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Claes Ryn

Claes Ryn
Claes G. Ryn is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He is professor of politics at the Catholic University of America. His books include Democracy and the Ethical Life, Will, Imagination and Reason, A Common Human Ground, America the Virtuous, and A Desperate Man. He is chairman of the National Humanities Institute, editor of Humanitas, and president of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters. He was named Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University in 2012.
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To revive American constitutionalism would require not more people who talk about "justice," "the common good," and "the best regime," but people who are able to shoulder concrete responsibilities, so that the reconstruction of society could begin where it matters most, in the personal lives of the...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Claes Ryn as he describes the effects that the arts and humanities have on society. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher

No intellectual task could be more urgent today than refuting the pseudo-scientific distinction between ”facts” and “values” and restoring to the humanities and social sciences a sense of transcendent moral purpose. In this effort we would be...
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For the framers of the U.S. Constitution no task seemed more important than to limit and tame power. The chief reason why they established a government of divided powers and checks and balances was their view of human...
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As this article will discuss the state and future of the so-called “conservative movement,” it is only fair to inform readers not familiar with the author’s views that he has long been a critic of prominent features of...
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The intellectual power, originality and prescience of Irving Babbitt becomes with each passing decade more obvious. Scholars familiar with Babbitt's work are used to noting the belated discovery by others of questions that he identified and treated...
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Imaginative Conservative senior contributor, Claes Ryn, recently discussed the pernicious influence of neo-conservatism—or the "New Jacobinism"—on the American republic. Click below to watch parts one and two of this...

In 1953, when Russell Kirk published The Conservative Mind, the reigning and virtually uncontested view of America among scholars and other intellectuals was that from the beginning America represented a break with the ancient traditions of Europe. America was...
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Christianity and the classical heritage taught men and women to strive for a better life but to have modest hopes. The reason why we cannot look forward to a vastly improved worldly existence is that human beings—we...
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First of all, a conservative is acutely aware of the flawed nature of man. The capacity of human reason is limited. Our existence is ultimately a great mystery. Conservatives recognize that for these reasons we need the best...
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A quarter of a century ago Modern Age asked me to assess the state of American intellectual conservatism for its 25th anniversary issue. I had been a student of the subject for twenty years. In 1971, five...
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Many supposedly intellectual conservatives seem to consider ideas and culture from afar, as it were, feeling no deep personal need for or intimate connection with them. Some are in a way attracted to the arts or even to...
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Claes G. Ryn Intellectuals of very different persuasions relate many of society's present troubles to so-called "modernity." In that respect, traditionalists and postmodernists are in broad agreement. A problem with both groups is...