Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Soul Of Politics, Elmers

This work seems to be an excellent synopsis of the work and thinking of Harry Jaffa, a giant of "real conservatism" vs "paleo conservatism, "Bloomian Conservatism",  the conservatism of Robert Bork, and others. 

It gives an excellent idea of what it is that is critically worthy of being conserved, rather than just "standing athwart history and yelling STOP!" as Buckley once claimed as the mission of the National Review, 

As Buckley said, "If you think arguing with Jaffa is difficult, you should just try to agree with him"! 

Why is this so? Because Jaffa attempts to get at the roots and the mistakes made by those who fail to understand the strengths and weaknesses of those roots. Lincoln and Churchill are strongly praised and illuminated, but many noted conservatives are roundly criticised. The book is a mini primer on Aristotle and especially "Manichean Ethics". 

It is however a SYNOPSIS, and generally easily readable. 

I loved "The Closing Of The American Mind", Jaffa has a lot of negative things to say about Bloom and that book. 

How he connects critical thoughts about the tensions between freedom and liberty down through the ages is extraordinary. The differences between "Athens and Jerusalem" are fascinating. He ties the thinking of Aristotle, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Churchill into a (mosty) understandable thread even for one as woefully uneducated as I. 

I was introduced to Jaffa via "The Three Whiskey Happy Hour" (which I highly recommend).

That led me to "The Reichstag Is Still Burning" ... also excellent, and then somehow to here.

"Soul" is a gateway drug to another list of excellent books. I'd recommend reading "Soul", but if you feel that is to great a task, this synopsis of Jaffa is another worthy gateway

Let's go Brandon! 

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