Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unpatriotic Conservative Mind

I'll leave it to others more qualified, perhaps Scott Richert of Chronicles, to decide just where in the conservative canon Russell Kirk fits. But I will agree with Jonah Goldberg's correspondent:
For some time now I've wondered who, exactly, declared that Russell Kirk was a "founder" of modern American conservatism and put him in the pantheon of people who must be read by conservatives.
Kirk doesn't belong in the pantheon of the war-worshipping, centralizing, politics obsessed (one of the most appalling aspects of the Corner is the way that they immediately went from constantly posting about the '06 election to constantly posting about the '08 election) rightwing of today. I'm sure that if Kirk were still alive he would have nothing to that crowd and would have been denounced as an "Unpatriotic Conservative" by David Frum for opposing the war in Iraq. Anonymous continues:
As far as I can tell, the only reason Kirk gets much play is because ISI has a few devoted traditionalists there who like to fancy themselves devotees of an arcane conservatism that rejects modernity wholesale (a few, truth be told, are probably Catholic monarchists, or at least sympathetic to such ideas).
Catholic Monarchists at ISI! I've remarked before on the fuddie-duddies at ISI Books who insist on publishing people like Russell Kirk instead of Sean Hannity and John Bolton. I tried to talk to some ISI people about it at the conference I attended a couple of months back, but they wouldn' stop talking the Habsburgs.
UPDATE: John Miller at the Corner: "He's not in the conservative pantheon because a cabal of traditionalists at ISI somehow snuck him in when nobody was looking. He's there because conservatives of the Goldwater era put him there."


Sean Scallon said...

You'll have to forgive Jonah and the younger crowd. They think Reagan dreamed it all up instead of the man Reagan once gave a Medal of Freedom to. Of course Kirk will tell you he owe's his writings and scholarship to Edmund Burke.

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