“Mind at Work” is the official website of Vincent Ryan Ruggiero—Social Worker, Industrial Engineer, Professor of Humanities, and Author. Here you will find descriptions of a number of his 22 books, as well as links to many of his over 300 essays on a wide array of topics. The most recent essays are shown below. For others, click on “Featured Essays” or “Archives,” above.
Donald Trump’s tweets have been in the news since long before he ran for the presidency, and they have been a continuing focus of commentary since he was elected. Some of his supporters see them as harmless and amusing—just “Donald being Donald,” as they say. Other supporters believe the tweets are at best a distraction … Read More
This has been the mainstream media’s intention from the Republican primary, through the presidential campaign, and throughout Donald Trump’s first year in office. First there were the characterizations of him as a rude, insulting, narcissistic fool who had no business running for office. After his election, the depiction changed to evil genius who conspired with … Read More
Common New Year’s resolutions involve quitting something such as smoking or drinking, eating too much, being too sedentary, being rude to others, procrastinating, or living beyond our means. Most of us are familiar with them because we’ve made them, in many cases again and again. Sometimes we’ve even been partially successful in achieving them. The … Read More
Rediscovering America’s Enduring Principles, Values, and Common Sense
“Ruggiero knows that we are imperfect beings, but we all have the potential for goodness and wisdom. This book will help us get there.”
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy, The King’s College (New York)
“In our era of academic ignorance and arrogance, [Ruggiero] stands as a rare beacon of light. How we need historical analysts, logical thinkers, and moral teachers such as Ruggiero! I highly recommend his latest analysis.”
Judith A. Reisman
Author of Stolen Honor, Stolen Innocence
Poor education, bad parenting, a sense of entitlement, the “wasteland” of television, and more. These are the symptoms of a culture in decline. While it’s easy to recite a litany of our problems, identifying their root causes requires more than the facile commentary offered by media pundits.
This in-depth historical analysis of cultural trends in America traces the problems of our current malaise back to two profoundly misguided views of human nature that were pervasive in this country in the twentieth century. The first is Hereditarianism, which was highly influential until the end of World War II; the second is Humanistic Psychology, which emerged after the war as a reaction against negativism. Ruggiero shows that while the Hereditarians advanced the absurdly pessimistic view that biology is destiny, Humanistic Psychology countered with an absurdly optimistic view of human nature. He also demonstrates that the flaws of both are observable in today’s resurgent Progressivism.
Beyond critique, Ruggiero presents a compelling case for restoring the traditional principles and values associated with the Western view of human nature. In this view, human nature is inherently imperfect but has the potential for goodness and wisdom; intelligence is the sum of inherited capacity and performance attained through mental training and acquired knowledge; reason is more reliable than feelings; and self-esteem is the result, rather than the cause, of achievement.
With incisive analysis, Ruggiero shows the relevance of recent intellectual history to today’s social problems and charts a course for a better future.