Mind at Work

This is the official website of Vincent Ryan Ruggiero – Social Worker, Industrial Engineer, Professor, and Author. Here you will find descriptions of a number of his 22 books, as well as links to his many essays, the most timely of which are featured on this page.


Current Essays

Vincent Ryan Ruggiero has also published over 200 essays. Current ones are shown below. For others, click on “Featured Essays” or “Archives” at the top of the page.

  • Pokémon Go: One More Sign of Decline

    August 26, 2016

    Pokemon GoYou can see them walking singly, in pairs, or in large groups, moving like zombies, looking down at their cell phones as if in a trance. They cross lawns and driveways, step into moving traffic, roam through parks and college campuses, and enter stores, libraries, even churches. They are not zombies but devotees of the latest game craze, Pokémon Go.

    Developed by Niantic and partly owned by Nintendo, Google, and others, Pokémon Go was introduced in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand on July 6, 2016 and then in other countries.…

    Read more →

  • How Did Trump Treat His Ghostwriter?

    August 7, 2016

    Trump's Book CoverA friend of mine recently referred me to a New Yorker article entitled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” and asked whether I thought the story would hurt Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. After reading the article, I concluded that it would not, at least not among careful thinkers.

    Not everyone is a careful thinker, of course. Some people who read the New Yorker piece will no doubt leap to the conclusion that Trump is a fool for not being able to write for himself or a dishonest man for taking credit for someone else’s effort, or both.…

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  • Trump’s Deus Ex Machina

    August 7, 2016

    Masks, Comedy & TragedyGreek and Roman plays often ended with a divine being descending from above (by means of a crane) and resolving conflicts in the plot. This device was known as Deus Ex Machina, literally “god from the machine.” The term later came to mean a turn of events that solves an apparently insoluble problem.

    Donald Trump has such a problem. It is not that Hillary’s positions on key issues are stronger than his.…

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Latest Book

corruptedcultureCorrupted Culture:

Rediscovering America’s Enduring Principles, Values, and Common Sense 

(Prometheus, 2013).
“Ruggiero knows that we are imperfect beings, but we all have the potential for goodness and wisdom. This book will help us get there.”
Anne Hendershott
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.