‘Do what thou wilt’ includes willing to do what thou shouldst not. The Liberal takes a stand in No Man’s Land between ‘the law that is in my members’ and ‘the law that is in my mind.’ In that precarious and self-righteous place, doing what thou wilt is separate from the good. By doing evil to others or to ourselves, we first of all injure ourselves, because to do evil is the worst thing that can happen to a man. And because we are members of the human race, we injure the species even by an act only directed against ourselves. If others consent, the harm reciprocally injures everyone. There is no such thing as victimless crime any more than a free lunch. —The Death of Christian Culture, by John Senior (1978)
Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.
We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is 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. Some conservatives may 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.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.