Yet, in addition to these strong roots, both Burke and Smith participated in something uniquely modern: the Enlightenment. But not the radical version that found fertile and bloody soil in France, or the shallow version that briefly flared in America, or the utilitarian version that thrived in England, but a uniquely Celtic version of the Enlightenment that took shape in Scotland. And what a difference that made, as Birzer explains:
The Celtic Mind recognized and extended the Western vision of man. It sought not, like those of the other Enlightenments, to put man in a box as this or that. Even in its skepticism, the Celtic Mind embraced humility, not ego. If those of us who love order and liberty, labeling ourselves either conservatives or libertarians, did the same, we might have a chance to reclaim the field now possessed by the heirs of those darker Enlightenments—the neoconservatives, the militant liberals, and their legions of corporatist allies feeding Leviathan at home and bloody imperialism abroad.