Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729 – July 9, 1797) is known as the “modern founder of political conservatism”. He was a philosopher, an author, an orator, a statesman and served in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig Party for many years. Later, his opposition to the French Revolution led to him becoming the leading figure of the conservative Whigs also known as the “Old Whigs”.

The Conservatism of Robert Nisbet

By |2019-09-03T18:31:58-05:00January 7th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, History, Imagination, Irving Babbitt, Religion, Robert Nisbet, Romano Guardini, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Tradition|

Robert Nisbet, in direct contrast to Russell Kirk, argued that conservatism was purely a modern ideology. For Nisbet, the entire history of conservatism began as a reaction to the French Revolution… When it came to the history of conservatism, the grand sociologist and man of letters, Robert Nisbet, disagreed with the mighty founder of [...]

Edmund Burke, Daniel O’Connell, & Catholic Emancipation in Ireland

By |2019-06-11T16:09:23-05:00December 2nd, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Edmund Burke, Europe, History, Ordered Liberty, Politics, Rule of Law|

Despite their differing political views, the conservative Edmund Burke and the radical Daniel O’Connell played major roles in combatting the suppression of Catholics in eighteenth-century Ireland… In the past couple of decades, the Catholic Church has fallen upon bad times in an Ireland whose overwhelmingly Catholic population had been among the most observant in [...]

Harry Jaffa and the Demise of the Old Republic

By |2019-04-07T10:50:06-05:00October 31st, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Conservatism, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Edmund Burke, Featured, Foreign Affairs, History, Political Philosophy, Politics, Tradition|

Harry Jaffa’s constitutional history of America’s late-eighteenth-century is not credible nor, in keeping with many of his own pronouncements, is it conservative… The writing of history, as we have learned from authors as diverse as Thucydides, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Butterfield, Collingwood, and Oakeshott can and has been done in strikingly different ways while serving radically [...]

Edmund Burke: Champion of Ordered Liberty

By |2020-01-09T10:37:21-06:00October 23rd, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Liberty|Tags: |

Edmund Burke’s greatest service to liberty was to remind the world that freedom is anchored in a transcendent moral order and that for liberty to flourish, social and per­sonal order and morality must exist, and radical innovations must be shunned… Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is rightly renowned as the father of conservatism. In this bicentennial year [...]

Relentless Rationalists: Creating Hell for Humanity

By |2019-07-09T13:29:46-05:00September 28th, 2017|Categories: Edmund Burke, George Orwell, Imagination, Politics|

The Relentless Rationalist will twist humanity for a so-called greater good, even if it means forcing human faces under a boot and stamping on them forever. Totalitarianism is the only conclusion: hell for the human, paradise for the prophets-turned-gods... “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” [...]

The Spirit of American Constitutionalism

By |2019-04-18T13:23:20-05:00September 24th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Edmund Burke, Featured, Federalist Papers, John Dickinson, Timeless Essays|

The Constitution described by the Letters of Fabius is a model of prudence and moderation, based not primarily on theoretical arguments, but on experience and an extensive knowledge of history… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Gregory S. Ahern as he explores how John Dickinson’s Fabius Letters influenced the Constitutional [...]

Edmund Burke and the Principle of Order

By |2019-06-24T16:15:10-05:00September 8th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Featured, Ordered Liberty, RAK, Russell Kirk|

Edmund Burke’s principle of order is an anticipatory refutation of utilitarianism, positivism, and pragmatism, an affirmation of that reverential view of society which may be traced through Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, the Roman jurisconsults, the Schoolmen, Richard Hooker, and lesser thinkers. It is this; but it is more… What Matthew Arnold called “an epoch of [...]

Edmund Burke: Old Whig

By |2020-07-27T15:35:08-05:00August 13th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Christian Humanism, Classical Liberalism, Edmund Burke, Philosophy, Timeless Essays|

Edmund Burke, like his Whig forebears, believed in the existence of a higher moral law to which all valid positive law must conform, a universal law which manifests itself in diverse concrete forms, in the great variety of legal codes and customs that constitute particular cultural traditions. Edmund Burke, the passionate defender of the [...]

What If? The Moral Imagination of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

By |2017-08-31T12:02:36-05:00July 27th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Charity, Christianity, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Film, Moral Imagination, Senior Contributors|

The story of Beauty and the Beast is the oldest story in the Christian world. It’s the story about love, sacrifice, and redemption… Several nights ago, I reluctantly watched Disney’s 2017 live version of Beauty and the Beast. I must admit three things before I get into the heart of this essay. First, I’ve [...]

Europe’s Immigration Crisis & the Vindication of Edmund Burke

By |2019-09-12T13:52:00-05:00July 2nd, 2017|Categories: Edmund Burke, Europe, History, Immigration, Muslim|

Edmund Burke believed in change, knowing that a nation unwilling or unable to change would collapse. However, he believed in prudence, moderation, moral restraint, and gradual implementation with reflective assessment. Had modern Europeans believed in the same things, they would not be in this predicament now… “All circumstances taken together, the French Revolution is [...]

“Revisions and Dissents”: Touching Upon Present and Past

By |2018-12-05T08:55:57-06:00June 27th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Featured, Paul Gottfried, Russell Kirk|

As Paul Gottfried explains in “Revisions and Dissents,” the real division between right and left cuts not between finance capitalists and welfare statists, but “between those who wish to preserve inherited communities and their sources of authority and those who wish to ‘reform’ or abolish these arrangements”… Complaints about Donald Trump’s “divisiveness” strike Paul [...]

Newman & Dawson Against Liberalism

By |2019-09-19T13:49:55-05:00June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Edmund Burke, Liberalism, St. John Henry Newman|

Christopher Dawson greatly admired John Henry Newman, for he understood more clearly than any of his contemporaries the coming war of the Church against the ideologues bred by the French Revolution, utilitarianism, and secularization… As Christopher Dawson attempted to discover the sources of the ideological disruptions of the twentieth-century as well as solutions to [...]

The French Revolution: Did Edmund Burke Lose His Mind?

By |2017-05-25T11:14:43-05:00May 24th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, History, Liberty, Revolution|

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 [...]

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