Sunday, February 01, 2009

Conservatism as Anti-Ideology

There's an interesting discussion over at Kyle's place concerning the extent to which Russell Kirk was an ideologist, and whether conservatism could be described as an "ideology" per se.

Commenter Rodak offers the following:

American conservatism as I observe it more resembles the thought of Ayn Rand, with the difference that it tends to embrace (but practice mostly in the breach) an intolerant brand of "Christianity" which has little to do with living the Beatitudes.
I share Kirk's cultural conservatism. But, in America, this seems always to be joined at the hip to a cut-throat, capitalist paradigm that is juiced by a greed and power-lust that is anti-thetical to the message of Christ. I would suggest that Rush Limbaugh is much more representative of American conservatism than is Kirk.

I'm not sure about the Rush Limbaugh thing: he probably represents the (dwindling) populist "ground troops" of conservatism, but conservatism also has Bill Buckley and George Will, two men with whom I mostly disagree, but whose arguments and intellectual integrity I respect.

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