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6/29/2015 5:13 pm  #1


The Imaginative Conservative

I could have made this post in the political forum, in the religion forum, and perhaps even the philosophy forum, but I felt this was probaby the best subforum to place it. If anyone hasn't come across it, the Imaginative Conservatve is a traditional conservative site, featuring essays and, sometimes poetry, from contemporary aand recent authors, as well as many conservative and related authors from the last few centuries, especially the twentieth century. There is a strong on literarature, art, and culture, hence I posted this thread in this subforum. There is also, often, a religious theme, especially traditional Christian and Catholic, and lots of commentary on Chestertbelloc and the Inklings, a well as T.S. Eliot, which I know many here will enjoy.

http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/

From the description of the site:

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an on-line journal for those who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude and prayer.

 

 

6/29/2015 5:29 pm  #2


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

They're not libertarians, are they?


Noli turbare circulos meos.
 

6/29/2015 5:44 pm  #3


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

"Wilhelm Roepke." Now there's a name I'm happy to see. (Not that there's anything wrong with the others, but Roepke seems to be all but forgotten.)

 

6/29/2015 6:41 pm  #4


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

Etzelnik wrote:

They're not libertarians, are they?

It would be unusual for a libertarian to cite Burke and Eric Voegelin as a key founding figures.


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
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It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

6/29/2015 7:06 pm  #5


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

No, not really libertarians. Traditional conservatives would probably be the best term. Russell Kirk - or Kirkian - probably represents the ethos of the site. There is a strong focus on literature, religion, and culture. As might be expected, most of the contributors share with what Americans call libertarians a belief in the clear limits of government, though with a far stronger decentralist and localist sensibility than you find, in general, amongst libertarians.

     Thread Starter
 

6/29/2015 7:17 pm  #6


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

Yeah, I meant libertarians in the sense of believing in a pretty much maximally limited government, not in the "guvment is bad cuz they did 9/11" type.

I'm contrasting that to more of an authoritarian mindset.


Noli turbare circulos meos.
 

6/29/2015 7:24 pm  #7


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

Etzelnik wrote:

Yeah, I meant libertarians in the sense of believing in a pretty much maximally limited government[.]

Roepke comes closest in that regard, I think. He's usually associated with the Austrian School of economics, but he allowed for some government intervention to ameliorate extremes of poverty and provide a social safety net, and he insisted that the "market" had to be embedded in a fairly conservative social order. His "ordoliberalism" is, for whatever it's worth, usually thought to be fairly closely aligned with Catholic social teaching. (He'd probably have gotten along with Meir Tamari as well.)

 

6/29/2015 7:44 pm  #8


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

Scott wrote:

Etzelnik wrote:

Yeah, I meant libertarians in the sense of believing in a pretty much maximally limited government[.]

Roepke comes closest in that regard, I think. He's usually associated with the Austrian School of economics, but he allowed for some government intervention to ameliorate extremes of poverty and provide a social safety net, and he insisted that the "market" had to be embedded in a fairly conservative social order.

So basically Smith with insurance?

His "ordoliberalism" is, for whatever it's worth, usually thought to be fairly closely aligned with Catholic social teaching. (He'd probably have gotten along with Meir Tamari as well.)

Fair enough in regards to Tamari. He gives significant leeway to the capitalist, though my own understanding of the Mosaic system tends more to the left of his stance.


Noli turbare circulos meos.
 

6/29/2015 8:22 pm  #9


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

The writers featured don't tend to accept the usual libertarian philosophy of uncompromising individualism and emphasis on liberty above all else you find amongst libertarians and many classical liberals. Kirk for example attacked libertarians as what he called chirping sectaries, and Robert Nisbet, too, made an explicit distinction between (classical) conservatives and libertarians. Kirk was involved in a famous controversy with Frank Meyer about the role of the state and society in moral life, in which Kirk defended some role (though a limited one for the state, especially central state) for these against Meyer's strong individualism about moral development. However, the writers in question do share a strong belief in the limits of government and in the importance of indiviual choice and responsibility (though not to the same extreme) with libertarians.

I would add to Scott's comments on Roepke that Roepke is also set apart from the more orthodox Austrians in his strong appreciation of the role of society, culture, and religion has underpinning any healthy economy (Hayek too came to a not entirely dismissilar opinion, but in a somewhat different way). Roepke even has a respect for the human scale and community that is rarely central to the Austrian school. I think an anecdote he related to Kirk shows this well. Roepke recalled a walk he and Ludwig Von Mises had around Geneva. At one point they observed the communal allotments that had been set up during the war to keep the city well fed, and which had continued in use after the war because the citizens had very much taken to them. Mises remarked that this was an inefficient way to produce food (which isn't, incidentally, necessarily true - there is evidence that intensive, small farming and market gardening is more efficient per acre, though not perhaps per man hour, than extensive large-scale agriculture), to which Roepke retorted that it was a very efficient way to produce happiness.

     Thread Starter
 

6/29/2015 8:28 pm  #10


Re: The Imaginative Conservative

Etzelnik wrote:

So basically Smith with insurance?

Yeah, that's not actually too far off. And during the so-called German "economic miracle" brought about by the post-WWII "social market economy," he personally advised West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer -- who, if memory serves, survived an assassination attempt masterminded by an (ahem) Etzelnik named Menachem Begin. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

 

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