Cicero’s Republic: Three in One ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Yet, in this greatest of strengths also resides the deepest of weaknesses. When the people enjoy true liberty, they often fail to identify its source, admiring its effects rather than its causes. In particular, they misunderstand the necessity of virtue to the health of a society, misbelieving it the possession of the haughty and elite. “For when, on account of this mistaken notion of the common people, the State begins to be ruled by the riches, instead of the virtue, of a few men, these rulers tenaciously retain the title, though they do not possess the character of the best,” he laments. “For riches, names, and power, when they lack wisdom and the knowledge of how to live and to rule over others, are full of dishonour and insolent pride, nor is there any more depraved type of State than that in which the richest are accounted best.”
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Think Progress Publishes Fake News | Abbeville Institute

As a lawyer, I could be reprimanded, maybe even disbarred, for the kind of professional misconduct that Mr. Michel has demonstrated in his intemperate reporting about the Abbeville Institute’s conference. Shouldn’t journalists be held equally accountable?  Arguably, at least in certain circumstances, their capacity to harm society is greater than lawyers’, given that their writings are immediately available worldwide whereas the actions of most lawyers most of the time are confined to their jurisdiction and the parties to a case. If I could be removed from my profession or disciplined for actions similar to those of Mr. Michel in this instance, why shouldn’t he be removed from his?  Will media companies, including those that employ him, care about the flaws in his reporting?  Will they continue to feature his writings or air his opinions on television? Will his other work be scrutinized to ensure that it has truthfully conveyed verifiable facts to the general public? And what will happen to him if concerned readers discover a pattern of professional misconduct in his work, or that he has misled the public?
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Fundraiser by Eleanor Rabaioli : Help Catherine Kuiper Heal

Eleanor Rabaioli needs your help today! Help Catherine Kuiper Heal – Friends, A little over one year ago, our dear Catherine (Sims) Kuiper was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis.  She had defended her dissertation the previous summer (while pregnant with her second son, Daniel) and was set to graduate with her Ph.D. from Notre Dame in…
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Cicero’s Republic: Implanted in the Nature of Man ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In two of his last dialogues—On the Republic and On the Laws (most likely meant to be part of one larger work)—Cicero offered some of his most Stoically-influenced thoughts on the nature of man, the community, and the divine. Yet, as the names of each dialogue reveals, Cicero also took Plato as his exemplar, though his Roman republican conclusions differ considerably from Plato’s. The text of the former, fascinatingly enough, faded from western history from sometime in the seventh century until 1819! An early medieval monk erased a copy of it, recording St. Augustine’s commentary on the psalms atop of it. Thankfully, Angelo Mai recognized this two hundred years ago and recreated what he could of the palimpsest. During the missing eleven centuries, On the Republic only existed as a variety of quotes and commentary as written by St. Augustine in The City of God, and as a memory in the minds of a few other scholars who had had access to the manuscript before it got erased.
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Why do men fight? What makes for a great military unit?

“Fighting for one’s comrades is thought to be the main driver, I believe. Anyone?” – Richard Brookhiser.

MUNRO: speaking as a former Marine and son and nephew of WWII Army vets and descended from a long line of Argylls @ArgyllsMuseum, 1) comradeship is vital but only a part of what makes for a great military unit.

For example, (2) not a single Argyll was executed for desertion or cowardice 1914-1945. But Auld Pop witnessed the French executing their own, especially Black Colonial troops. The men shared great love with their NCO’s and officers, great love and friendship.

3) there is more than just fighting for your comrades in arms. The Argylls represented Scotland as an honored member in the British Empire. The 1914 volunteers were mostly mature men 25-42. They were the Empire builders. They had great pride in the Empire, their Regiment.

4) They were very close to their officers whom they addressed by nicknames and with whom they spoke in Scots dialect or Gaelic or that Hindi-Punjabi patois many old India hands knew. The Argylls was a brotherhood. They shared music, song, literature, a stoic philosophy & sports.

5) why did they fight? To keep England safe. They knew very well if Little Belgium fell the channel ports would become U-boat havens and Britain could be strangled to death.

But they were the Thin Red Line. They were British soldiers. They were Scots and Highlanders.

6) they would have been ashamed to fall beneath a certain standard or let down their chums who were the longtime friends, relatives, co-workers and in-laws. They were fun loving but highly disciplined and magnificently trained.

7) and they followed in an ancient tradition of fearlessness in close combat -the mire-catha -the ancient battle frenzy -the ancient blood lust. They were very aware of the primordial roots as the last White Barbarians -the very last relic of Iron Age warriors.

8) you could hear it in their war cries and in their piper’s skirling tunes of glory. Tunes everyone knew. Tunes, in some cases that were connected to bardic poetry. Tunes that were 10 years old or 1 year old (like Col Bogey or 500 or 800 years old.)

9) the very best troops have deep esprit d’corps, elan and shared values and history. This is why the Marines emphasize tradition and history so much. Every Marine learns of Tripoli and the ‘Canal and Iwo Jima. The very best troops have a deep culture and identity.

10) culture and identity are essential to creating the deep philia love that is the brotherhood of warriors and fighting men. Auld Pop used to say, “A soldier will die for the Colours but not for an extra two bob a day.”

10:37 PM – 13 May 2019 from Bakersfield, CA

Measuring the Influence of Russell Kirk and Other Conservative Authors ~ The Imaginative Conservative

As noted on the slide itself, this slide compares and considers, arguably, the seven most influential male conservatives of the 20th century: Irving Babbitt; Friedrich Hayek; Christopher Dawson; Eric Voegelin; Leo Strauss; Russell Kirk; and Harry Jaffa. [As a sidenote, had I included Paul Elmer More, his reputation would have paralleled, almost exactly, Irving Babbitt’s, so I left it off for sake of clarity.] This chart makes several things clear. First, and most significantly, the most important conservative thinker of the century came at its beginning, not its end: Irving Babbitt. At his height, Babbitt soared above all others, and he experienced three peaks. Second, the most important conservative as of 2008, without compare, is Leo Strauss. Yet, interestingly, his reputation declined rather shockingly during the Clinton years, and only rebounded with the election of George W. Bush. Third, Christopher Dawson and, to a lesser extent, Eric Voegelin each enjoyed considerable and sustained popularity over decades.
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