The Americanization of Conservatism

By |2019-09-17T15:27:08-05:00October 25th, 2017|Categories: Constitution, Culture, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist, History, M. E. Bradford, Russell Kirk, Willmoore Kendall|

We need to develop a fully American variant of conservatism; to advance our understand­ing of the conservative nature of the political traditions we have inherited; and to do so with a dignity that will permit us to stand before God, the American public, and our conservative forebears… In the next century, because of both need [...]

Willmoore Kendall: Forgotten Founder of Conservatism

By |2017-03-29T22:31:29-05:00March 29th, 2017|Categories: Constitution, Willmoore Kendall|

Willmoore Kendall held that American politics is not supposed to reflect universal values expressed through the rhetoric of a single leader, but rather the values or truths that American politics expresses must become known through the deliberate sense of the community… Willmoore Kendall is one of the most overlooked founding fathers of the conservative movement [...]

The Conservatism of Willmoore Kendall

By |2016-07-11T16:03:30-05:00June 20th, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Federalist Papers, Richard Weaver, Willmoore Kendall|

IV It is clear that Publius’s deliberative process, with its emphasis upon accommodation, harmony, and consensus, is antithetical to the conflict-oriented majoritarianism of the egalitarians. As a corollary proposition, it is essential to note that as a result of the supreme symbol of the deliberative process, the followers of Publius, with Willmoore Kendall as their [...]

What “The Federalist” Really Says

By |2019-03-16T10:18:31-05:00June 13th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, American Founding, American Republic, Equality, Featured, Federalist, Federalist Papers, James Madison, John Locke, Willmoore Kendall|

III In his analysis of the Socrates of the Apology, Willmoore Kendall was hinting strongly at the probability that the contemporary John Stuart Mill-Karl Popper school in the United States is using the argument of the purist open society as an instrument or weapon to unhinge the existing orthodoxy, not for the alleged purpose of [...]

The Lie of the Open Society

By |2019-03-16T10:19:41-05:00June 6th, 2016|Categories: Apology, Conservatism, Crito, Featured, Free Speech, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Liberty, Plato, Willmoore Kendall|

II John Locke The related problems of “the public orthodoxy” and “the open society” were major concerns of  Willmoore Kendall throughout his professional career. In his reappraisal of John Locke in 1941, Kendall’s Locke emerged as an exponent of the public orthodoxy as expressed through the majority. As Kendall sees it, in Lockean thought, “In consenting [...]

What John Locke Really Said

By |2019-08-22T15:49:44-05:00May 30th, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Willmoore Kendall|

By any reasonable standard of measurement, Willmoore Kendall would have to be included in a list of the most important political scientists of the post-World War II era. Moreover, as regards the American political tradition, it is easily argued that Kendall is the most original, innovative, and challenging interpreter of any period. I believe these conclusions [...]

How to Read Willmoore Kendall

By |2020-01-16T11:07:01-06:00March 28th, 2015|Categories: Books, George W. Carey, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

Willmoore Kendall Contra Mundum. By Willmoore Kendall. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1971. 640 pp. When writing about Willmoore Kendall a strong temptation exists to deal with the man, not his teachings or theory. This I have always felt to be a shame, and, at times, a deliberate dodge because the reviewer or commentator [...]

Willmoore Kendall & the Deliberate Sense of the Community

By |2014-01-20T11:31:00-06:00June 2nd, 2013|Categories: Books, Federalist Papers, Political Science Reviewer, Willmoore Kendall|

Willmoore Kendall The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition by Willmoore Kendall and George Carey (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1995). The Conservative Affirmation by Willmoore Kendall (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1963). John Locke and the Doctrine of Majority-Rule by Willmoore Kendall (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1965). [...]

The Demise of Congressional Deliberation: Willmoore Kendall

By |2019-03-26T15:38:54-05:00March 22nd, 2013|Categories: Congress, Federalist Papers, Politics, Presidency, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: , |

The one teaching of Willmoore Kendall's toward which all his early thought tended and from which radiated all his later thought was this: America's vindication of the capacity of men for self-government rests upon its devotion to the idea of a virtuous people, under God, determining national policy by the deliberations of a supreme legislature [...]

Maverick Conservatism & Willmoore Kendall

By |2016-08-15T21:25:22-05:00January 26th, 2013|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: , |

Willmoore Kendall: Maverick of American Conservatives, edited by John A. Murley and John E. Alvis; foreword by William F. Buckley, Jr., 2002. Willmoore Kendall (1909-1967) remains one of the most important figures in mid-twentieth century conservatism. His penetrating scholarship on Locke, his writings on the internal tensions inherent in majority rule, his early involvement with [...]

Equality: Commitment or Ideal?

By |2020-07-02T10:40:31-05:00August 20th, 2012|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

The whole case for our commitment to equality as a national goal comes from an isolated phrase—”all men are created equal”—in the Declaration of Independence. Was Lincoln right in his exposition of this phrase in the Gettysburg Address? The idea is as old, of course, as that magical first sentence of the Gettysburg Address: “Fourscore [...]

How to Read the Declaration of Independence

By |2020-07-02T09:07:17-05:00August 14th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, M. E. Bradford, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

Our collective confusion about the American experience begins at the beginning. Most Americans who think about such questions imagine that they understand the Declaration of Independence, though many of them may be puzzled that it did not (and does not) produce the results one might expect from the commitments which they believe it makes. After [...]

Murray Rothbard on Russell Kirk and Willmoore Kendall

By |2014-01-11T15:46:46-06:00May 10th, 2011|Categories: Russell Kirk, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians, Willmoore Kendall|

Murray Rothbard If you’ve not had the chance, please check out the Ludwig von Mises website,, as the archival resources available are astounding. This afternoon, I had the chance (as a reward to myself for each final exam graded!) to read through one of the site’s free e-books, Murray Rothbard’s Strictly Confidential: [...]

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