The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Audio)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Audio)

The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Both classical conservative Edmund Burke and democratic socialist Eduard Bernstein were very skeptical about whether the “common man” of their time was up to the task of real political leadership. Even their reasons for being skeptical are similar. But, the differences are also stark, and they bring back the nature versus nurture debate. Bernstein thinks that the deficiencies of the working class that make them not yet ready for pure socialism have to do with their environment and they can be overcome. Burke is pretty sure that human nature expresses itself in a spectrum of ability and that some people will always be unfit to rule. … More The Problem of the “Common Man”: Against Dogmatic Certainty (3-Video)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2–Audio)

Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

I cover several points of agreement or near agreement between Edmund Burke (author of Reflections on the Revolution in France) and Eduard Bernstein (author of Evolutionary Socialism). Though a century apart and on supposedly opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, these two men thought in the same mode when it came to their dislike for revolution, sudden change, reform and the limitations of the masses. … More Can a Conservative and a Socialist Agree? Against Dogmatic Certainty (2-Video)

Not About the Market: Oakeshott on Friendship, Fishing and Tools (audio)

Classical conservative Michael Oakeshott identifies the marketplace and its attendant encouragement of trendiness as an area that runs counter to the conservative disposition. The conservative disposition can instead be seen in activities like friendship, fishing, a person’s tool collection and how he uses it. Sawzall meme included. … More Not About the Market: Oakeshott on Friendship, Fishing and Tools (audio)

Not About the Market: Oakeshott on Friendship, Fishing and Tools

Classical conservative Michael Oakeshott identifies the marketplace and its attendant encouragement of trendiness as an area that runs counter to the conservative disposition. The conservative disposition can instead be seen in activities like friendship, fishing, a person’s tool collection and how he uses it. Sawzall meme included. … More Not About the Market: Oakeshott on Friendship, Fishing and Tools

Don’t be Nostalgic: Oakeshott on Conservative Disposition

In this second reading from Michael Oakeshott’s essay “On Being Conservative” we get into what counts as a true conservative disposition and what does not. Two aspects of contemporary conservatism are questioned–the desire for rapid and ongoing change, supposedly for the better, and a sentimental nostalgia for an idealized past. … More Don’t be Nostalgic: Oakeshott on Conservative Disposition

Alternative Conservatism: Michael Oakeshott’s Model

The term “conservatism” is so laden with unfortunate meaning and associations by now that it’s hard to explain to people what it meant before it was confused with liberalism. But it’s really important to do so, because unlike the revolutionary culture-, family- and community-busting market-prioritizing conservatism everyone knows about now, the older version has positive contributions to make in a time of openness to different ways of thinking and living. Michael Oakeshott was a 20th century British thinker who wrote “On Being Conservative.” We’ll read from the essay and mark some notable differences between the natural conservatism of Oakeshott and US conservatism today.
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