The Fusionist Fight Over Everything

By |2019-11-04T06:29:37-06:00November 4th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Libertarianism, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

The divide between conservatism’s old elements may represent the “end” of the fusionism that built the “conservative movement” and, after a half-century, of the dominance of this thinking within one of America’s major political parties. The intellectual battle between the factions claiming the brand “conservatism” has become “the fight over, well, everything” perceives even outsider [...]

The Fatally-Flawed Fusionism of Frank Meyer

By |2019-05-21T14:17:43-05:00January 19th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Freedom, Ideology, Libertarianism, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

Frank Meyer was a man looking desperately for faults in the philosophy to which he was most attracted: traditionalism. Finding none, he simply made up another philosophy: fusionism. But instead of coopting the energy and scientific rigor of libertarianism for the traditionalist cause, he simply empowered the former at the latter’s expense… American conservatism originates [...]

Donald Trump and the Future of Conservatism

By |2017-09-01T15:57:29-05:00June 11th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Donald Trump, Featured, Government, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

One of the most important lessons of Mr. Trump’s electoral victory was that classically-liberal rhetoric and positions were not very important to voters. It turned out that they wanted a candidate who promised to help, not one who knew his Hayek… Six months of the Trump Administration have turned conservatives into Alices peering through the [...]

The Gold Democrats

By |2019-04-11T10:34:53-05:00August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Christendom, Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Democracy, Economics, Libertarians, Natural Rights Tradition, Political Economy, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: |

N.B.  This is a piece I wrote in the early 1990s. I had forgotten completely about it until I came across it by accident today (Wednesday, August 22). It was my first attempt at a dissertation proposal, and I wrote it for one of my favorite graduate school professors, Dr. Russell Hanson. He probably doesn’t remember me, [...]

Economy and Transcendence: Laissez-faire and the Nature of the Market

By |2014-05-30T17:55:39-05:00July 31st, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians, Wilhelm Roepke|

In this paper I argue one cannot be a Christian and libertarian with any pretense of consistency. The argument comes in three major parts: the theological, the logical and the historical. The theological argument identifies and examines the significance of the concept of transcendence underlying three major social encyclicals that deal with economic matters, Rerum [...]

The Libertarian Double-Face and the Case for Conservatism: A Reply to Wenzel

By |2014-01-21T14:14:40-06:00April 14th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

Conservatives value individual liberty as much as libertarians, but they deny that freedom from coercion is the only form of liberty. It cannot be repeated often enough: The issue dividing conservatives and libertarians is not whether there should be a public philosophy by which we are governed, but which philosophy should govern us, conservatism or [...]

Why I am Not a Libertarian

By |2014-02-19T10:41:49-06:00April 3rd, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: |

The contemporary Tea Party Movement, like its revolutionary ancestor, looks to principles for guidance. Yet an old but active fault line runs just beneath the surface of the movement that has the potential to cause a fatal rupture. Tea Partiers simultaneously promote both a conservatism based upon the principles of the American founding and a [...]

An interview with FEE President, Larry Reed

By |2018-06-08T15:50:09-05:00February 1st, 2012|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: |

As I’ve frequently made clear in print and in lectures, I hold Larry Reed in the highest regard. I first had the opportunity to work with Larry in the fall of 1988 or 1989 (I can’t remember now!), and we hit it off instantly. Sitting our first evening together in a Vietnamese restaurant, Larry held [...]

T.S. Eliot: The Literature of Politics

By |2019-04-18T12:41:34-05:00January 30th, 2012|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Poetry, Politics, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

The following are excerpts from a speech T.S. Eliot gave on April 19, 1955, at the London Conservative Union. I have typed verbatim what Time and Tide reprinted in its April 23, 1955 issue. One can find the full speech in T.S. Eliot, To Criticize the Critic and Other Writings (1965; Lincoln, NE: University of [...]

Defending Hayek

By |2016-08-03T10:37:38-05:00January 23rd, 2012|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christendom, Conservatism, Economics, Friedrich Hayek, Political Economy, Russell Kirk, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

When Friedrich Hayek announced his personal political philosophy as an “unrepentant Old Whig” in his magnum opus Constitution of Liberty, he was reaching deep into the well of the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions, even if he had originally spoken these words against his friend, Russell Kirk, in their famous Mont Pelerin debate of 1957.[1] While [...]

Robert Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan

By |2014-01-10T19:02:31-06:00September 12th, 2011|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|

  I read Bob Higgs’s book, Crisis and Leviathan, when it first came out in 1987. I was a college freshman or sophomore at the time, and it had a profound influence on me. I was already deeply libertarian, but mostly from instinct, a healthy Kansas fear of governmental authority, reading every dystopian science fiction [...]

Albert Jay Nock: The Impossibility of a Return to the Liberal Arts?

By |2018-10-06T16:35:14-05:00August 2nd, 2011|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Liberal Learning, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: , |

One of the greatest intellectual pleasures of my summer has been the discovery of the writings of Albert Jay Nock. 

Well, really, the re-discovery. 

I had twice read Nock’s Our Enemy, the State, but I’d never found it compelling. In fact, if anything, at the times I read it, I found it rather repulsive. It [...]

Charity or Avarice: The Freedom in Free Markets

By |2019-01-16T12:02:50-06:00July 30th, 2011|Categories: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Liberal Learning, Russell Kirk, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians, Virtue|

Obligatory Navel-Gazing This summer, I’ve spent far more time with self-professed libertarians than I have with self-professed conservatives. Usually, it’s about 50-50, but this summer has been much more like 70-30. I’ve especially been influenced–directly and in person–by fine folks such as Larry Reed, Jim Otteson, Ed Lopez, Carl Oberg, and Ben Stafford. The former [...]

Murray Rothbard on Russell Kirk and Willmoore Kendall

By |2014-01-11T15:46:46-06:00May 10th, 2011|Categories: Russell Kirk, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians, Willmoore Kendall|

Murray Rothbard If you’ve not had the chance, please check out the Ludwig von Mises website,, as the archival resources available are astounding. This afternoon, I had the chance (as a reward to myself for each final exam graded!) to read through one of the site’s free e-books, Murray Rothbard’s Strictly Confidential: [...]

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