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A Burke For Our Time
May 13, 2013 3:58 PM   Subscribe

He was an eighteenth-century Irish statesman, but Edmund Burke still has plenty to say today. Charles Hill reviews Edmund Burke: The First Conservative by Jesse Norman.
posted by the man of twists and turns (14 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the United States, a distinctively American character and order was devastated by the politico-cultural degradations of the Sixties.

"Fire hoses! They should have used more fire hoses!"
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:16 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the United States, a distinctively American character and order was devastated by the politico-cultural degradations of the Sixties.
...but not nearly devastated enough.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:18 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because to hear them tell it all change is an improvement. No such thing as a cultural wrong turn. The me-generation is infallible. That's why once they achieved political hegemony, all our problems were solved.
posted by perhapsolutely at 4:30 PM on May 13, 2013


Charles Hill's use of language reminds me of William F. Buckley and other Americans who want to be aristocrats.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:37 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm actually really interested in reading this book, even if Hill's review idolizes Burke and adavnces the old paleocon "Those hippies ruined everything!" chestnut. Burke, whether you agree with his thought or not, is a fascinating individual.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:14 PM on May 13, 2013


An American conservative Burkean is self-contradictory. The shift away from the relatively egalitarian society of ~1950 has been rapid and stark, seeing the decline of important social institutions such as labor unions. "Standing athwart history" would require resisting that change.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:25 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because to hear them tell it all change is an improvement. No such thing as a cultural wrong turn. The me-generation is infallible. That's why once they achieved political hegemony, all our problems were solved.

This piece annoys me because it demonstrates not even the least instant of thought about its subject. Burke's picture may top the page, and the essay may appear to concern itself with Burke and the book about Burke, but in fact the writer only wants to cut fresh wood with old saws. I finish the review thinking well of Burke, because he thought for himself, but not of Chuck Hill, who clearly doesn't.

Anyone for whom the Sixties Ruined Everything, establishing the ascent of a Me Generation to unworthily inherit the land of the Greatest Generation (who, incidentally, pissed baseball, shat eagles, and burped Old Glory) - to whom it appears that the Cultural Elite is daily stabbing Lady Liberty in the back - for whom Burke is a saint and his ideas perfect confirmations of perfect ideology - is an ignoramus.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:34 PM on May 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Edmund Burke to Niall Ferguson: You know nothing of my work.
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on May 13, 2013


I heard them talking about this book down at the Applebee's salad bar
posted by thelonius at 12:04 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


A fine article on Burke from The American Scholar.
posted by HumanComplex at 6:57 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


American Scholar is a fantastic magazine.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:20 AM on May 14, 2013


Burke was a genius and a father to much basic conservative thought. Thanks for this bold (for Metafilter!) post, and I applaud you for it.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:27 AM on May 14, 2013


Thanks for this bold (for Metafilter!) post

It's a single-link book review. Hardly bold.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:04 PM on May 15, 2013


It's a single-link book review. Hardly bold.

Who cares if it's a book review? What difference does that make? People do it all the time. It's still a bold move, considering the preponderance of unabashed liberalism on Metafilter.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 9:31 AM on May 16, 2013


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