Category: Interviews

Thaddeus Russell on His Way to Rome?

Alright, that headline is a gross exaggeration.

It’s downright clickbait, in fact. Clickbait for nerds, yes, but still clickbait.

But you’re going to be happy you clicked on it if you’re a Catholic libertarian.

Tom Woods recently appeared on Russell’s “Unregistered” podcast. The whole thing is enjoyable, but they get into libertarianism and Catholicism in the second half of it, starting shortly after the one-hour mark.

In the course of it, you’ll hear Tom Woods explain:

how Anarcho-Capitalism is steeped in natural law, with norms that transcend culture (with Russell dissenting . . . claiming there are no such norms . .  . which is his postmodern wont),

why the Latin Mass is important (with Russell agreeing . . . noting the modern Mass isn’t even Catholic, based on his outsider perspective),

why Anthony Esolen is great (with Russell agreeing),

why he’s Catholic . . . with Russell declaring, if he were going to become religious, he would definitely join the Catholic Church.

That’s the closest Russell came to declaring any intent of converting, so, yes, my headline is “clickbaity.”

But notable conversions in our history have started with a whole lot less. Most converts don’t come into the Church through a Saul/Paul moment. The journey starts with something little like that.

I disagree with Russell on many things, but I generally find him intellectually honest and a man of good will.

And more importantly, he realizes, like Chesterton pointed out, only dead things swim with the stream. Like any good Catholic, he’s vibrantly fighting against the modern stream all the time. He’s fighting it with postmodernist weapons, but he’s fighting it all the same.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that, if you combine his distaste for modernity and his obvious respect for the Catholic Church … Read the rest

Playboy Taki, the Riviera, and an Elegant Culture of Excess

I have a romantic nostalgia for something I’m nearly clueless about

aerial photo of seaport
Photo by Vincent Gerbouin on

I tend to loathe the rich, especially those who have money because of Hollywood or, worst of the worse, government.

But there’s something about the elegant rich I admire, almost in a nostalgic or romantic sense, almost like the world needs elegance to elevate it.

Yeah, I know:

I don’t know what I’m talking about.

The world needs the spiritual strength of the sacraments and the simple example of saints, not the lavish luxury of the elegant rich.

Still, there’s always been “something there” for me in the elegant rich: about the way they held themselves above vulgar ways, about the way they disdained boorishness, about the way they intuitively realized high manners are an art form of consideration for others, about their retreating and demure public persona.

It’s all on display in this splendid article at Gentleman’s Journal: The Last Playboy of the Riviera — Taki Theodoracopulos.

I’m not even sure it’s properly called an “article.” It’s a piece of writing, I suppose, but after the introductory paragraph, it’s all a bunch of quotes from Taki about hanging out on the Riviera in the 1950s.

It’s one of the most delightful things I’ve read lately. A handful of excerpts will, I think, illustrate my general nostalgia and vague romanticism.

The Riviera in the 1950s. In the words of Taki

“[T]here was no real drug use. We were young, people drank. Debauchery then was a private affair. Of course, you had a lot of women looking for a rich man, but it was all done in a very discreet way. You didn’t have the hookers in the hotels, the slobs in t-shirts in the casinos. At the very least, everyone was

Read the rest