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Democracy in America

If we can begin to understand the sense of federalism as an idea rather than a fixed set of immutable relations, and moreover as an idea that is designed to balance and reconcile the competing claims of competing goods, then our debates over the promise of federalism may take on...
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In 2016 Americans are feeling anxious. It’s not that we are experiencing crises—we are neither in total war nor economic depression. Yet 2016 has forced us to rethink all we thought we knew. A Socialist made a credible...

In the first essay of this series, I discussed the three things that one must know about Edmund Burke in order to understand the cohesiveness of his vision, a vision which spanned his adult life. While he developed this...

Old-World nihilism belongs to a handful of intellectuals persuaded by philosophical arguments that human knowledge, on the whole, is worthless as a reliable guide for living. Consider Heinrich von Kleist, the nineteenth century dramatist and short-story writer,...

"I am convinced that the most advantageous situation and the best possible laws cannot maintain a constitution in spite of the manners of a country; whilst the latter may turn to some advantage the most unfavorable...
Russell Kirk
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Ted McAllister as he examines Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. Dr. Kirk reminds us that not only ought we to be fighting over ideas but we ought to be shaping hearts. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher

Democracy in America Book 2. Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of Americans Chapter I: Why Democratic Nations Show a More Ardent and Enduring Love of Equality than of Liberty The...

Liberal education ought to be less a matter of becoming well read than a matter of learning to read well, of acquiring arts of awareness, the interpretative or "trivial" arts. Some works, written by men who are...

I had remarked during my stay in the United States, that a democratic state of society, similar to that of the Americans, might offer singular facilities for the establishment of despotism; and I perceived, upon my return to...
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Like all actual conservatives, I look on any increase in the powers of the Republican Party as an opportunity for disappointment....

If there are two things that one is likely to hear from college faculty today, they are that 1. Students are too careerist, and 2. We need a more democratic society. They worry about the growing utilitarian...
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History ended on October 14, 1806. That was the day of the Battle of Jena, the turning point, as far as philosopher G.W.F. Hegel was concerned, in humanity’s struggle for freedom. Once Napoleon triumphed over the reactionary forces...

I have been rereading Alexis de Tocqueville’s masterful Democracy in America.  This book, written in the first half of the nineteenth century by a French aristocrat for his countrymen, remains standard reading for American...

Tocqueville: The Aristocratic Sources of Liberty by Lucien Jaume While this profound, and elegantly written and translated work, will not appeal to all scholars of political thought, Lucien Jaume (Centre Recherche Politiques de...