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Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk (1918-1994) was the author of some thirty-two books, hundreds of periodical essays, and many short stories. Both Time and Newsweek have described him as one of America’s leading thinkers, and The New York Times acknowledged the scale of his influence when in 1998 it wrote that Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.”
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It is possible to bankrupt a nation’s treasury by extravagant expenditure upon alleged “education.” Worse still, it is possible to bankrupt a nation’s culture in the name of schooling... School Needs in the Decade Ahead by Roger A. Freeman (Institute for Social Science,...
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As a weapon in the Cold War, the Marshall Plan contributed to the strategic goal of maintaining a balance of power between East and West and thereby containing the Soviet Empire long enough for it to collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions...
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For years after his honorable discharge in 1946, Russell Kirk suffered a recurrent nightmare, to the effect that his discharge had been a clerical error; that he was summoned back to Dugway Valley; and there, beside his grim safe, stuffed with deadly secret documents, he would labor...
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The Framers had no intention of making their chief executive officer a Caesar, on the model of Augustus. Nor does any eminent politician or publicist nowadays advocate openly such concentration of power in the executive... May a...

Is it not refined cruelty to keep alive, in self-loathing, a man who is a grave danger to the innocent and a grisly horror to himself? And to do such a thing in countries long admired for the justice of their laws?...
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I have become convinced that language touches nothing but itself, that it never reaches beyond itself. But this is not the bad news that a lover of tradition or of Permanent Things might take it to be... I...
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It is not by the love of money or the love of earthly power that men and women are moved to publish a serious journal of ideas. Rather, they are animated by their love of right reason...
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Not only was Flannery O’Connor one of the most important Christian Humanists of the twentieth century, but she also well understood what made Christian Humanism what it was. While it might very well be conservative, it was always imaginative, allowing one to imagine what must be conserved...
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Although Russell Kirk’s valiant efforts on behalf of the “permanent things” have not born much visible fruit in recent years, the “Remnant” he wrote of, those relatively few people dedicated to preserving Christian civilization, still persevere, working for its eventual restoration once the force of cultural destruction...
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Russell Kirk thought that because justice is rooted in nature and because in its perfection transcends all time and space, one can innately observe virtue in the actions of wise women and men. Such observation of our heroes and those we admire might be the best teacher...

As shocking as it might seem to those who knew Russell Kirk as a bad (in terms of practice) Catholic, he deserves sainthood. Here is my case for Saint Russell of Mecosta... When I first started reading...
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The principal difficulty of mankind today is the decay of the moral imagination in our civilization... In the spring of 1989, videographer Ken Martinek and I made the trip to Piety Hill to interview Russell about the moral imagination (as first conceived by Edmund Burke...

The job of every conservative is twofold: First, he must fight tirelessly against the centralized, unitary state; second, he must do everything possible to promote that which makes the free society not just an ordered one, but a good one...
Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk was aware that others had also claimed the mantle of humanism, but in the name of secularism. The revival of Christian humanism in our time is spurred by the need to respond to the rise of this popular secular humanism and its half-truths...