Category: Feature


What is Paleoconservatism, Part V: The Fatal Attraction of Politics

In striking out on our own, we did not intend to surrender the wisdom painfully acquired by earlier generations of classical liberals, libertarians, and small-government conservatives.  If government interference in private life was a major source of social and moral dissolution, then it made no sense to call upon governments to save the family, restore community, or promote great art.


What Is Paleoconservatism? Part IV: From Ideological Patchwork to a Philosophy of Human Nature

As it took shape, “paleoconservatism”—like all ideologies—was a piece of bric à brac, cobbled together with pieces from 1950’s liberalism that flew the false flag of conservatism, from which it took hostility to big government, public indecency, and abortion rights; from the misnamed ‘old right,’ from which it borrowed opposition to imperial wars; from the Libertarians, who strongly influenced—most obviously—our anti-imperialism, as well as the emphasis on individual liberty and non-governmental solutions to social problems, and from the populist traditions a suspicion of the ruling elite and a respect for the opinions of ordinary people whose brains had not been...


Pope Imitating Swift Imitating Horace

Horace’s satire was a sly commentary on his life among the great, as close friend to Maecenas, the wealthy advisor to Augustus.  In the first part of this imitation, Pope imagines his friend Dean Swift, a confidant of the Tory ministers, going over the same complaints about fame and influence.  Then, when he comes to Horace’s famous fable of the two mice, he makes a stab at pretending it is composed by his friend Matthew Prior–also an important political advisor and diplomat, who wrote more homely verse.   Rather than make a detailed commentary on the poem, I’ll be happy to...


What Is Paleoconservatism? Part One: The Beginnings

What is paleoconservatism?  I should have put the question in the past tense, but, in deference to the true believers who collect hula hoops, and 8-track tape players, we can pretend there is still some sort of active movement going by that name. Like many political labels—Whig and Tory, Rebel and Yankee—the word “paleoconservative” would seem to be an insult.