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

Kirk was convinced that in our age, the unimagined life is not worth living for a human being. He labored to reform our sensibilities, so that we could see ourselves both for what we are and for what we have become. He labored to make available an intellectual tradition of dissent from the modern age. He labored to release our hearts from the bondage of ideology.

Mark Henrie

| | Search:

Highlights

Spring Newsletter

Newsletter coverThe Spring 2017 Permanent Things Newsletter is now available, featuring a fresh design and news about recent events and publications from the Kirk Center and other friends. Among the highlights is a lecture this spring by Sir Roger Scruton at Villanova University, sponsored by the ISI Russell Kirk Society at Villanova.

Jun 2017

Lecture on Kirk’s Fiction

In April the Kirk Center hosted Jeffrey Dennis Pearce, a history teacher and the creator and editor of Ghostly Kirk, a web page dedicated to the ghostly fiction of Russell Kirk. Pearce gave a lecture on “Virtue in Two Ghostly Tales of Russell Kirk,” which was later made into an essay. We are pleased to post it for our readers.

May 2017

Fall Newsletter features new Society for Law and Culture

The Fall 2016 Permanent Things features news of the inaugural conference of a new Kirk Center initiative, the Society for Law and Culture; an emerging partnership with the new publishing house, Cluny Media; and news of other recent events and publications.

Dec 2016