Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tolkein, Kirk, and the Forgotten Conservatism

A few weeks ago I began posting reflections on the nature of conservativism, drawing heavily from Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. Kirk was the intellectual godfather of modern American conservativism, though sadly, far more Americans know of Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh than Kirk. Hannity, Limbaugh, and others who are part of the media-entertainment complex that poses as conservatism are in reality ideologues (perhaps even demagogues), and thus are the antithesis of the conservativism defined by Kirk as "the negation of ideology."

In today's post I'd like to draw attention to a strain of conservative thinking that Kirk wrote about in The Conservative Mind that also happens to be reflected in The Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings trilogy penned by J.R.R. Tolkein. That line of thinking is usually called agrarianism.