the imaginative conservative logo

Political Philosophy

After the shock of the 2016 election, liberals got a civics lesson on the electoral college established by the Constitution, and they didn’t like it. In his new book, Timothy Snyder speaks for them in bemoaning the fact that the founders created not a direct democracy but a republic...
2 528

Even before the spectacle of Christine Balsey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the hearing for President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, was characterized not by political acumen, wit, cunning, or prudence, but...
0 1794

It is through Ivan’s representation of Soloviev in The Brothers Karamazov that Dostoevsky unearths the grave implications and outcomes of totalitarian politics... Fyodor Dostoevsky’s final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, has rightly earned its place among the...
0 935

The central goal of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment was to refute the ideas of a different book: a rote, poorly written, didactic, and wildly influential novel. And unless you’ve spent some time reading about Dostoevsky, you’ve probably never heard of it...

Why did the centralization of power occur so quickly in America? Why have those genuinely common-good communities that were supposed to have worked hand-in-glove with the federal government suffered so much under the American Regime?... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the...
0 1224

Not only is a leader an agent of force and something of a philosopher, but he must also be a kind of corporate prophet... The philosopher Eric Voegelin labored for many years in relative obscurity...

Orestes Brownson so esteemed New England people, customs, and institutions that they dominated his writings and fit at the heart of his political ideas... The danger of majoritarian tyranny hangs over republics. The dilemma of constituting a virtuous...

Harry Jaffa’s constitutional history of America’s late-eighteenth-century is not credible nor, in keeping with many of his own pronouncements, is it conservative... The writing of history, as we have learned from authors as diverse as Thucydides, Voltaire,...
0 1607

To attain virtue in solitude defeats the communitarian instincts of human nature. The avenue of politics is one of the mediums by which moral excellence can, and should, be practiced—for there are tremendous benefits wrought to the rest of society as a result...

Of all John Adams' published writings, two works provide an especially fruitful resource for an inquiry into his deepest political reflection... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join John Paynter as he unlocks the key to understanding John Adams' political...
3 2898

Augustine recognized that the flaws of human nature precluded perfection on earth, and he concluded that government cannot save souls by coercing virtuous conduct... Since Augustine’s death in 430 A.D., the world has changed so much that...
6 3327

Machiavelli may help modern man to think more clearly about power and prudence, and to remember that the world is a dangerous place where all is not as it seems... An argument can be made that Niccolo...
4 5208

The current generation may always consider itself to be the wisest of all, but High Tory politics strives to avoid the perennial folly of this prejudice... “The next wave of American ‘conservatism’ is not...
5 2169

How could anyone vote for him?” “How could anyone vote for her?” In a contentious election between candidates with historically high disapproval ratings, voters across the country were asking such questions, incredulous that their fellow Americans could...