Wednesday, October 10, 2007

American Power

Prof. Donald Douglas, formerly of Burkean Reflections is now running a new blog American Power. In his first post at AP, Douglas lays out why he has slightly moved away from traditional Burkean thought. The whole post is worth the read, but here is the intro:

I've been meaning to establish a new blogging homepage for some time, since the "Burkean" in Burkean Reflections (my original blog), no longer reflects my fundamental political orientation. The fact is, when I started blogging I had just finished teaching a new course, Introduction to Political Theory. More so than other political philosophies covered in the class, I was drawn to Burkean thought for its emphasis on custom and tradition. I especially liked Burke's emphasis on continuity in culture - on prescriptive authority found in a nation's historical associations and traditions, and how such bases of authority formed a bulwark against revolutionary movements, and the rise of authoritarian leadership. I thus thought Burkean conservatism would provide excellent foundations for a traditionalist's analyisis of poltics and world affairs.

Yet I've become increasingly distressed under a Burkean identity of classical conservatism. While Burke will remain a key pillar of my thinking on the best social order, my forward orientation on America power and U.S. foreign policy diverges substantially from orthodox conceptions of Burkean restraint in foreign affairs. What's more, I've been disgusted, frankly, by some of the uses of Burke among some old-guard conservatives, who've championed Burke in a program of outright American isolationism and reactionary race doctrines.

Sorry Andrew and Isaac, flashcards and hand puppets are not available for this lesson.

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