A new blog site, Ethika Politika, has published my essay exploring American individualism in light of the ascetical tradition of the Orthodox Church. Here’s the conclusion:
American individualism is not intrinsically immoral nor is it an anthropological heresy. For all America’s real faults and sins, it is founded on — and until recently preserved by — an ascetical intuition that helped Americans avoid the excessive of both the radical individualism of the Enlightenment and of pre-Modern aristocratic authority. The Puritan work ethic, the US Constitution’s separation of powers, our Bourgeois virtues, and commitment to Civil Rights all reflect that aspect of the American character that takes seriously the need to correct what is worse in us so that what is best in us can shine forth. Americans are not by any stretch of the imagination monks, but we are, in our way and when we are our best selves, an ascetical people nonetheless.
For the whole essay go here.