Past Seminars:

Foundations of Conservatism

Racism and Revolution

current seminar:


about the seminar

The killing of George Floyd has caused an eruption in conversations about race, racism, and also revolution. But there are fundamental disagreements on what to make of these issues, and even how to define them. What is racism? When is revolution necessary? Of what does revolution consist, and how can it be successful? This seminar will explore ideas related to these questions. It may draw on the previous Foundations of Conservatism Seminar. However, it will focus primarily on Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist and Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution. We will explore these texts both analytically and critically, largely through seminar discussions.

Fee: $10 per month

meetings: Dec 2020 – May 2021

You are welcome to join mid-seminar, though some catch-up work may be recommended. Meetings will be discussion-driven. We will meet bi-weekly, most likely on Mondays at 7pm CT for 60-90 minutes. There will be no more than 25 pages of reading per week (up to 50 pages per meeting). Participants will alternate giving a brief presentation on the material.

about you

No particular education, professional background, or political affiliation is required. Just come curious and ready to explore the history of ideas!

the facilitator

Chris Damian received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas. He was a participant in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Program and has been a fellow for the St. Thomas Department of Catholic Studies and the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.

Full-fledged imperialism in its totalitarian form is an amalgam of certain elements which are present in all political conditions and problems of our time. Such elements are anti-Semitism, decay of the national state, racism, expansion for expansion’s sake, alliance between capital and mob. Behind each of these elements is hidden an unsolved real problem: behind anti-Semitism the Jewish Question; behind the decay of the national state, the unsolved problem of a new organization of peoples; behind racism, the unsolved problem of a new concept of mankind; behind expansion for expansion’s sake, the unsolved problem of organizing a constantly shrinking world which we are bound to share with people whose histories and traditions are outside the western world. The great appeal of a full-fledged imperialism [that is, totalitarianism] was based on a wide-spread, frequently conscious, conviction that it provided the answers to these problems and [would] be able to master the tasks of our times.” – Hannah Arendt

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