aquinas' Summa Theologica
Just as Augustine incorporated Plato's philosophy into Christian theology, the second medieval titan, Thomas Aquinas, incorporated Aristotelian philosophy into Christian theology. Building from Aristotle, Aquinas argues that Christ is our happiness, the longing of every human heart and the object of every human action. Though we may think we are pursuing happiness outside of Christ, our this pursuit is misplaced and will result in fleeting pleasure and pain. True happiness and fulfillment, Aquinas argues, is found in Christ himself and the pursuit of his nature.
**Note: Aquinas' Summa is one of the largest works ever written and contains arguments about many different subjects--there are concise versions that will save you a lot of time!
5. Francis Bacon's Novem Organum
If medieval philosophy is defined by the incorporation of ancient philosophy into orthodox Christian theology, then the Enlightenment is defined as the rejection of both. English philosopher Francis Bacon kicked off the Enlightenment with a total rejection of the Aristotelian view of reality. The title of his book, the Novum Organum, or "the new order," is a deliberate tease of Aristotle's Organon, or "the order of things." Bacon's "new order" purports that, contrary to Aristotle, there is no inherent "nature" or "purpose" in reality. Rather, reality is something that we can conquer by means of knowledge and force, dissecting nature to its fundamental parts and reconstructing it into what we want. Bacon is considered the father of the scientific method, creating a testable means through which we can understand, break down and re-construct nature.
6. Descartes' Discourse on Method
Descartes is best known for his famous assertion, cogito ergo sum, or "I think, therefore, I am." In Discourse on Method, Descartes embarks on a rigorous endeavor to doubt anything that can be doubted. He postulates that all of reality can be doubted; however, the one thing that cannot be doubted, he concludes, is that there must be someonewho is doubting. Though we may think that we are in the matrix, we are thinking, therefore, we must exist.
Descartes's rigorous skepticism introduced a brand-new burden of truth. In order for something to be true, it must be beyond all reasonable doubt. Many continue to use Descartes' skepticism as a way to challenge religious belief. According to these modern-day skeptics, unless you can prove that God exists beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no way to actually know whether he exists. The severing of knowledge and faith is often attributed to Descartes.
7. David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature
Scottish philosopher David Hume took aim at both Plato and Aristotle. One of his most famous and consequential claims about human nature is, "reason is and always ought to be slave of the passions." This took direct aim at Plato's view of human nature. Plato argued that our reason or "rationality" should always rule our passions so that we will desire what is good. Hume flips this on its head, claiming that our reason is helplessly enslaved to our passions and will inevitably justify what we will already want. From this, Hume introduced a new articulation of moral relativism, claiming that humans are not able to choose between what is good and what is evil, but rather will choose what they want over what they don't.
8. Kant's Contemplation on the Metaphysics of Morals
Hume's moral relativism sparked panic within German philosopher Immanuel Kant. If we will inevitably do what we desire, how can we ever choose to do something good and moral for its own sake? We must, according to Kant, separate morality completely from the passions if it's to be saved. Kant, therefore, argues that duty is the highest good that man can aspire to. We do the right thing, not because we want to--on the contrary, we do the "right thing" because it's our duty to do so, especially when we don't want to. This breaks away from the Aristotelian notion that our happiness is inextricably intertwined with the pursuit of "the good."
9. Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil
Nietzsche wasn't convinced by either Hume or Kant's efforts to retain some semblance of civility or relativistic moral standard. According to Nietzsche, if there is no such thing as transcendent morality, then "moral maxims" are reduced to meaningless words purported by the people in power. Morality, therefore, becomes a game of persuasion at best, coercion and force at worst. People are reduced to winners and losers, opressors and victims, and whoever comes out on top gets to impose their desired view of the world on the losers. Therefore, the goal of the individual is to cultivate the "will to power," to become the powerful "ubermensch" or "superhuman," or else you will be reduced to a victim susceptible to other people's coercion and oppression.
10. C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man
After the Enlightenment ends in a grand, destructive finale with Nietzsche, Christian philosophers in the 20th century attempt to pick up the pieces and resurrect the ancient and medieval philosophies that had been cast to the side. In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis famously laments that mankind has become "men without chests." This is a direct reference to Plato's view of human nature--there is nothing linking our mind to our heart. Intellectually, we have dissected all of reality into its individual bits, stripping it of its holistic beauty, while also succumbing to our whims and passions with no notion of a transcendent moral law. Lewis calls for the re-marriage of our minds and our hearts, so that we will not only pursue what is good, but moreover, we will desire to do so.
11. Alasdair McIntyre's After Virtue
The latter part of the 20th century saw the resurgence of Aristotelian ethics after being largely dismissed over the past 400 years during the Enlightenment. Scottish Catholic philosopher Alasdair McIntyre was and continues to be one of the foremost leaders of this movement. In his magnum opus, After Virtue, McIntyre takes aim at the entire Enlightenment project itself and shows how it ultimately fails by its own standards. If reality is a mere power dynamic, as Nietzsche argues, and if morality is an act of persuasion and passion, as Hume purports, then we have no reason to take their views seriously. If all of reality is relative, then the statement "reality is relative" is itself relative. It becomes victim of the self-refutation of its own standards. Transcendent morality, he argues, must exist, because there must be some standard by which we judge reality and can say with determination, "this is good" and "this is evil."
This month has already produced an extreme example of why we need a functional and more conservative Congress in order for America to have a chance at moving forward—because the Left does not believe in the Constitution.
Sure, if you confronted a Democrat in Congress, they would probably claim some sort of allegiance to the Constitution—but as a practical matter, they do not believe in it.
Instead, the Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch. Why? Because it has the furthest reach through all the various departments, and it can move the fastest—in short, because it’s the most dictatorial. It only takes a department head to write a new memo, or even better, the President to sign a new executive order to carry the force of law.
The Left has put all of their eggs in the basket of the executive branch.
Do you recall any of the Left’s favorite Supreme Court decisions over the years—something like gay marriage for example—and how Republicans immediately tried to subvert it, using the executive branch to try to nullify the decision? Yeah, that never happened. But that is exactly what Democrats have done in recent weeks to expand abortion access.
Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions. When the miraculous overturning of Roe v. Wade happened last summer, President Biden called it “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court.”
Democrats only consider the Supreme Court legitimate when they approve of the decisions.
Recently the FDA approved local pharmacies to issue abortion pills. For the first 20 years after these pills were developed, they were not treated like typical prescription drugs. They had to be dispensed in-person by a doctor. That in-person requirement is now gone.
Keep in mind that the Left’s go-to line is that abortion is always about the health and safety of women, yet a 2021 peer-reviewed study found that chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions. Between 2002 and 2015, the rate of abortion-related ER visits following use of the abortion pills increased by 507 percent.
Chemical abortions have a complication rate four times greater than surgical abortions.
And now the Biden administration is making these less-safe abortions much more accessible. Thanks to the FDA’s rule change, Walgreens and CVS have already agreed to dispense abortion pills in states where abortion is legal—effectively turning these stores into new abortion clinics.
As for states that have abortion bans, "Team Biden" announced a new way around those too. Three weeks ago, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion that the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal. What’s their rationale? That the sender cannot know for sure whether the recipient will use the pills illegally or not. So it’s totally okay.
The U.S. Postal Service is allowed to deliver abortion pills anywhere, even in places where abortion is illegal.
Georgetown Law professor Lawrence Gostin told the Washington Post that this Justice Department opinion is “a major expansion of abortion access in the United States.”
So, to recap—the Biden administration has used the FDA, the Justice Department, and the Post Office, which all fall under the executive branch, to provide an end-run around the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.
Expanding abortion was easy—simple policy tweaks and declarations that carry the force of law without an ounce of input from actual lawmakers in Congress—all because it comes from the grotesque, bloated, apparently pro-death executive branch.
Glenn is one of the most outspoken critics of the World Economic Forum and their vision to use crises to reconstruct the world order known as The Great Reset. The recent WEF summit in Davos confirms what Glenn has long warned about: globalist elites seek to upend our democracy, freedoms, and way of life to achieve their utopian climate goals. Here are 15 quotes from the 2023 Davos Summit, revealing their true intentions in their own words:
1. Saving the planet
When you hear the word, "Davos," the first thought that should pop into your mind is an elite group getting together to save the world from imminent climate disaster... at least they think of themselves that way. According to John Kerry:
I mean, it's so almost extraterrestrial to think about saving the planet.
2. Private jets
What most people think when they hear the word "Davos" is a group of global elites flying in on private jets to talk about climate change... and yes, John Kerry does own a private jet, no matter how many times he denies it:
I fly commercial [...] Exclusively.
\u201cWATCH: John Kerry the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate was in a rush to avoid journalist questions at the World Economic Forum event in Davos.\n\nHe\u2019s been known for his use of private planes but told journalists he flys \u201ccommercial\u201d...\n\nSUPPORT: https://t.co/cc7736nMbT\u201d— Rebel News (@Rebel News) 1674156832
3. Global Collaboration Village
You always hear some weird, dystopian projects coming out of WEF, like "The Global Collaboration Village," a new metaverse community aimed at strengthening "global cooperation." It sounds like the next installment of Brave New World. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and President of the WEF:
The Global Collaboration Village is the pioneering effort to use the metaverse for public good, to create global cooperation and to strengthen global cooperation in the metaverse or using metaverse technologies. For me, it's a dream coming true because the village allows the Forum to create a more larger and open platform where everybody can participate.
4. Climate revolution
However, the core theme throughout WEF summits is the immediate need for a climate revolution and how businesses are selfishly blocking the revolution because they want to make an extra buck. Here's how John Kerry summed up the sentiment:
How do we get there? The lesson I have learned in the last years [...] is money, money, money, money, money, money, money.
5. Do or die
This often turns into alarmist language, like having to choose between wealth and our planet's survival... Joyeeta Gupta, Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at University of Amsterdam, said it eloquently:
If we do the minimum at this pivotable moment in our history, then we and our children – even if we are rich – will live in the danger zone. But if we – business people, governments, citizens, cities – take action today, then we and our children will have a future worth looking forward to.
6. Colossal risks
Potsdam Institute's director Johan Rockström, used similar language, claiming we are "taking colossal risks with the future of civilization":
We are taking colossal risks with the future of civilization on Earth, we are degrading the life support systems that we all depend on, we are actually pushing the entire Earth system to a point of destabilization, pushing Earth outside of the state that has supported civilization since we left the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
7. Rain bombs
"Colossal risks" like... rain bombs? We didn't make that up. Ask Al Gore:
That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs.
Courtesy of the World Economic Forum
8. Survival comes down to this
How do we secure our survival? According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, we have to "end our addiction to fossil fuels." This entails wiping out our entire energy industry, displacing millions of workers, and relying on global governments to usher in a new green industry. In his words:
So, we need to act together to close the emissions gap, and that means to phase out progressively coal and supercharge the renewable revolution, to end the addiction to fossil fuels, and to stop our self-defeating war on nature.
9. Complete transformation
It isn't hyperbolic to argue that the globalist climate goals will completely transform the world economy. Even EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted:
The net-zero transformation is already causing huge industrial, economic and geopolitical shifts – by far the quickest and the most pronounced in our lifetime. It is changing the nature of work and the shape of our industry.
10. Scientific necessity
Of course, to bring about this "net-zero" transformation, we will have to override small, "political expediencies" like democracy to do what is "scientifically necessary." According to Zurich Insurance Group’s head of sustainability risk John Scott:
We’re living in a world right now where what’s scientifically necessary, and what is politically expedient don’t match.
11. Illegal hate speech
Doing away with "political expediencies" would also require the censorship of dissent, which would likely manifest in hate-speech laws. When asked by Brian Stelter how the discussion of disinformation relates to everything else happening today in Davos, European Commission VP Věra Jourová shared this prediction:
Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.
\u201cEuropean Commission VP V\u011bra Jourov\u00e1 at the WEF: \n\n"Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law."\u201d— Washington Free Beacon (@Washington Free Beacon) 1673970852
12. Climate first
We will also have to forego national interests on the international stage. America won't be able to advocate for policies and interests that benefit Americans. Instead, we will sacrifice national interests for the sake of global climate interests. French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said:
The key question is not China First, US First, Europe First. The key question for all of us is Climate First.
13. The role of war
We can also expect globalist leaders to use crises, like the war in Ukraine, to expedite the "net-zero transformation." Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said:
Ultimately, our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 has been given an additional boost by Putin’s war. Now we have even more cause to move away from fossil fuels.
14. Blame game
Globalist leaders will continue to blame ALL of the crises in our society on climate change to justify the "net-zero transition," from the energy shortage to "mistrust, selfishness [and] xenophobia." Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez said:
Our present struggle is not only against Putin or the energy shortage. It is also against fear, mistrust, selfishness, xenophobia, and environmental disaster. And its outcome will define life in the West and beyond for decades to come.
15. Sacrifice for the greater good
While we sacrifice our national interests for the sake of the "greater global good," we can expect our foreign enemies, like China, to benefit. Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann said:
The growth forecasts now for China is 4.5%. I would not personally be surprised when that would be topped.
Glenn has been clear about the distinction between wanting to transition to green practices on your own accord and being forced into that transition by globalist, unelected elites. Leaders at Davos will continue to use alarmist language to justify their crackdown on democracy and freedom to bring about their leftist utopia. We have to cut through the alarmist language and in order to protect our freedoms.
Glenn has focused on exposing the dark side of the gender movements waging our culture war, and now, there's a new "trend" emerging as an offshoot to the transgender movement. A growing online community, particularly of men, who consider themselves "involuntarily celibate" or "incels" believe they can live a better life as a trans woman. Why? This community purports the world is rigged against men, particularly against traditionally "unattractive men." What's the solution? Stop being a man...
Incel or "involutarily celibate" communities have existed online in the dark corners of Reddit and Discord for years. The groups are marked by a hatred towards women, blaming them for rigging the world in their favor and denying them of sex. Several members of this growing community have been responsible for large acts of violence, most notably Alek Minassian, who killed 10 and injured 16 after driving a van into a busy area of Toronto in 2021.
They would've shook his hand if he was attractive.
The comments are coping hard, beware. https://t.co/WJJeQCvVPz
— Involuntary Celibate (Incels.is) (@IncelsCo) January 23, 2023
However, the transgender movement has presented a new option for incel members: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em... or, in the Transmaxxers' case, "become them."
The online Transmaxxer's Manifesto says, “Since females have the upper hand on the dating market, transitioning from male to female will usually improve your options when it comes to getting sex.” According to the manifesto, transitioning to female not only opens up a different pool of sexual partners, but moreover, you gain access to female-only spaces and are “able to extract resources from males.”
“Since females have the upper hand on the dating market, transitioning from male to female will usually improve your options when it comes to getting sex.”
Another member wrote, "If you do not currently feel like living as a female you might have to work on fixing that ... Identifying as male or being emotionally attached to a male body is bad for you if being male results in you living a bad life.”
This new movement is significant because it is in stark contrast to the mainstream narrative that "transgenderism" is an innate quality. Now, it can be an "option" people choose for social advantage. A moderator going by the alias “Vintologi” on the Transmaxxing Discord server, which boasts over 1,200 members, told The Daily Caller:
Transmaxxing is about transitioning for personal gain rather than focusing on things like "gender identity." ... What matters when it comes to medical transition is whether or not said transition would actually be beneficial, thus the extent to which gender identity is innate does not inform us much regarding when medical transition is appropriate.
One incel member on Reddit lamented that he can't Transmaxx to "have sex with white trans women" and to have "all the benefits of [being] female."
Transmaxxing sheds light on a concerning issue as an increasing number of people, particularly the youth, identify as "transgender." What used to be considered as a "finge case" is now being seen as a social advantage. Glenn recently sat down with de-transitioner Chloe Cole, and the amount of pressure she experienced to become a transgender man AS A TEENAGER was ASTOUNDING. She discussed the new community, friendships, and affirmation she gained when she started her transition journey, and she lost ALL of those social perks when she began de-transitioning. She exchanged affirmation for death-threats, friendships for stone-cold silence.
Transmaxxing is a very specific example of a larger movement that is deeply concerning. Not only is the thansgender ideology problematic on its own merits, but now, we are seeing a rise of a distinction of "social advantage" based on gender affiliation. This is deviating away from the original notion that transgenderism is an innate quality. Now, many consider it more "socially advantageous" to identify as transgender than with your biological gender.