The Innocent Smith Journal is a blog about politics and religion that I created in 2009 to fill the reading-and-writing void left by my decision to discontinue a doctoral program in English. I tend to take a both/and approach to politics and am at once sympathetic to welfare state liberalism and more radical alternatives — especially distributism, the third way economic philosophy of my hero G.K. Chesterton and his friend Hilaire Belloc. I am well aware of the tension between these vantage points, but understand it to be creative tension and not mere antagonism. More generally, I am a Catholic and a follower of Alasdair MacIntyre, whose book “After Virtue” I take to be a decisive refutation of classical liberalism. At the same time, I find myself increasingly drawn to Buddhism and hope to write a book exploring the relationship between Buddhism and Catholicism.
I have divided this blog into three sections:
- Short, informal posts (Smithereens);
- Longer book reviews (The Smith Review of Ideas and Letters); and
- An ever-growing vocabulary list (Smith’s Dictionary).
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Innocent Smith is an alias taken from G.K. Chesterton’s splendid little novel, Manalive.