What is the Purpose of 21st-Century Conservatism?

By |2020-03-31T17:03:47-05:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Tradition, Western Civilization|

Conservatism is confronted by the existential question of its own philosophy: what is left to conserve? Indeed, is there anything worth conserving? I think there are positive answers to this—the nation being the foremost—but that is a concern for another time. Here, I want to make the point that conservatism, beyond the substantive vision [...]

Old Rowan Oak: William Faulkner’s Conservatism

By |2020-03-31T17:15:52-05:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Literature, South|

Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles reflect the way William Faulkner wrote, acted, and organized his life. As a property owner with notions of limited government, he brought that orientation to his fiction, to his work in Hollywood, to his commentary on civil rights, and to his everyday relationships with his family and community. His [...]

Building American Institutions During a Cultural Crisis

By |2020-03-29T18:36:22-05:00March 29th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Culture War, Social Institutions|

In his latest book, Yuval Levin presents irrefutable evidence of America’s weakening attachment to its core institutions of family, community, voluntary associations, religions, and political parties. His goal, however, is to move beyond today’s ideological culture war and show how commitment to institutions puts us on an edifying path to belonging, social status, personal [...]

Cleaning Up the Immigration Mess in 4 Simple (But Not Easy) Steps

By |2020-03-22T17:53:18-05:00March 22nd, 2020|Categories: Citizenship, Conservatism, Immigration, Politics|

All Americans would probably agree that the current immigration situation is a mess. The proof of this is that no one can discuss the issue without having to defend something awful. Immigration hawks must argue for separating families and deporting people who contribute to the economy while immigration supporters have to account for the [...]

Eric Voegelin, Conservative?

By |2020-03-20T12:25:49-05:00March 20th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Eric Voegelin, Political Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Whatever his criticisms of liberalism, progressivism, and socialism, Eric Voegelin shunned the word and the concept of “conservatism,” claiming that his ideas could never be harnessed by any political movement. When the definitive history of non-leftist movements of the twentieth century is finally written, Austro-American philosopher, Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) will loom large. Arrested by [...]

Did Edmund Burke Support the American Revolution?

By |2020-03-17T17:36:43-05:00March 17th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Declaration of Independence, Edmund Burke, History, Independence Day, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors|

Many conservatives have assumed that Edmund Burke was opposed to the American Revolution. It is, to my mind, an erroneous assumption. “Burke broke his agentship and went publicly silent on the American cause once war broke out,” Robert Nisbet claimed in his most definitive analysis of Edmund Burke, written and published in 1985. His [...]

The Shortcomings of Libertarianism

By |2020-03-15T00:38:53-05:00March 15th, 2020|Categories: Communism, Conservatism, Libertarianism, Politics|

In our new social paradigm, moral confusion abounds. Two popular ideologies—Marxism and Libertarianism—attempt to address this confusion. However, neither accounts for the fundamentally social nature of the human person: the way shared values conceive culture and art, how the primacy of belief binds communities together, or that we are born knowing we were created [...]

T.S. Eliot as Conservative Mentor

By |2020-03-16T00:18:52-05:00March 15th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Roger Scruton, T.S. Eliot, Timeless Essays|

Should modern man devote himself like Sartre to undermining bourgeois society and scoffing at manners and morals? Should he play the part of Socrates, questioning everything and affirming nothing? To answer yes to any of those questions is to grant nothing to human life beyond the mockery of it. T.S. Eliot’s solution was to embrace [...]

The Revival of Socialism

By |2020-03-10T11:08:13-05:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Communism, Conservatism, Economics, Ideology, Politics, Progressivism, Senior Contributors, Socialism, St. John Paul II|

The evidence is more than clear: Communism, socialism, and progressivism have each made huge comebacks, re-entering political discourse. Even their titles have reacquired respect and a semblance of dignity in many circles of public thought. What happened? The West won the Cold War in 1989, didn’t she? I am fiercely proud of the fact [...]

Recovering Our Legacy: The Many Uses of the American Past

By |2020-03-08T20:51:13-05:00March 8th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, Citizenship, Civilization, Conservatism, History, Western Civilization|

“Citizenship” means a vivid and enduring sense of one’s full membership in one of the greatest enterprises in human history: the astonishing, perilous, and immensely consequential story of one’s own country. Today, we must redouble our efforts to make that past our own, and then be about the business of passing it on. We [...]

The Three Conservative Burkes: Hayek, Strauss, and Kirk

By |2020-03-05T10:18:27-06:00March 5th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Edmund Burke was the nexus among the classical, medieval, and modern worlds, and the best answer to contemporary ideology. It is worth considering the Burke of Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss, and Russell Kirk in order to fully understand his importance to the rise of conservatism in academia after World War II. The somewhat radical (relatively [...]