President Eisgruber: A Year in Review

At the February meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community, President Eisgruber outlined the challenges facing Princeton in the next decade and how he plans to address them. The “significant trends” he believes to be influential in the arena of higher education, and to which he feels Princeton must respond, include “growing inequality…

Local Politics: Read All about It!

If he finds “anyone in Princeton…who is Republican,” Dudley Sipprelle, Chairman of the Princeton Republican Committee, will be all ears. It was not that long ago that Princeton was a conservative-minded town. But now when Sipprelle encounters a Princetonian who shares his beliefs, he experiences a moment of astonishment. In 2005, when Sipprelle and his…

Distributism: An Evaluation

While most mainstream discussion of economic systems focuses on Capitalism and Socialism, and the ways they inevitably combine in the modern mixed economy, some advocate a radical alternative to either of them: Distributism. Distributism’s proponents, many of whom are devout Catholics who see the system as most compatible with and, in fact, formed by the…

You Say Yes, I Say No: The Place of Absolutism in Public Life

You don’t have to be a politics junkie to know that gridlock and discord dominate Washington, D.C. today. It’s easy to criticize this gridlock, because we’ve elected our representatives to keep our government stable and functional, and instead they seem to prefer egoistic grandstanding. Wouldn’t things be better if the political party that you disagree…

Why You Are Not a Heterosexual

You are not a heterosexual. In fact, you cannot be a heterosexual. The identity is incoherent. It’s like claiming to have squared the circle; despite what you say, I know you haven’t. Now I don’t mean that if you’re male it’s impossible to be sexually attracted to a woman and vice versa. That’s clearly wrong.…

Is Meritocracy Just?

In 1958, English sociologist Michael Young published a clever little book called The Rise of the Meritocracy: 1870-2033, in which he imagined the long-term effect on society of according social goods on the basis of the principle of equality of opportunity as it was then understood. Young coined the term “meritocracy” to describe the system:…

Precepts: A Diagnosis and Prescription

The precept system, much like the Honor Code, has a fairly impressive pedigree at Princeton, hearkening back to Woodrow Wilson’s tenure as President of the College in the late 19th century. Like the Honor Code, however, the precept system has acquired its share of detractors and skeptics. Everyone knows “that guy in precept” who speaks…

Pope Francis and the Future of Faith

  Photo Citation: Pope Francis to Visit Birthplace of His Namesake on Saint’s Feast Day. My Franciscan. By Carol Glatz. Web. <http://www.myfranciscan.org/pope-francis-to-visit-birthplace-of-his-namesake-on-saints-feast-day/>. In December 2013, Time magazine named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, more commonly known today as Pope Francis, their “Person of the Year.” While it might seem fairly obvious that the selection of a new leader of…

The Myth of the Callous Conservative

It is unfortunate that in today’s America many people view conservatives in a stereotyped manner as greedy, callous, and uninformed. The greatest and most pernicious caricature of them all, however, is that conservatives care nothing for the poor. But conservatives do care, and have always presented ideas to reform and improve government programs designed to…

Contemporary Feminism: Fighting False Enemies

I am, in the traditional sense of the term, a feminist. I wholeheartedly and proudly endorse the words of the great abolitionist writer Angelina Grimke, who claimed that “the mere circumstance of sex does not give to man higher rights and responsibilities, than to woman.” According to Grimke, a woman should not be denigrated due…

Conservatism, Liberalism, and Marriage: A Response to David Will

The growing movement opposed to federal and state government recognition and subsidization of same-sex marriage is at once a socially conservative movement and a socially liberal one, while the movement pushing for the immediate and total expansion of state recognition of same-sex relationships is at once ideologically illiberal in its radicalism and practically illiberal in…

Letter from the Publisher–Leisurely Living at Princeton

Greetings! It’s May already, and the tulips of Prospect Garden brightly proclaim the glories of spring. With Dean’s Date and exams to go, we bustle about, dutifully dealing with the last flurry of essay-writing, test-taking, problem set-solving activity. But we’re itching to do something else, to be done with the to-do lists, the days of…