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Richard Weaver

Dr. Weaver was Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1945 until his death in 1963. The best known of his works are Ideas Have Consequences (University of Chicago Press, 1953), and The Ethics of Rhetoric (Regnery, 1953).

History is the “remembered past,” remembered according to values and virtues that are the inheritance of a particular people. The story as told gives meaning to the “facts,” and the story must be told to be remembered... “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent,...
1 874

What has alarmed me most as I moved away from liberalism—or as it moved away from me—was how quick my liberal friends were to renounce and reject our delicate social fabric as oppressive, as exclusionary, or as just plain worthless. Churches? Schools? Communities? Not just anachronisms, according...
2 1000

Ambiguities and contradictions aside, the Southern conservative tradition, by a heroic act of mind, may yet be summoned against the distortions of modernity, and, in particular, against the alluring gnostic supposition, now so prevalent, that men can alter the nature of existence and transmute the substance of...
0 814

Life without prejudice, were it ever to be tried, would soon reveal itself to be a life without principle. For prejudices are often built-in principles. They are the extract which the mind has made of experience... Prejudice becomes a flail to beat enemies—traditional distinctions, essential to a workable...
1 862

Since the present meaning of a word is often vaguely swayed by past meanings which have dropped into the subconscious, a knowledge of particular semantic histories can increase our facility and sometimes save us from an inadvertent error... Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis...
enlightenment
3 2029

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...
3 2942

If art cannot save our souls, it can do much to redeem the time, to give us a true image of ourselves, both in the horror and the boredom to which we can descend, and in the glory which we may, in rare moments, be privileged to...
0 1148

Richard Weaver claimed his homeland was the "last nonmaterialistic civilization in the western world." Modernity to him meant at bottom institutionalizing most of the Seven Deadly Sins... Though his worth and stature were early established among them,...
3 1786

Liberalism is the refuge favored by intellectual cowardice, because the essence of the liberal's position is that he has no position... There is a saying by William Butler Yeats that a man begins to understand the world by studying...
2 1918

Wendell Berry’s poetry sings with the love of a man for his home, enticing the reader to embrace his vision of local agrarian economy as sufficient for the good life... “From knowledge of the forest comes/at...

The ideal of the human under the aegis of something higher provides the strongest counter-pressure against the fragmentation and barbarization of our world... Editorial Note: The essay has been edited from an untitled, undated transcript of a lecture which Richard Weaver delivered to a meeting of the Newman...
1 1583

Responsible rhetoric is a rhetoric responsible primarily to the truth. It measures the degree of validity in a statement, and it is aware of the sources of controlling that it employs... Editorial Note: The text of "A Responsible Rhetoric" is taken from a transcription of a tape recording...
5 1683

Looking at the whole of the South’s promise and achieve­ment, I would be unwilling to say that it offers a foundation, or, because of some accidents of history, even an example. The most that it offers is a challenge...
2 1934

What do conservatives want? Limited government, they answer; free enterprise; strict construction of the Constitution; fiscal responsibility; traditional values and respect for the sanctity of human life. No doubt, but I wonder: how much are these traditional catchphrases and abstractions persuading people anymore? How much are they...