Decadence in the American University

By |2018-10-16T20:23:57-05:00May 14th, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, Education, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

Increasingly, the university becomes the servant of the public desires of the hour, and correspondingly neglects its old duty of waking the moral imagination and disciplining the liberal intellect… The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going by Jacques Barzun (356 pages, University of Chicago Press, 1993) As C.E.M. Joad put it, “decadence [...]

The Durable Mr. Albert Jay Nock

By |2019-05-23T10:51:18-05:00April 18th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Economics, History, Tradition|Tags: , |

Some sound instinct kept Albert Jay Nock from ever becoming a reformer, in the usual sense. He was never a tub-thumper for some system; never an organization man. He was, to the contrary, a lifelong learner… Albert Jay Nock died too soon, but not before he had nailed to the mast several of the [...]

Edmund Burke: Champion of Ordered Liberty

By |2019-06-17T16:50:08-05:00October 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 [...]

The University & Revolution: An Insane Conjunction

By |2019-04-02T16:00:11-05:00October 9th, 2017|Categories: Education, Liberal Learning, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

The university is not a center for the display of adolescent tempers, nor yet a fulcrum for turning society upside down. It is simply this: a place for the cultivation of right reason and moral imagination… Already the reaction is upon us. Political leaders, college presidents, and syndicated columnists join in condemnation of violence [...]

Returning Humanity to History: The Example of John Lukacs

By |2018-10-16T20:24:07-05:00September 18th, 2017|Categories: History, John Lukacs, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

A reformed history must be imaginative and humane; like poetry, like the great novel, it must be personal rather than abstract, ethical rather than ideological. Like the poet, the historian must understand that devotion to truth is not identical with the cult of facts… The middle decades of our twentieth century have been marked [...]

Conservatism: The Road to the Future

By |2019-06-17T15:43:26-05:00June 15th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Conservatism, Featured, Modernity, Western Civilization|Tags: |

The future is bright for conservatives. If conservatism is understood as somehow a post-modern phenomenon, we will no longer labor under the tiresome accusation that we are on the wrong side of history and therefore irrelevant… In the late 1970s, if you had asked someone what a conservative was, the answer would have been [...]

On the Meaning of the Classical Movement in Architecture

By |2019-04-30T15:05:23-05:00May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Art, Christendom, History, Tradition|Tags: |

The beautiful sadness of the classical movement in architecture can be a message, urging all people of the third millennium to retrieve what was lost at the end of the second: the human need for transcendent meaning beyond history… What is the meaning of what we now generally refer to as the “New Classicism” [...]

On Debate and Existence

By |2019-04-04T11:22:41-05:00May 18th, 2017|Categories: Eric Voegelin, Ideology, Philosophy, Plato, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas|Tags: |

The speculations of classic and scholastic metaphysics are edifices of reason erected on the experiential basis of existence in truth. We cannot withdraw into these edifices and let the world go by, for in that case we would be remiss in our duty of “debate”… In our capacity as political scientists, historians, or philosophers [...]

How Firm a Foundation? The Prospects for American Conservatism

By |2017-05-17T21:15:59-05:00March 17th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, George Nash, Richard Weaver|Tags: |

What do conservatives want? Limited government, they answer; free enterprise; strict construction of the Constitution; fiscal responsibility; traditional values and respect for the sanctity of human life. No doubt, but I wonder: how much are these traditional catchphrases and abstractions persuading people anymore? How much are they inspiring the rising generation?… (essay by George [...]

Conservatism and the Culture

By |2017-03-20T10:18:53-05:00February 18th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Featured|Tags: |

The most important of the virtues for conservatives is fortitude—the courage to take stands that are not popular, the courage to ignore the opinion polls… In moments of despair, when I think America is indeed slouching towards an unfashionable address, when I contemplate the apparent indifference of the public to corruption and perjury in [...]

Whit Stillman’s “Barcelona” & 1980s America

By |2019-03-10T09:47:47-05:00January 21st, 2017|Categories: Christian Kopff, Featured, Film, Whit Stillman|Tags: , |

Director Whit Stillman understands that America is dominated by a culture that was imported from Europe and is expressed in European tongues and nourished and maintained by contact with Europe… “Amerika, du hast es besser!” Goethe exclaimed. For him America was a land free from the ancient traditions that are Europe’s heritage and curse. [...]

Where Have All the Great Composers Gone?

By |2017-01-04T23:38:08-05:00November 15th, 2016|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Featured, History, Music|Tags: |

Surely, there will be composers who will once again build upon the past and upon each other’s work, creating beautiful new melodies and nobly redefined forms. Eventually, a genius will appear who, like Mozart, will owe almost everything to those who went before him… In each nation of importance for Western music during the [...]

The Promises and Perils of Christian Politics

By |2019-05-07T09:24:29-05:00May 10th, 2016|Categories: Christendom, Featured, Politics, RAK, Religion, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Is there such a thing as a Christian polity? T.S. Eliot raised the right questions about such matters, on the eve of the Second World War, and offered some answers; but, as Eliot put it at another time, there are no lost causes because there are no gained causes.[1] Every generation fights the same [...]