by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. A SHORT NEW YEAR'S R&G ROUNDUP
DAWSON ON CULTURE: The best model for how we (at AOA) are trying to tell both the story of the natural world and the unfolding of political history is found in the cultural work of Christopher Dawson. The Imaginative Conservative keeps his project alive.
EUROPE DISSOLVING: US TO FOLLOW? Pat Buchanan asks a question. He understands the essential nature of ethnic and national loyalties in defining political life. What he seems to miss is how Christianity was able to make nations more than ethnic brotherhoods, just as Christ transformed those men of Galilee from a fishing-district fraternity to the foundational brotherhood of a whole species.
ISIS -TURKISH CONNECTION: The death of an ISIS commander just north of Baghdad reveals a cell phone with ties to the Turkish intelligence agency. Meanwhile, Turkey continues to keep troops in northern Iraq, and Iraq threatens war. Turkish duplicity has also led Germans, seeking to join the air campaign against ISIS, to keep intelligence out of Turkish hands. All this has led another writer to warn against repeating the Unholy Alliance of 1855 and the Crimean War.
STAR WARS: THE FEMINISTS AWAKEN? The opening crawl of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' begins with: "Luke Skywalker is missing." But so, it seems, are many of the male protagonists in this film. In their place are the heroines Rey and General (no longer Princess) Leah. Has the feminist implant grabbed another icon? At the same time, the movie's antagonist appears to be an unsocialized male. The caveat to these criticisms may be in the unused scenes and plot threads dropped during the film's editing -- with many suspecting they will be brought into the following sequels. If this is true, we may yet find that Leah is more responsible than the movie leads us to believe; and that Luke may be the messianic figure whose return will mean the destruction of the new Empire and the rebuilding of civic life. We'll have to wait until May 2017 to find out what direction Disney takes in Episode VIII. In the meantime, a stand-alone 'Star Wars' film is being released next Christmas... seemingly about a team of men being led by a woman.