Kirk quotes

Conservatism’s most conspicuous difficulty in our time is that conservative leaders confront a people who have come to look upon society, vaguely, as a homogeneous mass of identical individuals whose happiness may be obtained by direction from above, through legislation or some scheme of public instruction. Conservatives endeavor to teach humanity once more that the germ of public affections (in Burke’s words) is “to learn to love the little platoon we belong to in society.” A task for conservative leaders is to reconcile individualismwhich sustained nineteenth century life even while it starved the soul of the nineteenth centurywith the sense of community that ran strong in Burke and Adams. If conservatives cannot redeem the modern masses from the sterile modern mass–mind, then a miserable collectivism impoverishing body and soul impends over Britain and Americathe collectivism that has submerged Eastern Europe and much of Asia and Africa, the collectivism (as Orwell wrote) of “the stream-lined men who think in slogans and talk in bullets.”  (The Conservative Mind)

Find books by Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. For essays by Dr. Kirk click here. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts, and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

All comments are moderated and must be civil, concise, and constructive to the conversation. Comments that are critical of an essay may be approved, but comments containing ad hominem criticism of the author will not be published. Also, comments containing web links or block quotations are unlikely to be approved. Keep in mind that essays represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Imaginative Conservative or its editor or publisher.

Leave a Comment
Print Friendly, PDF & Email