To speak of American conservative action...may seem a contradiction in terms. The instinct of the conservative, as Lord Hailsham observes, is to enjoy life as he finds it, not to mold society nearer to his heart’s desire; nor does he think of practical politics as the end and aim of being. Family life, church, literature, good talk, good dinners, sometimes good hunting—these things please him far more than parliamentary intrigue or journalistic controversy. It is this mood of enjoyment, in part, which until recently put conservatives at a disadvantage in the United States. For this has been a land of great expectations, rather than of realized satisfactions. The conservative has no enthusiasm for circulating petitions or addressing mass meetings. When he acts, he acts only from compulsion.As the conservative movement and the Republican Party (not necessarily the same thing!) move forward from the loss of the 2012 presidential election, it would be wise for those on the Right to take up again the works of Russell Kirk, among others, and inform themselves of the deeper traditions of Anglo-American conservatism. This is not to say that all answers may be found in Kirk or Burke or Weaver. It is to say that there is wisdom there, wisdom to which the modern Right needs to listen. Take up and read. Take up and read.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
What is the conservative instinct?
That question is answered over The Imaginative Conservative with an excerpt from Russell Kirk's autobiography: