Magazine August 29, 2011, Issue

Was Burke a Burkean Conservative?

Edmund Burke for Our Time: Moral Imagination, Meaning, and Politics, by William F. Byrne (Northern Illinois, 246 pp., $40)

Ben Franklin wrote in 1787, a year of some moment, that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” In many ways, avoiding the latter consequence was the central preoccupation of the Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke, a Franklin contemporary. It is also the preoccupation of William F. Byrne’s new study of Burke’s moral and political thought.

From Burke’s time to ours, he has waxed and waned and, with the caprices of intellectual fashion, waxed again in the estimation of conservatives — at the mean, a kind of

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In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

London Aflame

London – Yesterday, August 8, I was watching live looting footage — some of it from districts near mine or where friends were hunkered down behind locked doors — with ...
Politics & Policy

Making Believe

With trumpets and drum rolls, the White House has released a new policy paper on methods to prevent terrorism, a study said to have been two years in the making. ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Gagging Us Softly

To be honest, I didn’t really think much about “freedom of speech” until I found myself the subject of three “hate speech” complaints in Canada in 2007. I mean I ...
Politics & Policy

Not a Race Card

A  number of states have recently passed voter-ID legislation — among them, Texas, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island. Two others, Georgia and Indiana, implemented such laws ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Roads Not Taken

Late summer, like midwinter, is a time of year when it’s best to shun the big studio releases. Any star-studded blockbuster or crowd-pleasing comedy that’s actually worth its budget (i.e., ...
Politics & Policy

Something to Fear

  Decades ago, the historian Theodore Draper wrote about what he called the “minor academic industry” dedicated to resurrecting the reputation of the American Communist party. The industry’s ranks were composed ...

Sections

Athwart

The Empire Goes Hungry

We could spend our time together here detailing the ideas that separate the Right and the Left, but if Maureen Dowd has taught us anything, it’s that it’s more fun ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

  SOUTHERN STORM To the east is subtropical fern Whose shadows imprint the trails to the springs, More ancient than the forests themselves. To the west of these too-deep predawn pools There are rolling fields and ...
Happy Warrior

Old Blighted

I had a new book out the other day. Usual doom and gloom, as the more alert reader may just about be able to discern from the subtle title: After America: ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Lochner in Rehab Reading Joseph Tartakovsky’s review of David Bernstein’s Rehabilitating Lochner (“Rights Revisited,” July 4), I got the sense that both gentlemen embrace the proposition that the 1905 Lochner decision was ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Who would have guessed that Moammar Qaddafi would outlive America’s AAA rating? ‐ Wisconsin Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths ever since Republicans introduced legislation to scale back the collective-bargaining ...
The Bent Pin

The Virgin Mother

A new version of an old song is running through my head. “‘M’ is for the million threats against you. ‘O’ is for Orlando’s mounted cops. ‘T’ is for tattoos ...

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