My son’s house sits at the crest of a hill in a valley in the mountains of western North Carolina. On a recent visit, I was up at 4 a.m.—I’m an early riser—sipping coffee on the deck and looking at the litter of stars in the sky on that clear October night. Other than two properties below me lit up by tall security lamps, the rest of the landscape was pitch-black, the mountains, the winding road, and the other houses all shrouded by the night.
My early morning meditations sometimes bring long thoughts, and it struck me that those two pools of light below me were a sort of metaphor for civilization, beacons in an otherwise dark world. They brought to mind Roman outposts on some gloomy frontier, early monasteries with their caches of antique manuscripts, and the villages of 17th-century English colonists in America on the fringes of what must have seemed unending wilderness.
Today, the very hallmarks of the West—truth, goodness, and beauty—are threatened by this same darkness. For decades, we’ve seen the lights of our culture turned off one by one. The terrifying ignorance of the past, the downward slide of public education, the devolution of the arts into crudity, the hateful divisions caused by critical race theory and gender theory, the madness and fanaticism that infects so many people, the deception and graft practiced by our leaders: These evils and more are signs of a twilight civilization.
Here at Intellectual Takeout, we aim to be one of those circles of light I saw in that pre-dawn morning. We fight against these encroachments of darkness by critically examining culture and politics. Just as importantly, we promote good literature and art, the health of the family, the education of our children, and the everyday pursuits that make for happiness.
And if we are to keep up this fight, we could use some help.
First, we ask readers to spread the word about ITO, particularly to young people. Many of them need precisely what we offer here, which is, above all else, hope for the future. In the coming months, we will offer even more articles than in the past encouraging the 40-and-under audience and offering ways to live fuller lives.
We are also seeking donations to boost our mission of light. We understand that these times of economic uncertainty make such donations difficult for some of our readers, and we wouldn’t ask for funds if they weren’t needed. Here is our promise to you: Any donations you send us will be used frugally, wisely, and in the cause of liberty.
By working together, we can do our part to mend and restore the American republic.