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Alexis de Tocqueville

Members of democratic nations, especially Americans, have almost unlimited personal freedom because the constraints of class, local communities, and family have been greatly weakened. But we are also free to choose to step off the consumer treadmill, refuse to seek material success for us alone, and attempt...

The liberal conservative must be discerning. For he believes in freedom as well as in order. He believes in individualism as well as in community. He believes in the equality of all men as well as in hierarchy, natural aristocracy, and excellence...

To engage in dialogue, we must be good listeners, seeking to hear an insight, perhaps fuzzily formulated and unclear even to the speaker, but nevertheless worthy of exploration... Every culture has its own conversational style that often...
ideas american politics

The fear and suspicion of ideas and intellect rest on historical foundations buried deep in the American consciousness. Many Americans, in fact, have long disparaged the life of the mind, and populist democracy has increasingly required an appeal to vulgarity and ignorance...

The recovery of political theory is necessary for American political life, for without it, our love of our country may be on unstable grounds. There is nothing more natural, wholesome, and genuinely conservative than to love those places we are from, even with—and perhaps especially because of—all their imperfections...

Too often the public conversation about universal truths divides along rather sterile ideological lines. Russell Kirk's great warning is that this is not really a battle of ideas, understood abstractly, but a battle of sentiments or affections...

Soft totalitarianism aims to destroy communities and undermine the character of the people. The next stage in human degradation is mere savagery... What should a democratic people fear in their leaders? That depends on the character of...

In the post-truth society, your facts are not my facts, and lies by political figures are greeted with indifference. Judged by past standards, citizens of a post-truth society have no real experience and no capacity for critical thinking...

There is a strong case to be made that the United States is creeping ever closer to tyranny. For if the rule of law is undermined, political rule will then be, by definition, tyrannical... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to...

Since American culture tells us that all individuals are equal and that we can recognize the truth just as well as the next person, we think that we have no need to seek guidance from others, even acknowledged masters...
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Because of the strong secular faith instilled in us by education, most of us trust that science and technology, democracy, and capitalism, the three legs of Modernity, can bring about only good ends and fail to see that these three triumphs of humankind can diminish the human...

That most overrated academic fop of the twentieth century, Peter Gay, spent a considerable amount of time and vitriol in the 1950s taking swipes at Russell Kirk, believing the duke of Mecosta a superficial romantic...

The rule of democratic tyranny, Tocqueville held, "reduces each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd”... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Patrick Deneen as he traces Alexis...

The so-called American Revolution was a rebellion to preserve and reinstitute long-established liberties and to develop a system of governance that put those liberties on a more secure foundation. We might even think of the “Revolution” as a rebellion that prevented or postponed a revolution...