A Conservatism of Thought and Imagination

Ten Conservative Principles (1993)

  1. First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.
  2. Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.
  3. Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.
  4. Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.
  5. Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.
  6. Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.
  7. Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.
  8. Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.
  9. Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.
  10. Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

Evolution of Kirk's Thought on Conservative Principles

In 1953, with the publication of The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk set out six “canons” that he considered a reasonable summary or outline of the significant themes common among conservative thinkers. In his 1982 introduction to the Portable Conservative Reader, Kirk offered a variation on those canons, and in a chapter in the 1993 Politics of Prudence, his last book, he expanded the canons to ten principles.

Highlighted Resources

Russell Kirk has defended traditional values in a culture that restlessly seeks the shock of the new. Through numerous writings and lectures, conversations and seminars, he has taught Americans about America—about its deeply conservative habits, about the roots of its constitutional order, about the Burkean influence on our Founders.

The Hon. John Engler

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Highlights

Spring Permanent Things

The Spring 2014 number of our Permanent Things newsletter is up, featuring updates on recent events commemorating Russell Kirk and the strong reception in Brazil of the publication of The Politics of Prudence. You can download a copy of the PDF from this link.

Apr 2014

A new issue of Studies in Burke and His Time

SBHT23 Cover The Edmund Burke Society of America announces a new issue of their journal, Studies in Burke and His Time, Volume 23. The issue features articles on the theme of Burke and history. Articles from Joseph Pappin III, Jeffrey O. Nelson, Elizabeth Lambert, and Aaron D. Hoffman accompany several book reviews. The journal is being released as a PDF and is now available for download from our site. In the coming months, the Society will be releasing back numbers as well.

Mar 2014

The first Bookman e-book!

In honor of the great historian John Lukacs, who turns ninety in 2014, we are delighted to announce publication of the first e-book from the University Bookman. The Bookman on John Lukacs features essays and reviews by and about Lukacs gathered from fifty years of our archives. This convenient collection of scholarship is available as a Kindle edition from Amazon.com.

Feb 2014