George W. Carey

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About George W. Carey

George W. Carey (1933-2013) was Professor of Government at Georgetown University and a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative. He was the author of In Defense of the Constitution and The Federalist: Design for a Constitutional Republic. He was co-author, with Willmoore Kendall, of The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition. He was also co-editor of numerous books including The Federalist Papers: The Gideon Edition, The Most Dangerous Branch: The Judicial Assault on American Culture and Community and Tradition.

The Future of Conservatism

By |2014-01-21T12:38:12-06:00December 17th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, George W. Carey, Politics|Tags: |

A survey of the present American political scene provides, I believe, the background and point of departure for examining more permanent and basic aspects of American institutions and politics that pose enormous obstacles to the realization of principles long associated with traditional conservatism. More specifically the eclipse (some might say the disappearance) of traditional [...]

The Presidency: A Realistic Reappraisal

By |2019-08-22T13:50:14-06:00October 28th, 2012|Categories: Books, Featured, George W. Carey, Political Science Reviewer, Politics, Presidency|

The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, by Gene Healy “Taken by and large,” Edward Corwin wrote, “the history of the presidency is a history of aggrandizement, but the story is a highly discontinuous one.”[1] After reading Gene Healy’s work, there is good reason to wonder whether presidential aggrandizement will henceforth be [...]

The Popular Roots of Conservatism

By |2016-11-28T18:51:18-06:00October 25th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, George W. Carey, Politics|Tags: |

The chief difficulty in assessing the state of contemporary American conservatism is arriving at some understanding of its nature and meaning. What makes this task so difficult is that conservatism, unlike liberalism, is not an ideology. Proof of this, I think, resides in the fact that whatever principles we might come up with to [...]

Conservatism, Centralization, and Constitutional Federalism

By |2016-11-28T18:51:56-06:00September 17th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Supreme Court|Tags: |

My purpose is to set forth and explore the ramifications of two different conceptions or paradigms of American federalism whose roots can be traced to The Federalist essays of both Hamilton and Madison. Certain conclusions flow from this analysis that, in my judgment, are important to the conservative approach and thinking about centralization. Perhaps [...]

Moral and Political Foundations of the American Founding

By |2014-11-06T18:30:00-06:00August 21st, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Donald Lutz, Featured, George W. Carey|Tags: |

American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760-1805, compiled by Charles S. Hyneman and Donald S. Lutz. These beautifully produced volumes represent the most ambitious effort to date to remedy a significant deficiency in the literature of American political thought. As Charles S. Hyneman, the senior compiler, remarks in the Preface to these volumes, [...]

Wishful Thinking: A Response to Winston Elliott on Foreign Wars

By |2014-01-28T09:42:40-06:00August 8th, 2012|Categories: Foreign Affairs, George W. Carey, Politics, Republicanism, W. Winston Elliott III|

Two posts by our good friend Winston Elliott serve as my point of departure. The first (on 3 May) was entitled, “What is the proper role of military power for a Republic?,” and raised salient considerations in seeking an answer to that question; the second (appropriately enough on Memorial Day) emphasized the responsibility of [...]

The American Founding and Limited Government

By |2019-09-24T12:16:28-06:00July 5th, 2012|Categories: American Republic, Featured, George W. Carey, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics|Tags: |

There is no dearth of studies on the political thought of the American founding era. Yet there is no consensus on what theories, values, or goals were uppermost in the minds of the founding generation. On the contrary, on a number of critical theoretical issues and concerns, there appears to be an inverse relationship [...]

Republicanism and The Federalist

By |2018-11-28T22:07:08-06:00March 29th, 2012|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Republicanism|Tags: |

The first essay of The Federalist provides a convenient point of departure for exploring Publius’s conception of republicanism and the problems associated with it. Towards the end of this essay, he informs us that among the “interesting particulars” he intends to take up in the subsequent papers is “The conformity of the proposed Constitution [...]

War, Classified Information, and the Public: WikiLeak

By |2017-06-19T16:50:22-06:00September 2nd, 2010|Categories: Foreign Affairs, George W. Carey, Intelligence|

The recent flap over the WikiLeak disclosures reminded me of lessons I drew from my experiences as a communications officer in the Marines with top secret crypto clearance. When I was with the 6th fleet in the Mediterranean during the period of Hungarian revolt and the Suez crisis I would often have the responsibility [...]

Who’s to Blame? The American Republic

By |2017-06-12T16:57:50-06:00August 2nd, 2010|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, George W. Carey, Politics|

My good friend, Bruce Frohnen, poses a question (“An isolated, but not Pacifist, query”) that I take the liberty to reformulate as follows: Aren’t the American people—whom I had held up as our best hope for putting an end to mindless imperialism (“Nisbet, War, and the American Republic”)—really to blame for the mess we [...]

Robert Nisbet, War, and the American Republic

By |2017-06-12T16:00:33-06:00July 30th, 2010|Categories: Featured, Federalist Papers, Foreign Affairs, George W. Carey, Robert Nisbet, War|Tags: |

Winston does well in bringing Robert Nisbet’s teaching to bear upon the basic problems we confront (War, Crisis and Centralization of Power). An assigned reading in my contemporary American conservative course at Georgetown is Nisbet’s The Present Age. While this work incorporates much of his previous thought and findings, I assign it primarily because it [...]