The Corner

Re: Hart’s Conservatism

Ramesh – I found that bit weird too. I think one can make the case — from a standpoint of enlightened elitism — that the shift to the South and West hurt traditional European culture (classical music, painting etc). But the other seemingly invidious adjectives struck a sour chord with me as well. Also, since the East Coast is a disproportionate producer of our most degrading cultural wares, even my friendly reading is hard to sustain.

There are other puzzling tidbits as well. Is it really “Jacobinism” to find a right to life in the Declaration? If conservatives are wrong to do this, maybe it’s because they’re simply wrong. Besides, how many pro-lifers are against abortion because of this “Jacobin” reading of the Declaration? Surely, vastly larger numbers of people are pro-lifers first and natural law jurists a very distant second, if at all.

Tellingly, Hart also writes: “Any political position is only as important as the thought by which it is derived.” Really? This sounds like an awfully theoretical way to look at the world and one hard to reconcile with his kind words for realism a few paragraphs later. Also, why does he invoke William James of all people as a guide for the conservative mind? James was an admirable fellow, but the patron of much that is not conservative. If Hart’s point is to disparage dogmatism and utopianism in praise of “muddling through” in the British sense, one can think of quite a few better authorities to conjure than James.

Most Popular


Nordic Welfare States Worsen the Gender Gap

Following International Women's Day 2018, a host of policies have been promoted as ways to advance women's careers. CNBC, for example, has run a story arguing that policies such as parental leave for both parents can raise women’s incomes. In the Huffington Post we can read that adopting the welfare policies of ... Read More

UNC Caves to the ‘Buy Local’ Silliness

One of the silly notions loose in America is that there is some virtue in buying local -- preferring sellers simply because they're located in "your area" (city, county, state, country) over those located elsewhere. In other words, geographical discrimination is, supposedly, good. Governments and governmental ... Read More

Running With Trump

Jeff Roe, who managed Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in 2016, has a message for Republican congressional candidates: Don’t run from Trump this year. Instead they should “[f]ix bayonets and charge the hill.” What exactly does this mean? It’s not that they should “support the president’s ... Read More
Politics & Policy

‘We Will Reduce Abortion’

Conor Lamb’s success has revived interest in “I’m personally opposed, but.” It’s a rhetorical convention — a cliché, really — that many Catholic Democrats have resorted to ever since Mario Cuomo popularized it with his speech at Notre Dame in 1984, as Alexandra DeSanctis explained a few days ... Read More