As the world spirals blindly into the future, it is more important than ever to stand athwart the so-called march of progress and yell “Stop!” to change for its own sake. It is time for a new vision of political life that is rooted in time-tested wisdom, humane technological advancement, appreciation for the æsthetic beauty, and concern for the common good.

A thoughtful, holistic vision of the good life and society in the twenty-first century is necessary for any meaningful or substantive politics of the future. The past century has borne unprecedented destruction—physical, environmental, and spiritual—and dessicated communities around the world. The consequences for our current age are still not adequately understood. We aim to plant seeds in the ashes, striving for human welfare and flourishing amid the devastation. As such, we look to the nature of political life rather than any instantiation of politics.

We examine these concerns in essays on Plato’s political lessons, golden ages, and deathmatch wrestling. We investigate how culture is shaped by our perceptions of time, nostalgia for the past, and desires to accelerate the future. Athwart also features shorter “Musings,” which provide timely thoughts on current events and cultural works—from genetic modification to Baudelaire and the disappearance of conversation.

Athwart also hosts the Et Alia and Phronesis podcasts. Et Alia discusses popular culture and its representation of fundamental issues in contemporary life. Phronesis takes a close look at important essays and ideas in political and social thought, linking them to historical and contemporary debates. In the podcasts and online, Athwart interviews today’s great and rising artists, leaders, and thinkers.

Join Athwart in working Toward a New Theory of Culture and Society.

—The Editors