The philosophical roots of modern political conservatism extend back over many generations through Burke and the natural law to the Middle Ages and classical antiquity. This meant that in every historical epoch in Western civil society there have always been some conservatives. Over the next three decades Russell [Kirk] and I found that this fact was so distasteful to Marxists, liberals, and their allies among so-called ‘neo-conservatives,’ that they totally disregarded the evidence in the tradition of Burke’s politics. Either out of invincible ignorance or moral perversity, they revealed a willful genius for self-deception. In order to denigrate the conservative tradition and deny it intellectual respectability, they claimed that American conservatism is of very recent origins, that it is centered in a mindless religious fundamentalism or jingoistic patriotism, and that it is devoted wholly to defending the status quo, especially the selfish interests of the business community. For more than three decades this has been the constant strategy of those at war with the conservative tradition, and it is a technique that will undoubtedly be used into the future.” —Peter Stanlis (The Unbought Grace of Life)

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