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MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 1

Roger Kimball, "Leszek Kolakowski and the Anatomy of Totalitarianism"

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(from The New Criterion, June 2005)

Born in 1927 in Poland, Leszek Kolakowski grew out of his youthful Stalinism to become one of the most penetrating critics of Marxism. In his masterful three-volume Main Currents of Marxism, he concluded: "The self-deification of mankind, to which Marxism gave philosophical expression, has ended in the same way as all such attempts, whether individual or collective: it has revealed itself as the farcical aspect of human bondage." Kolakowski's diagnosis of the spiritual crisis of modernity goes far beyond his critique of Marxism; in a variety of books, essays, and public addresses, he regularly returned to the problem of modern culture's denial of the sacred. This essay by Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, was written on the occasion of the release of a new edition of Main Currents of Marxism, and sets the arguments in that book in the wider context of Kolakowski's other work. Read by Ken Myers. 35 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 81

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Guests on Volume 81: Nigel Cameron on the lack of ethical reflection in public policy on technology; Joel James Shuman on beliefs about God's nature and purposes informing how we think about sickness and medicine; Brian Volck on embodied life, stories, and how medical practice involves attending to the stories of the bodies of patients; Russell Hittinger on the modern state giving rise to modern Catholic social thought; Mark Noll on learning to think about law and politics from earlier Christians who lived in very different political circumstances; and Stephen Miller on the factors that sustain the art of conversation, and why it's a dying art.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 80

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Guests on Volume 80: Stephen A. McKnight on The Religious Foundations of Francis Bacon's Thought; Tim Morris & Don Petcher on science, Christology, and why segregating nature from supernature doesn't do justice to either; Vigen Guroian on the mystical character of fragrance and on why working in his garden is an imitation of the Master Gardener; Paul Valliere on Orthodox theology's engagement with questions concerning law, politics, and human nature, and on the ideas of Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900); Vigen Guroian on the importance of personality and community in the thought of Nicholas Berdyaev (1874-1948); and Calvin Stapert on the affirmation of Creation and intimations of transcendence in the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 79

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Guests on Volume 79: Carson Holloway on why sociobiology and evolutionary psychology are inadequate bases for sustaining political ideals; Peter Augustine Lawler on why we are more than "individuals" narrowly defined; Hadley Arkes on the difference, in law, between evidence from social scientific data and moral truths; Ben Witherington, III on why The Da Vinci Code's implausible account of history seems credible to many people; Christopher Shannon on Ivan Illich (Medical Nemesis) and the loss of belief in the possibility that suffering can be meaningful; Roger Lundin on how nature and experience replaced revelation as a source of authority (and why they fail to serve as such), and on the necessity of humility in writing biographies.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 78

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Guests on Volume 78: Mark Bauerlein on the causes of disengagement of college students from concern for intellectual and civic life; Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn on television, children, and acquiring a sense of reality; Sam Van Eman on the view of the good life advanced by advertising; Thomas de Zengotita on Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It, and on postmodern individualism and "reality" TV; Eugene McCarraher on how American management theory became an influential source of religious meaning and practice; and John Witte, Jr. on how law embodies a view of human nature, and why religious viewpoints have often been ignored.

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 23

Church, State, and Society in Catholic Social Teaching

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The development in 19th-century Catholic social thought of the idea of society as a spiritual and cultural reality is one of the themes in this Conversation with Dr. Russell Hittinger. In addition to the contribution of Pope Leo XIII and the revival of Thomistic thought to Catholic social thinking, Hittinger discusses the significance of marital notions to society, the limits of the idea of social contract, the effect of an increasing proportion of Muslims on European social thought, and how modern democracies have abandoned the project of understanding public life in moral terms. 60 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 73

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Guests on Volume 73: Richard John Neuhaus, Nigel Cameron, Carlos F. Gomez, and Michael Uhlmann, on the meaning and value of human life, the vocation of medicine, the logic of autonomous individualism, and the temptation of suicide and euthanasia; Patrick Carey, on the perceptive (and peregrinating) thought of Orestes Brownson; John W. O'Malley, on the prophetic, academic, humanistic, and artistic vectors of Western culture; Patricia Owen, on what makes good children's books and on how the Newbery Medal winners have changed over time; Susan Srigley, on the sacramental and incarnational fiction of Flannery O'Connor; and Ralph C. Wood, on Flannery O'Connor as "hill-billy Thomist" and sympathizer with backwoods religion.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 72

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Guests on Volume 72: John Polkinghorne, on lessons for theology learned from the inductive nature of the work of science; Francesca Aran Murphy, on the efforts of 20th-century Catholic and French philosopher Étienne Gilson to reconcile faith and reason; James Hitchcock, on the history of the Supreme Court's decisions regarding religious practice and liberty; Wilfred McClay, on Nathaniel Hawthorne's vision of the intractability of human failings and the possibilities of the American experiment, and on the theme of place and communal obligation in Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing; Philip McFarland, on how Hawthorne's sensitivity to the darker side of human nature makes him perennially instructive; and David Hackett Fischer, on the history of how Americans have understood and symbolized freedom and liberty.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 71

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Guests on Volume 71: Peter Augustine Lawler, on Luther, Locke, liberty, and the American Founding Fathers; David Koyzis, on the modern denial of objective meaning and the exaltation of individual will; Roger Lundin, on the incarnational vision of Czeslaw Milosz, and on his poetry of exile and modern boundlessness; Craig Gay, on how the nature of money affects our sense of attributing value to things; Steven Rhoads, on Taking Sex Differences Seriously (and why it's hard to do so); and R. Larry Todd, on the life and music of Felix Mendelssohn.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 70

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Guests on Volume 70: W. Wesley McDonald, on the significance of Russell Kirk’s themes of the "permanent things" and "the moral imagination"; C. Ben Mitchell, on law, wisdom, and the possibilities of pastoral guidance on bioethical decisions, and on why and how the Church should be more welcoming toward the elderly; Carl Elliott, on the medical industry’s move from healing to enhancing self-esteem and idenity formation; Richard Weikart, on the rise of "evolutionary ethics," the embrace toward ethical relativism, and the slide toward eugenics; Christine Rosen, on how and why early 20th century American religious leaders encouraged eugenics in the name of moral progress; and Dana Gioia, on the decline in literary reading in America and on the cultural loss it signifies.

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