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liberal arts

Feel free to label me a “nerd.”  You wouldn’t be the first. Winston, our fearless The Imaginative Conservative leader, does so all of the time.

In such a spirit, I give you what is below.

For a variety of reasons, I decided this morning to come up with a series of bumper stickers to defend the liberal arts.  And, of course, I realize the irony of promoting the vast nuances of The Great Conversation [trademark: Mortimer J. Adler] and The Great Tradition [trademark: Richard Gamble] through a slogan.

Still, one must engage the modern and post-modern world. So, if you, like me, need a break from grading, please enjoy.


“Keep your laws off of my Great Books”

“Down with the Servile Arts”

“My liberal arts kid beat up your vo-tech kid”

“The Liberal Arts: Earned, Never Given”

“Honk if you love Socrates”

“If you enjoy your freedom, thank an ancient Athenian”

“Better Read than Dead”

“Yo’ mama ain’t nothin’ but a Carthaginian Witch”

“8/24/410–Never Forget!”

“It’s All Greek to Me”

“Don’t Blame Me. I voted for Cicero.”

–Yours, Brad

Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservativeis an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism (Visit our Bookstore to find books by/about these men) . We address a wide variety of major issues including: What is the essence of conservatism? What was the role of faith in the American Founding? Is liberal learning still possible in the modern academy? Should conservatives and libertarians be allies? What is the proper role for the American Republic in spreading ordered liberty to other cultures/nations?

We have a great appreciation for the thought of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Irving Babbitt and Christopher Dawson, among other imaginative conservatives. However, some of us look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.”

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7 replies to this post
  1. I agree with Brad that the best bumper-sticker or t-shirt slogans prompt a question from observers and they often express superiority. A few random thoughts on an Afghan weekend morning;

    It’s a Permanent Thing (you wouldn’t understand)

    My Parents Went to Mecosta (and all I got was this t-shirt, culture and values)

    Wise men know what wicked things are written on the sky (no hope for you, then)

    Ideology: because there’s no law against self-abuse

    State Education: Proud to be Second-Best
    Liberal Arts cure Liberalism

    Failed Objectivist (I couldn’t afford the lobotomy)

    Culture doesn’t grow in a Petrie Dish

    Free Thinkers do what they're told

    Liberal Ideologue: The Proud, The Obedient, The Shallow

    Study for Employment (and a meaningless life)

    Cap’n Kirk! Th’ damn fools activated th' ideologizer!

    Gandalf says you’re not smart enough

    The economy, stupid? (no, it’s about Kirk, jerk)

    Flunked Materialism 101 (I got bored with all my stuff)

  2. I love these! And Stephen's also. You know, it is not too expensive to have bumper stickers made up. I actually think it would be a great idea. You could hand them out to students or even sell them to fund a project of sorts.

  3. I'm not sure about costs, prices, profit-margins, etc., but it seems that t-shirts can be ordered online in even ones or twos and printed on demand, allowing TIC to offer a wide range without maintaining a costly inventory. As the Mises Institute sells t-shirts of Austrian economists, TIC could feature a whole catalog of (TIC-branded of course) conservative greats and clever slogans but at no initial cost apart from design.

    It's been a while since I wore illustrated clothing, but I could start again. (Thinks: Hmmmm. A pale blue one with Dr. Kirk, of course. And that aggressively red one with Brad Birzer in a Gandalf hat. Oh! And for sure a Barbara Elliott if I get my order in before they sell out to thinking fashionistas! Willson definitely: maybe two in case one wears out. Roepke? Dawson? Burke? Popes JPII and Benedict? Surely a Cicero – can't get that from Land's End). Or TIC could run batches of pre-ordered, limited-edition, collector's t-shirts with subjects selected initially by online poll, to be re-issued later on sufficient demand/sign-up ('fifty clicks and we print'). Either way, it's just the thing to solve those vexing Christmas-gift problems and/or stocking-stuffers for the highest calibre of best friends and loved ones, plus incite check-writing to the world's finest conservative website ('tick box to add a $100 tax-free donation to your bill'). Oh heck, I might as well order some coffee mugs while I'm at it. (Thinks: must write to Santa).C'est possible?

  4. I used to have “Don’t Immanentize the Eschaton” on my bumper (I had to make the sticker myself) along with one in support of local farming. The combination I’m sure threw plenty of people for a loop.

  5. Yesterday, i was approached in a public library branch by a stranger who wanted to tell me about a bumper sticker that he was going to have printed, It was: KEEP YOUR HEAD

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