George W. Carey 1933-2013

George W. Carey

We mourn the passing (Monday) of George W. Carey, Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative, longtime professor at Georgetown, and respected scholar in the political theory of the early American Republic. He offered penetrating analysis and commentary on the evolution of separation of powers in America, the modern presidency, and foreign policy in a republic, to name just a few topics. Professor Carey was the foremost contemporary authority on The Federalist Papers. His scholarship in American political theory produced numerous books and articles, including The Federalist: Design for a Constitutional Republic and In Defense of the Constitution. He coauthored the classic study of American political theory, The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition, in collaboration with his mentor Willmoore Kendall.

Dr. Carey influenced many young conservatives in his roles as mentor, teacher and author. Through this work he made lasting contributions to American political thought. In his final essay for The Imaginative Conservative, Professor Carey sums up the purpose and challenge for conservatives of all ages:

What are these conservative sensibilities? An especially important one that immediately comes to mind—one from which many of the most important principles that have served to bind traditional conservatives—arises from Burke’s understanding of society as a “partnership” between “those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” This conception places a heavy responsibility, of course, on the living; they are not, inter alia, to ignore or squander their inherited capital, moral and otherwise. . . [Emphasis added]

We who carry on the conversation of American conservatism should seek to be good stewards of Professor Carey’s insights. For us, this means exploring a conservatism of reflection, remembrance, and hope. Blessings be abundant upon the soul of George Carey, scholar and friend.

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