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Muddling Through: The Real Conservatism

July 30, 2009
Frank Creel

Edmund Burke, the reputed father of modern conservatism (I say “modern” because the classical philosophers were almost all conservatives), was a case in point. His thinking was shaped mostly by his horrified reaction to the French Revolution and the radical rationalism that shaped it. As he watched the bloody regicide and anticlericalism of the Jacobin beast begin to consume its own revolutionary children, Burke discovered a new appreciation of the blessings of monarchy, church, family, and other institutional deposits of history and tradition. Yet, he supported the American Revolution against his own monarch. Burke was not the enemy of reason per se, only of reason wrenched out of its historical sockets.

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