Robert Nisbet’s Mentor: Frederick Teggart

By |2021-01-14T15:58:26-06:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, History, Robert Nisbet, Senior Contributors|

Robert Nisbet was greatly influenced by his professor Frederick Teggart and his many ideas. Teggart was a brilliant scholar and historian, one of University of California Berkeley’s most successful lecturers, and “an impressive stretcher of minds.” “I have met no one since then who has approached him in range, diversity, and depth of knowledge,” [...]

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: Belloc & Eliot on Twelfth Night & Epiphany

By |2021-01-05T12:21:37-06:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas two of my great loves sent to me a couple of great meditations on the mystery of the Nativity. The first and better-known meditation is by T.S. Eliot, whose “Journey of the Magi” places the poet in the entourage of the Three Wise Men as they journey to [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Cocktail Party”: The Language & Doctrine of Atonement

By |2020-12-15T10:37:44-06:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, T.S. Eliot, Theater|

In the years between 1939 and 1949, T.S. Eliot’s task was to enshrine Christian martyrdom and to restore poetic drama. His most popular drama was “The Cocktail Party,” a comedy which develops dramatically into a philosophically darker spiritual trial and wrestles with the theme of atonement. In one of his manifesto letters to William [...]

Burke on the French Revolution and Britain’s Role

By |2020-11-15T14:09:43-06:00November 15th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Edmund Burke, England, Government, History, Politics, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Once the British had returned to first principles and right reason, Edmund Burke argued, they would also be reminded of the practical things, such as good government, the cultivation of the middle class, and the protection of property. In other words, through the fight against the French Revolution, the British would return to being [...]

Burke on the Inhumanity of the French Revolution

By |2020-11-13T10:15:19-06:00November 11th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Edmund Burke, History, Politics, Revolution, Senior Contributors|

Whatever its own stated purposes and desired ends, the French Revolution never sought to better the condition of humanity or even of France. The Revolutionaries, as Edmund Burke stressed, were radicals, seeking civil war not only in France, but also in all of Christendom. The grand Anglo-Irish statesman, Edmund Burke (1729-1797) spent much of [...]

“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 [...]

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