It is therefore easy to see why Authority frowns on Friendship. Every real Friendship is a sort of secession, even a rebellion.
In each knot of Friends there is a sectional “public opinion” which fortifies its members against the public opinion of the community in general. Each therefore is a pocket of potential resistance. Men who have real Friends are less easy to manage or “get at”; harder for good Authorities to correct or for bad Authorities to corrupt. Hence if our masters, by force or by propaganda about “Togetherness” or by unobtrusively making privacy and unplanned leisure impossible, ever succeed in producing a world where all are Companions and none are Friends, they will have removed certain dangers, and will also have taken from us what is almost our strongest safeguard against complete servitude.
Would it be an unlicensed trespass of the imagination to conceive that on the night preceding the day of which you now commemorate the fiftieth anniversary—on the night preceding that thirtieth of April, 1789, when from the balcony of your city hall the chancellor of the State of New York administered to George Washington the solemn oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States–that in the visions of the night the guardian angel of the Father of our Country had appeared before him, in the venerated form of his mother, and, to cheer and encourage him in the performance of the momentous and solemn duties that he was about to assume, had delivered to him a suit of celestial armor–a helmet, consisting of the principles of piety, of justice, of honor, of benevolence, with which from his earliest infancy he had hitherto walked through life, in the presence of all his brethren; a spear, studded with the self- evident truths of the Declaration of Independence [ this HAS to be from the Volsunga and Poetic Edda]; a sword, the same with which he had led the armies of his country through the war of freedom to the summit of the triumphal arch of independence; a corselet and cuishes of long experience and habitual intercourse in peace and war with the world of mankind, his contemporaries of the human race, in all their stages of civilization; and, last of all, the Constitution of the United States, a shield, embossed by heavenly hands with the future history of his country?–John Quincy Adams, April 29, 1839
Or, why the modern media frustrates me seemingly to no end.
Over the past year, I’ve become so disillusioned by my traditional news sources as to become distraught. The BBC and Telegraph have become so hideously anti-American that I often think that they have wishfully forgotten the outcomes of our previous violent struggles with them, in 1775-1783 and 1812-1815. Where is Andrew Jackson when you need a good defense of the colonies? And, as I’m sure every reader of The Imaginative Conservative well knows, the New York Times has become nothing less than a second-rate college paper, with every title mirroring something to the effect of “How Donald Trump Created the Ultimate Evil in [insert person, place, date, event, planet, solar system].”
I had the chance to praise Russell Kirk’s grand book, ACADEMIC FREEDOM (1955), on Tom Woods’s show last week. With apologies, I do not own the copyright to the book, and, therefore, I cannot share it.
Here, however, is a study guide and outline for those who have access to the book.
You should be able to find copies for sale online–at amazon.com marketplace, abebooks, and ebay, I presume.
“I believe that academic freedom, an idea, has reality; and, like other ideas, its reality is more important than the ephemeral reality of particular person and circumstances. I believe that academic freedom is a peculiar kind of freedom, and peculiarly valuable. I believe that academic freedom is not a hoax, but an inheritance from the wisdom and the courage of our ancestors. I believe that academic freedom is gravely threatened in our time. I believe that the causes of this peril to academic freedom are imperfectly apprehended by most (1) scholars and teachers and journalists and politicians.” (2)
Now Available: RUSSELL KIRK: AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE
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What is Stormfields?
Through Stormfields, we hope to look at the world not with soundbytes, bumper stickers, and refrigerator magnets, but through serious analysis. Neither left nor right, we hope to appeal to the great 20th-century Christian Humanists such as Russell Kirk, Romano Guardini, Josef Pieper, Willa Cather, Christopher Dawson, and T.S. Eliot.
And, as we despise the supremacy of politics and the imperialism of the political sphere in our current world, we will focus much of the content on culture and art (high and popular), law, and philosophy. We're as likely to draw upon Jacques Maritain as we are on Neil Peart.
Stormfields is on TWITTER, too: 1) @bradleybirzer; and 2) @Xtianhumanist
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