The Neocons vs Oakeshott

It’s long been a simmering intelllectual rift within the philosophy of conservatism – between the rigid disciples of Leo Strauss and the wayward offspring of Michael Oakeshott. My own choice of Oakeshott for my dissertation was one of the first moments when my “conservatism” was greeted with intense skepticism by the neocons I knew. The … Continue reading The Neocons vs Oakeshott

Oakeshott And Healthcare Reform

A reader writes: In preparing for the impending showdown in Washington over the future of healthcare in America, I’m reminded of a passage from Michael Oakeshott’s essay "On Being Conservative," from Rationalism in Politics.  I quote the relevant passage in full: "There are, of course, numerous human relationships in which a disposition to be conservative … Continue reading Oakeshott And Healthcare Reform

Rawls, Oakeshott, Obama And Modernity

A reader writes: While you have always celebrated your attachment to conservative thinkers like Michael Oakeshott, your views often strike me being most closely aligned with John Rawls.  Your discussion today about modernity smashing the social good into little bits could have been a passage out of Political Liberalism.  You captured the essence of the … Continue reading Rawls, Oakeshott, Obama And Modernity

Oakeshottian America

Susan Sontag understood the connection: "It is the genius of the United States, a profoundly conservative country in ways that Europeans find difficult to fathom, to have elaborated a form of conservative thinking that celebrates the new rather than the old."