“The Reactionary Imperative” Revisited

By |2020-10-18T16:54:10-05:00October 21st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Constitution, Government, M. E. Bradford, Politics|

In “The Reactionary Imperative,” Mel Bradford calls for a return to the roots of American order. Sadly, a return to a revised form of the Articles of Confederation is all but impossible. Hope, however, lies in a revivification of the principles of the Old Republicans of Thomas Jefferson’s day. Mel Bradford published a collection [...]

Burke on Monstrous Revolution and Regicide Peace

By |2020-10-15T15:53:47-05:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Edmund Burke, Europe, Government, History, Justice, Politics, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Far from creating peace, Edmund Burke contended, the French Revolution had generated the greatest despotism the world had yet seen, politicizing all things and enslaving the vast majority of the population. The Revolution itself was monstrous and had created only monstrous things. Of Edmund Burke’s (1729-1797) four Letters on a Regicide Peace—his final work, [...]

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 [...]

Burke’s First Letter on a Regicide Peace

By |2020-10-15T09:55:34-05:00October 8th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Edmund Burke, Government, History, Politics, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

As Edmund Burke observed, real community begins with the free and natural choice to associate at the most personal, familial, and local level, with each community growing from the ground up. By misunderstanding this, the French Revolutionaries seceded not just from Christendom, but from the laws of nature. In the final years of his [...]

Arguing With Lincoln: The Views of M.E. Bradford & Richard Weaver

By |2020-09-21T16:43:27-05:00September 21st, 2020|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, M. E. Bradford, Richard Weaver|

If for M.E. Bradford, Abraham Lincoln was a gnostic renegade and heretic beyond the pale, he was for Richard Weaver a political and rhetorical father figure with whom one might argue but never condemn. These Southerners’ differing critiques of Lincoln’s person, views, and actions cast some light on this complex figure, one who continues [...]

Robert Nisbet’s Ten Conditions of Revolution

By |2020-09-17T16:21:09-05:00September 17th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Revolution, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Given the present moment in this era of confusion in American history, one wonders whether the events of 2020 count as revolutionary. Robert Nisbet’s ten conditions of real revolution may provide an answer. One of the twentieth century’s most astute observers of society, sociologist, historian, and man of letters, Professor Robert Nisbet (1913-1996), offered [...]

Nock and Nisbet on Society and State

By |2020-09-04T15:20:28-05:00September 4th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Community, Culture, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, Social Institutions|

As Albert Jay Nock argued in the 1930s, and Robert Nisbet in the 1960s, the state plays a zero-sum game: It desires to assume all power over society, even to the point of taking the place of the Church as the glue that holds all together, and thus it renders society obsolete in the [...]

Robert Nisbet’s 11 Tenets of Conservatism

By |2020-08-27T17:19:55-05:00August 27th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Community, Conservatism, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Though less poetic than Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet has as much right to be considered a “father of post-war conservatism” as does his Michiganian ally—especially given the timing of his eleven tenets of conservatism. Indeed, his ideas about society and the social relations of man are thoughtful and inspiring. Though conservatism arose as a [...]

The Sociological Roots of Robert Nisbet’s Conservatism

By |2020-08-27T13:01:43-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

Robert A. Nisbet rooted his eleven ideas of conservatism in contributions from sociology as an academic discipline. Sociology, in contrast to liberalism and radicalism, had merely focused on the aspect of being social and had thus best reflected the more obscure aspects of nineteenth-century conservatism. That conservatism, though, reflected some of the most important [...]

In Defense of Patriarchy

By |2020-08-10T10:03:43-05:00August 9th, 2020|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Family, Marriage|Tags: |

“Patriarchy” is a word that has almost ceased to communicate a definable meaning in contemporary discourse. Feminist theory deploys the term so loosely that it may be applied to any institution or instance in which men dominate women or are perceived to do so. “Most feminist criticism,” Heather Jones avers, “tends to represent the [...]

W.H. Auden’s Discovery of Original Sin

By |2020-08-03T17:01:58-05:00August 4th, 2020|Categories: Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|Tags: , |

For several months after his 1939 immigration to the United States, W.H. Auden (1907-1973) remained enchanted with all the old dogmas—psychology, Marxism, and liberal humanism—that had shaped so much of his early work. As a poet, he continued to assert his faith in man’s ability to save civilization from ruin. Composed like all mankind [...]

Edmund Burke and the Last Polish King

By |2020-08-31T15:28:56-05:00July 23rd, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Civilization, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Poland, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Poland’s reforms and constitution, Edmund Burke thought, offered real meaning, much closer to the experience of the American Revolution than that of the French Revolution. In significant ways, the Polish king succeeded because he embraced the laws of nature and “the array of Justice” without forcing anything of his own will upon his people. [...]

Conserving in A.D. 2020 or 499 B.C.

By |2020-07-21T17:58:07-05:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Thomas More|

In times of chaos, it’s profoundly necessary to remember those who have come before us and the innumerable sacrifices they made. Each of these great men, whatever his individual faults, sought to live according to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. They preserved, and they conserved. As a way of perceiving and a [...]

The Imaginative Conservative: 10 Years of Preserving & Advancing

By |2020-07-09T15:08:59-05:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Reason, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

What we held back in 2010 we still hold today: “The Imaginative Conservative” is not meant to be one voice, but many voices forming one voice. The ideologue and the conformist, we equally despise. We want excellence, argument, inquiry. We wish to provide, above all, a safe haven for reason and reasoned passion: We [...]

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