sábado, 17 de diciembre de 2016

Inspired by Liberty & Virtue: The Classical Education of the Founders

by Stephen Wolfe
This community is one that has a history together, and this history is imprinted on the cultural and physical landscape and recognizable as significant by shared affections. A people is constituted by the living who recognize, respect, and identify with their dead in the things and imprints of places that they left behind, something into which they socialize their children. The living love their dead by training their young into the social affections that keep their dead alive to them. It is for this reason that the higher realm, that which transcends appetite and mere market value, is the most fragile realm of all, for it can be lost in every new generation. The most precious aspect of human community—the connection among the dead, living, and yet-to-be born—is the most delicate, the easiest to destroy. The most effective way to destroy the solidarity of a people is to undermine and sever their connection with the past and thereby disconnect the dead from the yet-to-be born... [MORE]

by Thaddeus Kozinski
We have heard much about the moral, political, and spiritual corruption of American culture, and certainly there is tremendous need for conscious and vigorous action to shape and reshape our behavior in accordance with virtue, the common good, and God’s Law. What could studying grammar have to do with saving our culture? Well, we are told in John’s Gospel that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Does this passage indicate an intimate connection between language and God, and thus between our words and our spiritual health? As Orwell argued at the end of World War II, the ubiquitous corruption of language in the West was not simply an effect of moral and political corruption, but was, in a profound sense, a cause of it. In our day, when Great Books lie unopened and clicking through ephemera on screens is all but compulsory, when heartfelt questions about existence, God, and the meaning of life are supplanted by the banal curiosities of celebrity romance, money-making schemes, and therapeutic elixirs, we desperately need leaders with a command of logos, who think clearly, rigorously, and creatively, and who write and speak forcefully and elegantly... [MORE]

by Alexander Schimpf
I will focus on mercy as a moral virtue: that is, mercy as a good habit of pitying the wretchedness of others and helping them whenever possible. Having a virtue will mean being able to act in some good way with consistency. The need for consistency may become apparent if we recall that virtue means “excellence” or “strength.” While it is good to perform some fitting action every now and again, there is a greater human strength evident in being able to do so consistently. In human beings, such consistency of action is made possible by habituation. One of the primary effects of the formation of a habit is that it enables one to more easily perform the very the sort of actions that build the habit in the first place. Inasmuch as mercy is a human virtue, and the liberal arts are human education, the virtue of mercy is precisely the sort of thing one will explore in a good liberal arts curriculum. Mercy and the liberal arts do indeed belong together... [MORE]

by E. Christian Kopff
The American Founders knew from history that a curriculum successful at teaching its graduates “to think, communicate, and lead” could produce anarchy or tyranny instead of ordered liberty unless those skills were practiced by leaders committed to “virtue and the love of liberty.” Colonel George Mason in his Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 is as clear on this point as on political issues: “no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” This time-tested curriculum preserved methods, content, and goals from classical antiquity. Why, however, teach grammar by learning dead languages to read authors thousands of years in their graves like Cicero and Virgil? In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, great fiction like Thomas More’s Utopia, significant theology like Calvin’s Institutes, a federalist classic like Althaus’s Politica or scientific masterpieces like Newton’s Principia, even Locke’s essay on toleration, had all been composed in Latin. Why not read more recent works like these?... [MORE]

by Bruce Frohnen
Conservatives, people of faith, and anyone even remotely concerned with the fate of unborn children had best take note of the essential character of abortion’s enthusiasts. These enthusiasts, generally of the radical feminist variety, will become only more active, angry, and aggressive should President Trump perform on his promise to appoint sensible Justices to the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Trump himself has noted that the seminal case establishing abortion on demand—Roe v. Wade—should be overturned. In a sensible nation that valued its Constitution and a modicum of honesty and responsibility in its judges, this would not be an issue. Whatever their views regarding abortion, every thinking American should recognize that Roe v. Wade is an appallingly bad judicial decision, Indeed, the majority opinion in that case was one of the very worst in American history... [MORE]

by Michael De Sapio
With the early-Romantic dream apparently superseded by industrialization, Darwinian theory, and newer styles of art, the Hudson River School and its worldview fell by the wayside. Yet the mid-to-late twentieth century saw a resurgence of interest in the school, and it is once more held in high esteem. Perhaps Hudson River art provided a balm to a public searching for the concrete, the real and the beautiful in an age of increasing abstraction. It could be argued that the artists of the Hudson River School were some of the last representatives of an old worldview: the idea of nature as a “book of signs” giving insight into the workings of God. Thomas Cole himself described nature as a “teacher of lessons” and spoke of the “book of nature.” This idea of nature as speaker and teacher—one might almost say God’s first Word—connects with the Middle Ages and its sacramental view of reality. It also connects with the Renaissance and its emphasis on faithfully copying nature, which in turn goes back to the ancient Greek artistic concept of mimesis. Thus the Hudson River School, our first national artistic movement, takes its place in the long and glorious Western tradition. It is a body of art which continues to provide refreshment, enchantment and wonder... [MORE]

by Joseph Pearce
In practice, regardless of the theory or the pleasant-sounding slogans, both forms of socialism, on the so-called “left” and “right,” set in place totalitarian tyrannies which crush political opposition. They also share the same approach to political debate. They eschew reason and rational dialogue and proceed with a strategy of demonizing their opponents. Thus a right-wing secularist will demonize his opponents by labelling them as “communists” and a left-wing secularist will demonize his opponents by labelling them as “fascists” or “Nazis” or “racists.” Once the label is stuck on the opponent, especially if it can be made to stick, no rational discourse is necessary. The opponent can be ostracized, attacked, and spat upon; violence can be used against him with impunity, and indeed with a sense that one is behaving morally in physically silencing one’s enemies. It is easy to see how such an approach to political debate can lead to the guillotine, the gas chamber or the gulag archipelago... [MORE]

Support The Imaginative Conservative

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario