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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Conservative Lecture Series:
Russell Kirk on the Moral Imagination

"Four reformers met under a bramble bush. They were all agreed that the world must be changed. `We must abolish property,' said one. `We must abolish marriage,' said the second. `We must abolish God,' said the third. `I wish we could abolish work,' said the fourth. `Do not let us get beyond practical politics,' said the first. `The first thing is to reduce men to a common level.' `The first thing,' said the second, `is to give freedom to the sexes.' `The first thing,' said the third, `is to find out how to do it.' `The first step,' said the first, `is to abolish the Bible.' `The first thing,' said the second, `is to abolish laws.' `The first thing,' said the third, `is to abolish mankind.'"

---Robert Louis Stevenson
The Four Reformers

From the very start of his long and illustrious career as an essayist and social critic, Russell Kirk warned that late liberalism is transmuting America into the egalitarian and anti-human society relished by Robert Louis Stevenson's four reformers.

You can read more about the distillation of much of Russell Kirk's thought in his monograph "Ten Conservative Principles" and explore that website for more information.

I highly recommend his book "The Conservative Mind" to begin your studies. If you don't want a new copy, you can find it in most used bookstores.