December 8, 2017

THE rIGHT IS NOT CONSERVATIVE:

Hillsdale is conservative, not right-wing : Conservatism isn't about right-wing policy proposals (Michael Lucchese,  December 7, 2017, The Collegian)

At Hillsdale College, conservatism is not a catechism of policy prescriptions. It does not mean protecting particular tax rates or levels of entitlement spending -- although these are important questions which are sometimes debated on campus. [...]

Students at Hillsdale are open-minded and willing to question their beliefs because of their conservatism, not in spite of it. Hillsdale is a place where young people choose to learn from old books, and that's what makes us conservative. We believe that the truly great things, the things most worth studying, never really change. They are permanent.

Russell Kirk, the late founder of modern American conservatism and a former faculty member at Hillsdale College, explained that "By 'the Permanent Things' [we] meant those elements in the human condition that give us our nature, without which we are as the beasts that perish. They work upon us all in the sense that both they and we are bound up in that continuity of belief and institution called the great mysterious incorporation of the human race."

It starts even before students get to campus. Freshmen are asked to read Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" the summer before they begin classes. Then, every student is required to go through a demanding core curriculum which focuses on the great books -- no football player, science nerd, or frat boy can escape life-changing encounters with Homer, Augustine, and Shakespeare.

Over time, the Hillsdale student accumulates a broad knowledge of the Western heritage. But even more than that, Hillsdale initiates her students into a conversation with the greatest minds of human history. For the Hillsdale student, that conversation is not merely of antiquarian interest. It raises urgent questions which provide the very foundations of Western civilization and our way of life.


Posted by at December 8, 2017 7:53 AM

  

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