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The Imaginative Conservative

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Religion “works,” in Edmund Burke's view, when it stands apart from the whims of those who practice it. Only then can it enable self-discipline, give meaning, and provide a real sense of the sacred and the sublime in life... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series...
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Tradition in action gives rise to new work, and the new work changes the tradition... At a gathering of Wyoming Catholic College faculty and staff on Monday morning, I had occasion to mention T.S. Eliot's seminal essay "Tradition and...

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...
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The lesson of William Faulkner's "Gold Medal" speech is both in the teaching it offers and in the method we must employ to grasp that meaning. It is a work of politi­cal imagination, drawing its rhetoric from the same fountainhead as poetry...

Power, in and of itself, has become an “ideology,” according to Robert Nisbet. It is, by its very nature, incapable of understanding nuance... As I had the opportunity to write in my previous essay...
enlightenment
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Allan Bloom’s diagnosis in The Closing of the American Mind can explain far more about the sorry state of American higher education and the Western condition than popular stories that blame the Enlightenment, or democracy, or medieval nominalism. And it is therefore a valuable starting point...

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...

In no society in the world, Robert Nisbet believed, has any people become so remote from nature as have Americans. As technology allowed him to dominate or ignore nature, the American became detached from place, having neither loyalty nor respect for the land that once nourished him...

The necessity of personal morality in a thriving community is denied by the enemies of the permanent things, who do not believe that there are permanent standards of behavior or indeed an unchanging human nature, and who seek to create political systems that will make everyone happy...
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The challenge for statesmen is to use historical experience as a guide to understanding civilization and then to reconstitute civilization in the specific circumstances of the day. Imagination is essential in the process of reconstitution because it is the human faculty that puts individuals in touch with...

Robert Nisbet, in direct contrast to Russell Kirk, argued that conservatism was purely a modern ideology. For Nisbet, the entire history of conservatism began as a reaction to the French Revolution... When it came to the history...
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Both John Paul II and T.S. Eliot give people something to hope for: Blessed John Paul speaks of a new springtime on the horizon signaling the emergence of a culture of life, and Eliot ends “The Waste Land” on a hopeful, if cryptic, note...
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Eric Voegelin’s philosophical framework attempted to break down the ideological barriers to the search for order and the recovery of transcendent consciousness... Eric Voegelin's work is not well known outside a relatively small group of academics and their...