Humanity Dehumanized: Hegel’s Reflections on the Enlightenment & the French Revolution

By |2019-01-20T22:27:17-05:00January 21st, 2019|

The Enlightenment, that is modern reason, failed us in part, Hegel shows, both for the history it left behind and the legacy it bequeathed us. Indeed it brought us and spirit to the point of self-destruction... Editor's Note: This essay is part of a series dedicated to Senior Contributor Dr. Eva Brann of St. John’s College, Annapolis, in [...]

Edmund Burke on Revolutionary Armies and Taxes

By |2018-12-13T11:06:25-05:00December 13th, 2018|

Though a classic in its own right, and arguably the first book on conservatism in the modern world, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France of 1790 is inconsistent as a coherent work. And, yet, even in its unevenness, it reveals an act of genius. Burke himself points out that the greatest and truest things in [...]

Manifest Destiny and the American Nimrods

By |2018-11-30T22:04:59-05:00November 30th, 2018|

Standing with his father as they watched the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, eight-year-old John Quincy Adams must have wondered in amazement at the bloody and brutal nobility of it all. And, what must he have thought as he traveled from one European seat of government to another as his father attempted to [...]

Edmund Burke on the Rage & Frenzy of the French Revolution

By |2019-03-05T14:31:47-05:00April 5th, 2018|

As revolutionary as they claimed to be, the French Revolutionaries were as old as sin, Edmund Burke assured his readers. “Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences,” he argued, and “you can find nothing at all that is new…” Roughly four-fifths into his spectacular Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke [...]

Reflecting on Edmund Burke’s “Reflections”

By |2018-12-21T07:04:25-05:00March 13th, 2018|

It would be difficult to find a more beautiful republican thought in all of Edmund Burke’s writings than this: “A man full of warm speculative benevolence may wish his society otherwise constituted than he finds it; but a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the [...]

Edmund Burke & the French Revolutionaries

By |2018-12-08T07:46:13-05:00March 7th, 2018|

The French Revolutionaries, Edmund Burke rightly understood, sought not just the overturning of the old, but, critically, they also desired the destruction of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Only by lying about the nature of the human person could they accomplish their goals… One of the most important duties of any good [...]

The Siren Song of Anarchy in Western Art & Literature

By |2018-12-21T14:21:30-05:00January 15th, 2018|

The image of reason cut adrift and order overthrown are universal symbols of enormous and compelling power. Each of us sees in the dethronement of discipline and order an immediate personal advantage… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Tonsor as he explores the history of [...]

The Reformation Then and Now

By |2018-10-25T15:53:27-05:00October 31st, 2017|

While the Reformation divided the Church, it must be said that it was brought on by her own inability and unwillingness to repent and turn to the Gospel. We can see some of the same trends today in our society and Church. For this Reformation Day, therefore, I would call for a new reformation in [...]

Should Conservatism Seek to Destroy the State?

By |2018-11-19T20:36:37-05:00October 16th, 2017|

For their own sake, as well as the sake of the civilization which they love, conservatives can and should deny the state’s legitimacy, on the grounds that it is destructive of the true, the good, and the beautiful… Two philosophies rarely seem as opposed as conservatism and anarchism. The Continental, Throne-and-Altar variant of conservatism [...]

At the Center of the Storm: John Sullivan of New Hampshire

By |2017-09-25T22:14:59-05:00September 25th, 2017|

Controversy surrounds the story of John Sullivan’s life. Yet he is among the representative Americans of his time—gen­erous to a fault, jealous of his personal honor, optimistic, gregarious, ambitious, and “larger than life”… John Sullivan John Sullivan (1740-1795), lawyer, entrepreneur, soldier, and political leader of New Hampshire during and after the American [...]

The French Revolution: Did Edmund Burke Lose His Mind?

By |2017-05-25T11:14:43-05:00May 24th, 2017|

Edmund Burke did love order, and he also loved the ordered soul and the ordered society—the one in which men freely pursued the good, the true, and the beautiful… When challenging the “coffee-house” radicals who were so gleefully leading the French into generations of ruin through their mad abstractions, Edmund Burke recognized that their [...]

The American and French Revolutions Compared

By |2017-05-11T13:58:08-05:00May 7th, 2017|

Americans turned to the concrete lessons of history and experience to guide them in securing their liberty. The French, on the other hand, deified Reason above not only experience, but also above religion and divine revelation… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Sean Busick as he explores [...]

Prudence vs. Fanaticism: On the American & French Revolutions

By |2019-02-14T13:40:34-05:00March 3rd, 2017|

The American and French Revolutions provide a contrast between principle and ideology; between prudence and fanaticism; between prescriptive rights and extravagant ambitions; between historical wisdom and utopianism; between free government and democratic despotism… A little book forgotten for a century and a half, Friedrich Gentz’s Origin and Principles of the American Revolution, compared with the Origin [...]

The Siren Song of Anarchy in Western Art and Literature

By |2017-03-21T13:37:16-05:00January 19th, 2017|

The image of reason cut adrift and order overthrown are universal symbols of enormous and compelling power. Each of us sees in the dethronement of discipline and order an immediate personal advantage… Eugene Delacroix, “Death of Sardanapalus” Henry Adams describes his famous autobiography with a charming picture of the ancestral household at [...]