Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Thinking Conservative

The Thinker (Le Penseur) is an easily recognizable icon for intellectual activity and that's how I'm using it today.

Most schools and colleges are back in session which means that many of us have abandoned our summertime routines in favor of more rigorous schedules involving academics.

I followed suit by listening to George Grant challenge a crowd to don their thinking caps.

The enthusiasm is catching!

Which in turn made me ponder the characteristics and convictions of the citizens who would ideally comprise civilized society.

And one of my favorite authors, Russell Kirk, neatly defined the model with this short list of ten principles.

From this essay found at The Kirk Center

1)   The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.

2)   The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.

3)   Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.

4)   Conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.

5)   Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

6)   Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

7)   Conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.

8)   Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as the oppose involuntary collectivism.

9)  The conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.

10)The thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

One of my favorite conservatives was Larry McDonald.  I always think of him in September because that's when he died and that's when Constitution Day is celebrated.

What about you?

Do you have a favorite conservative?


  1. Newt Gingrich is starting to look pretty good to me. I also like Paul Ryan.

  2. @Cindy ~ Newt may be our best contender to beat the Democrats in 2012.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, I know a lot about him. That just means that he's not as principled as I'd like. But that also means he's a *good* politician.