John Randolph in His Own Words

By |2018-08-07T10:28:54-05:00August 7th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, History, John Randolph of Roanoke, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Collected Letters of John Randolph of Roanoke to Dr. John Brockenbrough, 1812-1833, edited by Kenneth Shorey (157 pages, Transaction Books, 1988) Planter, statesman, orator, and diplomat, John Randolph of Roanoke (1773-1833) stands out as one of the most fascinating characters ever to strut across the stage of American politics. Born to one of the [...]

War, Power, & Supremacy: A Conservative Interpretation

By |2019-03-05T14:31:53-05:00July 31st, 2018|Categories: Foreign Affairs, History, War|Tags: |

At the zenith of our commitments, we were at the nadir of our precautions. —Walter Lippmann, U.S. Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic (1943) In his wartime study of American foreign policy, Walter Lippmann remarked on the propensity of the United States government for entering into commitments that lie outside the scope of existing [...]

Tradition: The Concept and Its Claim Upon Us

By |2019-04-02T16:01:13-05:00June 19th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates, Tradition, Western Tradition|Tags: , |

True unity among men must have its roots in that common participation in the holy tradition reaching back to an utterance of God Himself… One wonders whether tradition is not actually anti-historical. It stands in stark contrast to the most impressive and most visible strand of the historical process, namely, the ever-advancing scientific investigation [...]

Cultural Debris: Two Conferences & the Future of Our Civilization

By |2019-04-04T12:47:00-05:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Economics, Political Economy, RAK, Russell Kirk, Western Civilization|Tags: |

There still are men and women enough among us who know what makes life worth living—enough of them to keep out the modern barbarian, if they are resolute. If they are not resolute, and if they cannot make common cause, the garment of our civilization will go to the rag-bin, and the cultural debris [...]

Simplicity & Audacity in Reform: A Call for Reactionary Radicalism

By |2018-10-16T20:23:57-05:00May 6th, 2018|Categories: Education, Liberal Learning, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

There now exists a general dissatisfaction with the present sunk condition of higher learning; complacency having trickled away, reform is conceivable… For a quarter of a century, the higher education in America has been sinking lower. Agreement on this subject is so widespread that I need not labor the point: others will offer you [...]

Michael Oakeshott vs. Irving Kristol

By |2019-03-11T15:33:24-05:00May 1st, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Ideology, Michael Oakeshott|Tags: |

Michael Oakeshott’s conception of conservatism was not without its critics. Among them was the American intellectual and self-avowed conservative, Irving Kristol… In 1956, the English philosopher Michael Oakeshott published “On Being Conservative,”[1] a statement of “the conservative disposition” as he conceived it. Although largely well received, Oakeshott’s conception of conservatism was not without its [...]

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 [...]

The Soundness of Reinhold Niebuhr

By |2018-10-16T20:23:59-05:00April 22nd, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, History, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

To many American Protestants, Reinhold Niebuhr restored an understanding of the truth of the dogma of Original Sin, as expressed in the myth of Adam’s fall. Yet in the defense of other Christian dogmata, was he indeed so strong-hearted and strong-minded as he generally is taken to have been?… Niebuhr and His Age: Reinhold [...]

The Treason of the Clerks

By |2019-02-28T12:36:18-05:00April 15th, 2018|Categories: Books, Edmund Burke, History, Ideology, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

The sorriest aspect of the twentieth century has been the rallying of the intellectuals to the arrogant banner of nationalism, which rejects universal and eternal truth for the sake of national and passing advantage… Thirty years ago, a book was published about which a great many people talk, but which few have really read: [...]

The Necessity of Dogmas in Schooling

By |2018-10-16T20:24:00-05:00April 8th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Conservatism, Culture, Education, RAK, Russell Kirk, Social Order|Tags: |

As the rising generation is left ignorant of our civilization’s dogmas—or is encouraged to discard them—strange new dogmas rush in to fill the spiritual vacuum… All societies, in all times, have lived by dogmas. When dogmas are abandoned, the social bonds dissolve—swiftly or slowly; and the “open” society ceases to be a society at [...]

The Architecture of Servitude and Boredom

By |2019-04-04T12:04:24-05:00April 1st, 2018|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Civil Society, Community, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Do we descend steadily, and now somewhat speedily, toward a colossal architecture of unparalleled dreariness, and a colossal state of unparalleled uniformity? Will all of us labor under a profound depression of spirits because of the boring and servile architecture about us? And will the society now taking form in America resign itself to [...]

Education Spending & the Nation’s Culture

By |2019-01-24T13:27:42-05:00March 25th, 2018|Categories: Books, Education, Politics, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

It is possible to bankrupt a nation’s treasury by extravagant expenditure upon alleged “education.” Worse still, it is possible to bankrupt a nation’s culture in the name of schooling… School Needs in the Decade Ahead by Roger A. Freeman (Institute for Social Science, 1958) Federal Aid to Education: Boom or Bane? by Roger A. Freeman (American [...]

A Conscript in the Desert

By |2019-03-05T14:53:07-05:00March 18th, 2018|Categories: History, RAK, Russell Kirk, War|Tags: |

For years after his honorable discharge in 1946, Russell Kirk suffered a recurrent nightmare, to the effect that his discharge had been a clerical error; that he was summoned back to Dugway Valley; and there, beside his grim safe, stuffed with deadly secret documents, he would labor until he shuffled off this mortal coil… [...]

Will American Caesars Arise?

By |2019-02-28T10:41:02-05:00March 11th, 2018|Categories: Featured, History, Politics, Presidency, RAK, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

The Framers had no intention of making their chief executive officer a Caesar, on the model of Augustus. Nor does any eminent politician or publicist nowadays advocate openly such concentration of power in the executive… May a time arise when the American government sinks to the condition of a plebiscitary democracy, that is, a [...]