Analysis of a Conservative Mind by Russel Kirk Essay

Analysis of a Conservative Mind by Russel Kirk Essay

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Russel Kirk was one of the main contributors to American intellectual conservatism. His work of 1953 is considered to be Kirk’s magnum opus. Author begins his book with the core ideas, which, he believes, appear to be essential for conservatism. What must be mentioned, however, is that Kirk does not provides a list of these six rules, which, according to him, arise to be dogmas of Anglo-American conservatism, but, rather, he proposes six characteristics that belong to a true conservative mind.
First and foremost, Kirk asserts that universe if guided by a transcendent rule or body of natural law, that rules people s conscience and society in general. Moreover, similar to the Plato’s idea about moral truth, Kirk claims that such truth exists, and we must, as a political subject, apply this Justice to all people (regarding those as “community of souls”). Things as right and wrong, truth and lie do exist, basically meaning that moral relativism is unacceptable by a conservative. Concerning uniqueness of a particular person, conservatives believe that they do not force sameness among society. Unlike liberals, Kirk states that egalitarianism is a very narrow and people should have more freedom in opportunities of being different. As opposed to the notion of “classless” society, conservatives are convinced that there is a natural inequality between men, which must not be forgotten. In addition to that, it is generally believed by conservatives, that freedom cannot exist without private property, as only having it one is able to secure himself. Finally, last but not least is the dogma that conservatives prefer customs to changes, as those can destroy in the same manner as improve.
Deepening in itself “Conservative Mind” switches the vie...


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...tant to any ideology. He endeavors to restore true political philosophy, insisting that we cannot make Heaven on earth, but we certainly are able to establish Hell, because of ideologies. As mentioned above, the conservative mind must seek after the recovery of true community, local energies and cooperation, voluntary endeavor and social diversity. In the end, Kirk’s quote must be added: “Nothing but thinking makes it so. If men of affairs can rise to the summons of the poets, the norms of culture and politics may endure despite the follies of the time. The individuals foolish; but the species is wise; and so the thinking conservative appeals to what Chesterton called “democracy of the dead.” Against the hubris of the ruthless innovator, the conservative of imagination pronounces Cupid’s curse: “They that do chance old love for new, Pray gods the change for worse.””

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