sábado, 14 de enero de 2017

The Imaginative Conservative - Essays of the Week

Essays of the Week

Presidential Farewell Addresses: A Panorama of the Past

by Gleaves Whitney
The farewell messages of American presidents are important markers in the nation’s history. If one were seeking to survey America’s past, one could hardly do better than to do so through the eyes of some three-dozen shapers of that past. Presidential farewells bundle together the concerns of past generations of Americans. They offer vivid freeze-frames of key moments in the life of our nation. They are like snapshots of the American temper taken at regular intervals in our history. In a most interesting way, presidential farewells constitute a great American conversation among the nation’s chief executives...

The American College: The Place for Liberal Learning?

by Eva Brann
In education, as in most facets of present-day life, it is the best of times and the worst of times. Among students there is a perceptible decline of the privately nourished passion for deep and difficult reading; among parents, an anxious preference for career preparation over liberal learning; among officials, an unexamined rage for quantifiable results; among executives, an appetite for bending education toward the training of a workforce. Moreover, the case for liberal learning and for the American college as the place where it is most naturally situated is not usually defended with anything like the vivid aggression that dominates the propaganda for job-related training...

What Can the Puritans Teach Us about Philanthropy?
by Peter Lawler
Philanthropy, of course, means loving concern for our fellow human beings. It means not merely regarding others as being with interests or sovereign free agents or those to be deployed and manipulated in the service of maximizing productivity. It means, in our country, thinking of them as beings with souls, as creatures of a personal God. It’s the egalitarianism of that kind of philanthropy that is an antidote to the distances in wealth, power, and status that are inevitably the result of our liberty. Our Puritans were the most serious of philanthropists. They became pilgrims not in the service of some get-rich-quick scheme, as did the first colonists in Virginia, but to make an idea real...

Reclaiming Our Constitutional Heritage

by Ted McAllister
We can be thankful that America was not founded as a project (which is to say on an ideology), since the roots of the American order are deep, solid, and principled, and they provided the Founders with the English habit of relying on experience to guide innovation. The awesome responsibility of establishing a new government from deliberation, compromise, and choice did not make the Founders giddy with Promethean dreams. They were astonishingly sober-minded. The so-called American Revolution was a rebellion to preserve and reinstitute long-established liberties and to develop a system of governance that put those liberties on a more secure foundation. We might even think of the “Revolution” as a rebellion that prevented or postponed a revolution...

Non-Ideological History: Forrest McDonald’s Novus Ordo Seclorum

by Michael Bordelon
Novus Ordo Seclorum is a scholar’s dream. Subtitled The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution, the book examines in astonishing depth an array of forces which influenced the thinking of the Founders, particularly their knowledge of “history and law and political economy.” Serious students will be pleased to note that the various chapters are abundantly documented, with the footnotes conveniently placed at the bottom of the page for easy reference. The inquisitive reader is thus at liberty to determine without too much effort the sources which have led an eminent scholar to his conclusions. It is a genuine pleasure to see the results of a lifetime of labor by a writer of ability and integrity, one who is clearly devoted to learning the truth about his subject...

Locating the Tory Tradition in American History

by James Baresel
The fact that many prominent individuals and movements in the history of the United States were conservative in particular ways while none were conservative in their overall philosophy has led to the “search for the American conservatives”—a process whereby conservative writers identify individuals or movements which were conservative in some ways and extrapolate from this that the same individuals or movements constituted an unambiguously conservative tradition. We ought to use their work to locate the basis of American conservatism in our colonial past, at a time when the English Tory variant of the old order of Europe had a real, if by no means exclusive, presence in our civilization. It is crucial to understand that the old Tory order survived in the American historical tradition despite the Revolution of ’76, and not because of it...
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