James M. Wilson

  • The Drama of Cultural Conservatism

    Liberalism identifies equality and freedom as the Good: its society proposes as an ideal nothing more specific than the sloughing off of received habits and beliefs and the dissolving of all apparent social hierarchies. Once this has been obtained, liberalism has nothing more to say: it has no positive content. In practice, this has led to the assumptions that to be intelligent means not to believe in anything; to be well cultured means to see all cultural judgments as expressions of power and ideology. In the contemporary academy, these conclusions tend to take on an evangelical sincerity, a zeal to debunk and degrade, but for most of us the loss of substantive beliefs and standards leaves the world feeling, sometimes, unbearably light and empty, but mostly incredibly convenient and entertaining.

    Read More