“Discourses on Minerva” makes three obvious allusions to any educated reader. First is to the political philosopher and man of letters Niccolò Machiavelli and his magnum opus Discourses on Livy—his less famous but more profound work (the other being The Prince). Second is to the philosopher Georg W.F. Hegel, who famously captured the so-called dreary, or tragic, spirit of philosophy that comes to know the historical condition of the world only after it has come to pass. Third is the fact that by naming the site after Minerva, the goddess of Wisdom, this site portends to hold wisdom which aids in the fight to slay discord.
In his magisterial work Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans, Saint Augustine launched into a breathtaking work of cultural criticism which brutally deconstructs the pagan critics of Nicene Christianity as not only being ignorant of their own history, but blind to the realities of their own heart in not seeing Christianity as the religion of the pagan Roman heart. Orosius, one of Augustine’s devoted disciples, then wrote History Against the Pagans which continued the Augustinian tradition of cultural criticism in exposing how the pagan critics managed to get away with their criticism only because of their ignorance. I am no Augustine, and this is not a systematic site for a single work of dedicated cultural criticism, but this site takes that spirit of Augustine and adapts it for the twenty-first century.
The phenomenon of man being detached from his roots and then lashing out and embracing absurd beliefs is nothing new. When detached from the past, roots, and history man engages in the worst form of romanticism—an a-historical glorification of the lust for domination transforming that lust for domination as a virtue. Many nefarious forces benefit from this alienated ignorance. There are two forms of Romanticism. One that is symptomatic of the alienated and ignorant mind—Rousseau being the best example of this strand; and the other being a militant determination to hold onto the past against the encroaches of the new nihilism that threatens to do away with roots, history, and tradition—the German Romantics were perhaps the best example of this strand with the English Romantics being a close second.
Part of the mission here at “Discourses on Minerva” is to revisit that past and see what insights and wisdom it has for us in the present. For the faint of heart, weak-kneed, media-fawning, Fox News loving, feminist-embracing, anti-Christian or lukewarm P.C. Christian, and Wikipedia worshiping individual who enjoys his comfortable and respectable life in the Cave, tread carefully over the pages contained here. For those who would really like to gain knowledge, have a better understanding of the reality of the world, and leave the darkness of the Cave, perhaps you will enjoy the content here.
The content here will be similar to my more professional work, which concerns itself with the interstices of anthropology, philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of history, and theology, as well as my more public work: literary exegesis and film criticism. But it will contain a more personal tilt to my interests.