March 19, 2012


It's been a long time since anything political has moved me enough to log in here and post it.  But this did it, this made me do the intellectual equivalent of a fist pump: A Burke For Our Times.  It reminds me of a more erudite phrasing of my granting the premise blog post.  Favorite bit:

Because what Burke forces us to do, if we really take him seriously, is to stand outside the invidious atmosphere of liberalism which permeates and stifles every last recess of modern society, to recognize it — for perhaps the first time in our lives — as only one form of political order, and that not the most just or appealing, and thus to rob it of any claim to self-evident truthfulness.  For at the level of practical politics, liberalism is just a certain kind of language, with its own connotative atmosphere — an atmosphere in which appeals to rights cow everyone into a cessation of debate, where appeals to freedom are generally hysterical and unqualified, where doubts about the virtue of "the people” are always akin to wickedness.  To stand outside that atmosphere for the first time is to realize that there is nothing obvious about these assumptions, that, to the contrary, there is great reason to question the rightness of the whole world view implicit in this language.  And the moment we entertain such doubts, liberal dogma loses the greater part of its persuasive force, because liberalism has always presented itself as a universal creed, as the commonsensical conclusions which all honest persons will arrive at in time, divested of the superstitions and prejudices of their own local traditions. 

Thanks to my imaginary friend Queenie for finding it.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:34 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Good to see you posting politically again, Sarah.
Burke is indeed thought-provoking.

Posted by: david foster at March 21, 2012 09:07 PM (Gis4X)

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