Russell Kirk was a great historian of the latter half of the 20th century and he was a great conservative yet few people read or cite him these days. This is mostly because Kirk was an unapologetic opponent of American Empire made possible through nation building exercises. What Kirk also contributed was an unshakeable devotion to the classical and traditional things which included reading.
Kirk encouraged the reading of the great works of great men and harkened back to the Greeks and the Romans. This must seem foreign to young people today who are exposed to these works only in the perverted incarnations seen on movie screens. Gone are the required readings of heroes and their escapades. We wouldn’t want any young men thinking that chivalry, strength, courage and physical feats are worthy of honor now would we? Why, those young men might go and do something silly, like learn a labor intensive skill.
Russell Kirk, like the Founding generation, also wrote of the philosophies. Philosophies inspire thought and critical thinking which explains why they aren’t required learning any longer. Why, we wouldn’t want our young men questioning the decisions of our almighty federal overlords now would we?
The conservatism of Russell Kirk is missed but what we will miss more is the influence of Kirk, Dante, Aristotle and Locke which has now been replaced by the likes of a rapper named Common, a word that would NOT have been used to describe the unknown men cited in this essay.