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Katie van Schaijik

The Hunger Games

Mar. 20, 2012, at 9:43am

The other day my fourteen year old son asked whether he could go to see the new movie, The Hunger Games, with some friends. He'd read the book, he told me, and thought it really interesting.  He described it to me, and it sounded hideously unreal: an imagined life-and-death moral drama without God, and without any sense of eternity.  

Maybe it's not all bad, though, since today at Public Discourse, philosophy professor Stephen Heaney, uses the story as a jump-off point for a consideration of totalitarianism and bullying. He explains why the Obama administration cannot be content with birth control being freely available to all who want it, but must force all of us who object to participate

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Josef Seifert

What is “Totalitarian” and Totalitarianism? Is the USA really moving to become a totalitarian state?

Mar. 4, 2012, at 9:39pm

The comments and questions posed on my post on the danger of the USA moving to become a totalitarian state have prompted me to ask the underlying question what a “totalitarian state” is.

By this term we can of course refer to kinds of states and regimes which are very different from the USA. Let us briefly survey the characteristics through which totalitarian states or regimes can be characterized and then ask which of these are present and which are absent in the USA:

  1. A total state control of public and private life that eliminates as far as possible opposition, other parties, private education, Church schools (up to persecuting critics and, if we speak of an atheist totalitarian state,
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