Richard Weaver

Dr. Weaver was Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1945 until his death in 1963. The best known of his works are Ideas Have Consequences (University of Chicago Press, 1953), and The Ethics of Rhetoric (Regnery, 1953).

The Importance of Cultural Freedom

By |2018-06-26T23:20:46-05:00June 26th, 2018|Categories: Art, Culture, Poetry, Richard Weaver, T.S. Eliot, The Imaginative Conservative|

Culture by its very nature tends to be centripetal, or to aspire toward some unity in its representational modes. The reason for this is that every culture polarizes around some animating idea, figment, or value, toward which everything that it produces bears some discoverable relation… Culture in its formal definition is one of the [...]

The Attack on Memory

By |2019-07-29T14:14:30-05:00June 21st, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Andrew Lytle, Civil Society, Richard Weaver, Robert E. Lee, South|

History is the “remembered past,” remembered according to values and virtues that are the inheritance of a particular people. The story as told gives meaning to the “facts,” and the story must be told to be remembered… “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I [...]

Up, Maybe, From Liberalism

By |2019-02-14T13:39:58-05:00May 9th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Ideology, Liberalism, Politics, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

What has alarmed me most as I moved away from liberalism—or as it moved away from me—was how quick my liberal friends were to renounce and reject our delicate social fabric as oppressive, as exclusionary, or as just plain worthless. Churches? Schools? Communities? Not just anachronisms, according to the New Liberalism, but dangerous threats [...]

The Lasting South? A Reconsideration

By |2019-04-25T13:09:39-05:00April 25th, 2018|Categories: Books, Mark Malvasi, Richard Weaver, Social Institutions, South|Tags: |

Ambiguities and contradictions aside, the Southern conservative tradition, by a heroic act of mind, may yet be summoned against the distortions of modernity, and, in particular, against the alluring gnostic supposition, now so prevalent, that men can alter the nature of existence and transmute the substance of being… From the perspective of the twenty-first [...]

Life Without Prejudice

By |2019-02-07T12:40:16-05:00April 4th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Politics, Reason, Rhetoric, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Life without prejudice, were it ever to be tried, would soon reveal itself to be a life without principle. For prejudices are often built-in principles. They are the extract which the mind has made of experience… Prejudice becomes a flail to beat enemies—traditional distinctions, essential to a workable society, come under assault as founded [...]

Studies in Words

By |2019-04-18T13:22:09-05:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Language, Liberalism, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Since the present meaning of a word is often vaguely swayed by past meanings which have dropped into the subconscious, a knowledge of particular semantic histories can increase our facility and sometimes save us from an inadvertent error… Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis (352 pages, Cambridge University Press, 1960) Anyone reading the literature of modern [...]

The Closing of the Western Mind

By |2018-01-20T00:36:35-05:00January 19th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Culture War, Freedom, History, Modernity, Richard Weaver, Roger Scruton, The Conservative Mind|

Allan Bloom’s diagnosis in The Closing of the American Mind can explain far more about the sorry state of American higher education and the Western condition than popular stories that blame the Enlightenment, or democracy, or medieval nominalism. And it is therefore a valuable starting point… Last year marked the thirtieth anniversary of Allan [...]

Beauty Will Save the World

By |2018-05-29T16:19:43-05:00December 10th, 2017|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Conservatism, Culture, Imagination, Modernity, Religion, Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays|

If art cannot save our souls, it can do much to redeem the time, to give us a true image of ourselves, both in the horror and the boredom to which we can descend, and in the glory which we may, in rare moments, be privileged to glimpse… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay [...]

The Agrarianism of Richard Weaver: Beginnings & Completions

By |2019-06-17T15:43:45-05:00December 9th, 2017|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Featured, History, M. E. Bradford, Richard Weaver, Southern Agrarians, The Imaginative Conservative|

Richard Weaver claimed his homeland was the “last nonmaterialistic civilization in the western world.” Modernity to him meant at bottom institutionalizing most of the Seven Deadly Sins… Though his worth and stature were early established among them, while yet living Richard M. Weaver was something of a puzzle for his friends within the American [...]

Up From Liberalism

By |2019-01-22T12:17:24-05:00November 13th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Education, Featured, Liberal Learning, Liberalism, Literature, Philosophy, Richard Weaver, Southern Agrarians, The Imaginative Conservative|

Liberalism is the refuge favored by intellectual cowardice, because the essence of the liberal’s position is that he has no position… There is a saying by William Butler Yeats that a man begins to understand the world by studying the cobwebs in his own corner. My experience has brought home to me the wisdom [...]

The Cultivation of Complexity: Reading Wendell Berry

By |2018-11-19T20:36:46-05:00July 13th, 2017|Categories: Aristotle, Civilization, Featured, Liberal Learning, Richard Weaver, Social Order, Southern Agrarians, Wendell Berry|

Wendell Berry’s poetry sings with the love of a man for his home, enticing the reader to embrace his vision of local agrarian economy as sufficient for the good life… “From knowledge of the forest comes/at last knowledge of forestry:/what, without permanent damage,/can be spared and carefully removed,/leaving the whole forest whole. This learning/’takes [...]

Humanism in an Age of Science

By |2019-04-18T11:17:24-05:00July 12th, 2017|Categories: Christian Humanism, Culture, Featured, Richard Weaver, Science, The Imaginative Conservative|

The ideal of the human under the aegis of something higher provides the strongest counter-pressure against the fragmentation and barbarization of our world… Editorial Note: The essay has been edited from an untitled, undated transcript of a lecture which Richard Weaver delivered to a meeting of the Newman Club at the University of Chicago [...]

A Responsible Rhetoric

By |2019-04-28T22:57:33-05:00June 19th, 2017|Categories: Language, Rhetoric, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Responsible rhetoric is a rhetoric responsible primarily to the truth. It measures the degree of validity in a statement, and it is aware of the sources of controlling that it employs… Editorial Note: The text of “A Responsible Rhetoric” is taken from a transcription of a tape recording of a speech Richard M. Weaver [...]