We No Longer Make Boys Into Men

By |2021-01-24T15:56:26-06:00January 24th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Family, Modernity, Sexuality|

In our time of fatherlessness, underachieving boys, social fraying, and the collapse of marriage, helping boys to become men needs to be done. We owe it to them in justice, or else we will not have healthy families, parishes, neighborhoods, and towns. Many years ago, in an article for Touchstone called, “A Requiem for Friendship,” [...]

Russell Kirk’s Beauty and Civilization

By |2020-12-31T22:59:39-06:00December 31st, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Modernity, Religion, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

As the old year ends and the new year arrives, The Imaginative Conservative looks back at some of its finest essays of 2020. —Editors In the late 1950s, as Russell Kirk considered what needed to be conserved in the Western tradition as well as what needed to be discarded, he lamented that much of what [...]

Postmodern Music: Groans Wrapped in Mathematics

By |2020-12-08T15:13:08-06:00December 8th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Jazz, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The atonal music produced in the twentieth century consists largely of random outbursts that could be described as groans wrapped in mathematics. The result makes little or no sense to the ear, and these works remain more items of curiosity than objects of love, and audiences have begun to turn their backs on them. In [...]

On Free Will

By |2020-12-03T15:39:44-06:00December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Freedom, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Without free will and a belief in it, there is no dignity and certainly no freedom of the human person. And without moral responsibility, there is no certain morality. Everything is merely as it was shaped to be, for good or for ill. This is the extremely dangerous situation in which we find ourselves today. [...]

Counterpoint and Why It Matters

By |2020-11-30T15:36:07-06:00November 30th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Tradition|

In music, there has arisen in recent times the illusion that knowledge is not necessary, that the old forms of discipline are merely obstacles to the true creative process, and that real originality means doing your own thing, free from traditional constraint. I recently acquired a CD of music for piano duo by Jeremy Menuhin, [...]

Zombie Legends in the Age of Mass Man

By |2020-10-30T15:23:04-05:00October 30th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Death, Halloween, Imagination, Literature, Modernity, Myth|

Zombie legends remain a relevant medium that continues to capture the imaginations of modern people. As with any myth or legend, we gain wisdom about ourselves when we endeavor to unearth the symbolic meanings that lie buried beneath the surface. At times, what we find is as frightening as it is illuminating. With the Halloween [...]

Russia, China, & the U.S.: Three Actors, One in Search of a Role

By |2020-10-29T14:22:46-05:00October 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Foreign Affairs, Modernity, Politics, Russia|

Even if we cannot fully grasp the shape of the near-future international order, either because it has yet to crystalize fully or because we lack the historical distance to see it clearly, we can know some things about it: While Russia and China have settled into their roles, the U.S. remains an actor in search [...]

We’re All Muckrakers Now

By |2020-10-20T16:37:31-05:00October 20th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Information Age, Journalism, Modernity, Politics, Technology, Teddy Roosevelt, Truth|

Today, Theodore Roosevelt prompts us to ask the same question he raised over a century ago in his speech “The Man with the Muck-Rake”: How do we devote our attention to society’s problems without allowing them to devour us? Our survival in the Information Age hinges upon on our ability to address this problem. In [...]

The Age of the Mask

By |2020-10-16T11:38:24-05:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, Humor, Modernity|

During this “age of the mask,” are we on the verge of becoming a people who ritualistically carry masks with us wherever we go? Will it perhaps become generally understood that the wise person always keeps two masks with him at all times? Now that we have seemingly settled into the “age of the mask,” [...]

Revisiting Robert Nisbet’s Conservative Classic

By |2020-10-09T15:40:05-05:00October 9th, 2020|Categories: Community, Conservatism, Freedom, Modernity, Robert Nisbet|

In his analysis of alienation in the modern world, Robert Nisbet recognized an important truth about the human person, which makes “The Quest for Community” timely even today: The individual cannot be understood except in relationship to other individuals in time and space. The abstract, autonomous individual does not exist nor can he ever exist. [...]

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