America: Liberal or Conservative at the Founding?

By |2017-09-28T15:26:41-05:00September 17th, 2017|

In the process of revitalizing Britain’s governing principles, the American founding also unleashed the ideas of liberty and equality to an unexpected degree… A heavy overcast settled over the Huron Valley. Expecting snow at any moment, I sought shelter in Haven Hall. My hope was to intercept Dr. Tonsor coming down from his office, [...]

Understanding Russell Kirk: A Bold, New Biography

By |2018-10-19T09:38:45-05:00November 2nd, 2015|

A few years ago I had the honor and pleasure of visiting Piety Hill, the familial home of Russell Amos Kirk and his wife Annette in Mecosta, Michigan. The feelings that sprang up in me as I stepped onto the walkway and approached the house were similar to those one might experience when approaching [...]

The Roots of American Order

By |2018-10-16T20:24:46-05:00October 12th, 2013|

Seeking for the roots of order, we are led to four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and Lon­don. In Wash­ing­ton or New York or Chicago or Los Ange­les today, the order which Amer­i­cans expe­ri­ence is derived from the expe­ri­ence of those four old cities. If our souls are dis­or­dered, we fall into abnor­mal­ity, unable to con­trol [...]

Russell Kirk and the Anamnesis of the West

By |2016-08-03T10:37:24-05:00September 10th, 2012|

The West as Anamnesis Western culture itself has served as an anamnesis, an event that brings us back to right reason and reminds us of the sovereignty of the Transcendent. With the ideological assault in full force in the twentieth century, and the blood of the killing fields spreading darkly across the once varied [...]

A Proper Patrimony: Russell Kirk and America’s Moral Genealogy

By |2016-04-15T10:03:56-05:00August 6th, 2012|Tags: |

The Roots of American Order, by Russell Kirk It is nowadays the fashion to think of these United States as a wholly “invented” polity, as the pure and miraculous handiwork of those gifted political craftsmen who were our honored forefathers and whose high achievements we celebrate during this commemorative year. It is also the [...]

What Holds America Together?

By |2019-01-11T13:03:16-05:00April 28th, 2012|Tags: |

The Roots of American Order by Russell Kirk. [Revised edition: ISI 2003, 534 pages] The President of a great American university told me not long ago that most of his students shared the opinion of Mr. Henry Ford: history was “bunk.” They would not have said that about heredity, which is supposed to unload [...]

In God’s Own Good Time: Reflections upon American Order

By |2018-10-16T20:25:17-05:00November 7th, 2011|Tags: |

Imagine a man travelling through the night, without a guide, thinking continually of the direction he wishes to follow. That is the image of a man in search of order, says Simone Weil: “Such a traveler’s way is lit by a great hope.” Above even food and shelter, she continues, we must have order. [...]

Roots of American Order

By |2018-10-16T20:25:30-05:00April 2nd, 2011|

by Russell Kirk Seek­ing for the roots of order, we are led to four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, and Lon­don. In Wash­ing­ton or New York or Chicago or Los Ange­les today, the order which Amer­i­cans expe­ri­ence is derived from the expe­ri­ence of those four old cities. If our souls are dis­or­dered, we fall into [...]

Protect Our Progress? Constitutional Government?

By |2017-06-22T16:19:05-05:00January 25th, 2011|

Liberals have a new slogan (new to me, at least). They say, “Protect Our Progress!” According to the Organizing for America website, they recently held a phone bank in North Carolina. The informational page read: We’ve made significant progress together in the last two years. There are those who want to stop our country [...]

Roots of American Order: Jerusalem

By |2017-06-22T16:04:32-05:00January 20th, 2011|

To understand America, do not start with 1787. Or 1776. Or 1492. To understand America—or more precisely the most ancient roots of American order—go back to the second millennium B.C., to the Hebrews. Ancient Israel has had more influence on American culture than you think. So argues Russell Kirk in his magisterial work, The [...]

Are We Worthy of Revolution?

By |2017-06-22T15:45:29-05:00January 19th, 2011|

Winston Elliott, not atypically, has asked a profound if somewhat inconvenient question (When Is a Change in Government a Duty?) regarding the right to revolution. Inconvenient, that is, given the current disarray of our society and the sloppiness of most political, philosophical, and cultural discourse on such outlets as Fox “News.” For what it’s [...]

Russell Kirk and the Roots (and Shoots) of American Order

By |2017-06-22T14:32:10-05:00January 9th, 2011|Tags: , |

Russell Kirk and the Roots of American Order Russell Kirk best tells the story of the West in The Roots of American Order. Now in its fourth edition, Roots is “simply one of the finest surveys of the classical, religious, and European influences on American political thought ever composed” (Lee Cheek). In his masterpiece, [...]