An impassioned defense of the ideas that have made the world a better place.
Faithfulness to the transmission of a tradition doesn’t have to preclude encouraging imagination and innovation. This is the grounding principle of The Conservative Imagination, a defense – and a tribute – to conservatism, understood as a way of life and a form of politics that vindicates the legacy of our customs, codes of behavior, and history, in opposition to the contempt for prudence and the arrogance of revolutionary pretenses that aim to erase the past and start over from zero.
If Homer, Sappho, Aeschylus, Phidias, and Michelangelo can still move us, if Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony or Velázquez’s Las meninas continue to take our breath away, if Plato, Saint Augustine, and Machiavelli help us think even today; if we still need love and consolation, happiness and work and security in love, if we recognize problems of the present day in Athenian democracy, if Thucydides or Livy offer still-relevant keys to political life, if science fails to give us satisfactory answers to our need for beauty, goodness, and justice… if, in brief, we remain political animals, then this is your book.
“There are many ways of being conservative, but it is impossible without an educated gaze and a sense of gratitude toward the customs and institutions we have inherited. “
A book that pays tribute to historical processes and inherited traditions. A work that shows how commitment to the past is relevant to political tasks of today.
In social and political life, we cannot overlook those accumulated experiences that are the true base for confronting the future.