Critiquing Robert Kagan’s Enlightenment Liberalism

By |2019-05-07T10:20:32-05:00May 6th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Democracy, Donald Trump, Liberalism, Natural Rights Tradition, Politics, Tyranny|

While Robert Kagan basically dismisses church and community in the development of liberalism, can there be any sadder but more important concession than his own admission that “liberalism has no particular answer” for what can legitimize its rights? An essay is meant to be very, very important when it consumes four giant pages in [...]

An Introduction to Conservatism for “Well-Meaning Liberals”

By |2018-12-18T22:21:52-05:00December 18th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Economics, Government, Natural Rights Tradition, Political Philosophy, Senior Contributors, Thomas R. Ascik, Western Civilization|

Instead of considering contemporary political issues, or politicians, Roger Scruton attempts to rebuild conservatism by looking seriously at its past… Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition, by Roger Scruton (176 pages, All Points Books, 2018) In his Conservatism, An Introduction to the Great Tradition (2017), long-time Anglo-American conservative champion and author Sir Roger Scruton [...]

Edmund Burke on Constitutions & Natural Law

By |2016-12-29T19:15:45-05:00September 20th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Natural Rights Tradition|

The real goal of political society, Edmund Burke claimed in his arguments against the French Revolutionaries, is not to create new laws or new rules, but “to secure the religion, laws, and liberties, that had been long possessed.” If one creates a law out of theory, he will explain much later in his Reflections on [...]

Understanding the Bohemian Conservative

By |2016-06-26T17:58:03-05:00June 14th, 2016|Categories: Conservation, Conservatism, Featured, Language, Natural Rights Tradition, Ted McAllister, Western Tradition|

Half-knowledge is more victorious than whole knowledge: it understands things as being more simple than they are and this renders its opinions more easily intelligible and more convincing. –Nietzsche Several years ago, I heard a scientist being interviewed on NPR declare that humans are “just sacks of rapidly degenerating amino acids,” or something similar. [...]

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 [...]

Edmund Burke and Natural Rights

By |2019-05-14T13:42:42-05:00April 21st, 2012|Categories: Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Natural Rights Tradition, RAK, Russell Kirk|

Edmund Burke was at once a chief exponent of the Ciceronian doctrine of natural law and a chief opponent of the “rights of man.” In our time, which is experiencing simultaneously a revival of interest in natural-law theory and an enthusiasm for defining “human rights” that is exemplified by the United Nations’ lengthy declaration, [...]

The Founders and Happiness

By |2019-04-15T19:12:16-05:00August 3rd, 2011|Categories: American Founding, Gleaves Whitney, Happiness, Natural Rights Tradition, Virtue|

It was Thomas Jefferson and America’s founding generation that set culture on a new course when they declared that all human beings had the inalienable right to the “pursuit of happiness.” It has been said that that phrase in the Declaration of Independence has done more to shape the sensibilities of the modern age [...]