The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Ep. 37: James Poulos: Digital Politics & Spiritual War

Ep. 37: James Poulos: Digital Politics & Spiritual War

In this episode, I speak with James Poulos about his book, Human, Forever: The Digital Politics of Spiritual War. We discuss a wide variety of themes including technology, human memory, what it means to be an embodied person. James argues that instead of worrying about an impending crisis, we need to realize that it has already happened — Digital entities have taken over. We need to recognize this, figure out what has happened, and orient our senses and sensibilities around what technology does, how it changes us, and how we can work with and use technology to affirm our humanity.  Part of this includes using technology better which is one of the reasons he argues for the importance of Bitcoin.

Poulos argues that we are at Generation Zero— the first generation of the digital age. This brings with it a heightened responsibility for fatherhood, memory, ancestry, knowing who we are and where we come from. Understanding our humanity, our embodiment, the value of suffering, and that human memory is distinct and essential to our human identity can help us become resistant and not succumb to digital devices, but put technology at the service of our humanity.  

We discuss a number of themes and thinkers including

  • Tele-visual technology and the culture of the imagination and the shift to the digital medium and machine memory   

  • Social Credit system in China— and the rising social credit system in the West 

  • Human faculty of memory 

  • The return of analogy as a mode of thinking through human problems 

  • Political Theology in China, Russia, Europe, and the US 

  • Continuing Gnostic movements in the West

  • The Medium is the Message

  • Human Consciousness  

  • Mind and Brain 

  • Post-Humanism - Trans-humanism - Transgenderism  

  • Digital Cyborgs

  • Human Identity

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Embodiment and the Christian Dogma of Resurrection of the Body 

  • Marshall MacLuhan 

  • Romano Guardini 

  • Marianna Mazucatto

  • Karl Stern

Visit for show notes and resources.


James Poulos is the author of Human, Forever, Digital Politics of Spiritual War. He creates and advises brands and enterprises at the intersection of technology, media, and design. He is the cofounder and editor of the American Mind at the Claremont Institute and the cofounder and publisher of Return at New Founding. He is the author of the Art of Being Free and his work has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, Le Figaro, National Affairs, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among many other publications.

He holds a PhD in government from Georgetown University and a BA in political science from Duke University. A fellow at the Center for the Study of Digital Life, he was previously the communications director at the Heraion Foundation, a veterans-run rescue and recovery nonprofit operating in failed and fragile states. He lives on the edge of Los Angeles.


James Poulos, Human, Forever, Digital Politics of Spiritual War

My Book on Digital Contagion: 10 Steps to Protect

Religion and Liberty: Thinking Clearly in an Age of Ideology

Essays by James Poulos

James Poulos: Sacred Culture versus Social Credit

James Poulos The Future of Optimism: Accepting our reckoning with our humanity and our technology

James Poulos: Breaking the Spell of the Swarm

James Poulos Congressional Testimony: Disrupting Dangerous Algorithms

James Poulos: Our Humanity Hinges on a Cyber Second Amendment

James Poulos Cryptophobia

James Poulos Video: Securing our Liberty — and our Humanity — Online

Additional Resources and Books

Marshall McLuhan: Understanding Media —See book link below

Leon Kass on the Tower of Babel: See book link below

Podcast Episode with Carter Snead on Embodiment, Individualism, & What it Means to Be Human Also see book link below

Podcast Episode with Noelle Mering on Awake not Woke Also see book link below

Podcast Episode with James Madden on Embodied, Embedded Persons

Marianna Mazucatto: The Entrepreneurial State & Mission Economy — See Links Below

Karl Stern: Flight From Woman — See link below. This book is excellent. Highly recommend

Buy Human Forever on

The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves

By Poulos, James

The Medium is the Massage

By McLuhan, Marshall, Fiore, Quentin

Warning to the West

By Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr

The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis

By Kass, Leon R.

Awake, Not Woke: A Christian Response to the Cult of Progressive Ideology

By Mering, Noelle

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths

By Mazzucato, Mariana

Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man

By Marshall McLuhan, Lewis H. Lapham

Digital Contagion: 10 Steps to Protect your Family & Business from Intrusion, Cancel Culture, and Surveillance Capitalism

By Matheson Miller, Michael

The Gulag Archipelago Volume 1: An Experiment in Literary Investigation

By Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I.

Values in a Time of Upheaval by Pope Benedict XVI (30-May-2006) Hardcover

Ignatius Press (30 May 2006)

End Of The Modern World

By Romano Guardini

What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics

By Snead, O. Carter

Flight From Woman

By Stern, Karl

The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Welcome to the Moral Imagination Podcast.
The overarching theme of my podcast is what it means to be a human person and what makes for a meaningful and good life.
We will discuss philosophy of the human person, culture, religion, social philosophy, and many other related topics, like education, learning, economics, food, technology, artificial intelligence, and intellectual history. My goal is to interact with ideas and people whose work I find challenging, and intellectually and socially important.