December 28, 2005

The Burke Habit

Dartmouth Professor of English emeritus Jeffrey Hart has written a thought provoking essay defining the conservative movement in the United States and its roots as a response, in part, to the Utopian thought and doctrine of the liberal movement.

Both hard and soft utopianism ignore flawed human nature. Soft utopianism believes in benevolent illusions, most abstractly stated in the proposition that all goals are reconcilable, as in such dreams as the Family of Man, World Peace, multiculturalism, pacifism and Wilsonian global democracy. To all of these the Conservative Mind objects. Men do not all desire the same things: Domination is a powerful desire. The phrase about the lion lying down with the lamb is commonly quoted; but Isaiah knew his vision of peace would take divine intervention, not at all to be counted on. Without such intervention, the lion dines well.

The entire highly recommended read is here.

Posted by Seth at 12:02 AM |