Gerald Russello At The American Conservative: ‘Un-American Conservative?’

Full piece here.

Russello takes a look at how Russell Kirk and others resuscitated the Anglo-Irish Burke and re-fashioned him as a champion of modern American conservatism:

‘Seen in this way, the conservative reappropriation of Burke becomes more comprehensible. Burke’s mysticism and reliance on some form of natural law were not meant to convey a legalistic structure of metaphysics, with “ought” confidently derived from “is.” Nor is Burke’s common resort to “circumstance” a rejection of natural principles. Rather, it is a recognition that mystery—not reason—lies at the heart of each individual and the societies the human race creates, thus conservatives are enjoined to eschew social engineering and respect the bewildering array of ways in which we can organize our life together. There are enduring principles, but they must be sifted from particular facts, not theorizing’

I don’t support blind faith, nor the overweening brain teeming with faith, and find thinking and reasoning to be often be the best way forward in my own life, but not reason unbound from experience, nor thinking without doubt.  I’m skeptical of deriving top-down principles from reason, and those who come bearing the products of reason with plans for everyone else.

Leo Strauss seems to have had Burke succumbing to historicism to some extent. A response here.

As to the American and French Revolutions:

“In both cases the political leaders whom Burke opposed insisted on certain rights: the English government on the rights of sovereignty and the French revolutionists insisted on the rights of man.  In both cases Burke proceeded in exactly the same manner:  he questions less the rights than the wisdom of exercising the rights.”

“What ever might have to be said about the propriety of Burke’s usage, it is here sufficient to note that, in judging the political leaders whom he opposed in the two most important actions of his life, he traced their lack of prudence less to passion than to the intrusion of the spirit of theory into the field of politics.”

The spirit of theory into the field of politics…

Also On This Site: Karl Popper, Milton Friedman, Austrian Economics and maybe Thomas Sowell: From Fora Via YouTube: ‘Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions’

Can you maintain the virtues of religion without the church…of England?: From The City Journal: Roger Scruton On “Forgiveness And Irony”…

Monday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on Conservatism

Some Quotations From Leo Strauss On Edmund Burke In ‘Natural Right And History’

Carl Bogus At The American Conservative: ‘Burke Not Buckley’

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