Russell Kirk: To What Truths

rak academic freedom cover

To what truths, then, ought the Academy to be dedicated?  To the proposition that the end of education is the elevation of reason of the human person, for the human person’s own sake.  To the proposition that the higher imagination is better than the sensate triumph.  To the proposition that the fear of God, and not the mastery over man and nature, is the object of learning.  To the proposition that equality is worth more than quantity.  To the proposition that justice takes precedence over power.  To the proposition that order is more lovable than egoism.  To the proposition that to believe all things, if the choice must be made, is nobler than to doubt all things.  To the proposition that honor outweighs success.  To the proposition that tolerance is wiser than ideology.  To the proposition, Socratic and Christian, that the unexamined life is not worth living.  If the Academy holds by these propositions, not all the force of Caesar can break down its walls; but if the Academy is bent upon sneering at everything in heaven and earth, or upon reforming itself after the model of the market-place, not all the eloquence of the prophets can save it.

Source: Russell Kirk, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition (Chicago, IL: Regnery, 1955): 190-191.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: