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What is Worth Conserving?(Essay)

Modern Age 2007, Fall, 49, 4

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In 1955, in the pages of Commonweal magazine, Russell Kirk sought to explain the gradual disappearance of serious journals of opinion in the United States and Britain. He offered several possible reasons for this trend: hard economic times and the material sacrifices required to fight two world wars. Yet these causes did not suffice. While literacy rates rose during the previous century, the number of thoughtful readers did not. It was clear to Kirk that the remaining serious journals of opinion "do not have very much to say; and what they do say, most of them say in chorus, with infinite repetition." With few exceptions, these journals "are the captives of ideology; and ideology ... is fatal to thought and style. Their oppressive ideology is ritualistic liberalism." These magazines, which are distinguished by their "remarkable dullness," represent the "old dogmas of progress, equality, international amity, and the paternalism of the state." And the best way to respond to this dullness is to "revive the great questions which ritualistic liberalism has long ignored." The best way to do this is to found a conservative journal to remedy the imbalance since the status quo is "a most unhealthy condition for any people. The balance needs to be redressed, and that fairly promptly." (1)

What is Worth Conserving?(Essay)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Published: 22 September 2007
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute Inc.
  • Print Length: 9 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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