Welcome to the Traditionalist Conservatism Page!
This page presents an accumulation of materials that are related in one way or another to traditionalist conservatism, an outlook described in my Conservatism FAQ and developed in the materials on this site. If you want, there is a spoken introduction to the issues (requiring RealPlayer).
The collection is intended to be comprehensive—more a bibliography than a recommended reading list—and covers tendencies from the American Old Republic to the European New Right, from Catholic traditionalism to neo-Sufism, on out to the anarchist and fascist fringes.
The key for inclusion is that the item deals with a dimension of human life that the utopian liberal rationalism now dominant finds hard to digest. Some materials are neither traditionalist or conservative but nonetheless, in their own way, bring into focus the impossibility of a rationalized social order and the need for tradition and a transcendent reference point.
No one could possibly agree with everything here, and inclusion does not mean agreement. I assume adult readers. I hope you find some of the materials interesting and useful, and if you do the issues presented can be discussed in our forum. Your participation is welcome.
The various aspects of the topic—political, cultural, moral and religious—are hard to separate, but I attempt to distinguish categories:
- Political and Social Conservatism,
- Distributism and Related,
- European New Right,
- Libertarianism, and
- Biological Considerations.
- For tradition-based thought at its best, see the works of Confucius included in Chinese Culture: Texts and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. More of Burke’s works are linked here, and if interested you may read my essay on “Confucius Today.”
- Conservatives are skeptical of skepticism, but reject the view that knowledge and thought can be fully rationalized on clear principles. The result is that you go with what seems best. For an early and clear development of that view in opposition to modern rationalism, see Pascal’s Pensees.
- Conservatives typically believe that our access to the universal is through the particular, in opposition to ideologues who want to take the universal straight and relativists who believe only in contingent particulars. For a discussion of how to find the absolute in the personal and the historical, see Grammar of Assent and Development of Doctrine by John Henry Newman, another 19th century Englishman.
- And see Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences for more on the relation between the universal and the particular and its relevance to conservative concerns.
- For where the tendencies Weaver discusses have landed us, see Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose’s Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age .
- For a radical appeal to tradition and authority, consider Joseph de Maistre.
- A discussion of where the actual political tradition of the west stands now: “A World Split Apart,” 1978 Commencement Address at Harvard by A. I. Solzhenitsyn. Also see his Live Not By Lies.
- For 19th century English opposition to revolutionary ideals, from Virginia Woolf’s uncle, see Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by James Fitzjames Stephen.
- A twentieth century Brazilian work: Revolution and Counterrevolution, by Plinio Corra de Oliveira (also see his Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII).
- Tocqueville’s Democracy in America isn’t specifically traditionalist but is necessary background for understanding American tradition and anti-traditionalism.
- Orestes A. Brownson, The American Republic. How can it be set within a classical and Christian conception of order? Also see the pages of the The Orestes Brownson Society, which is attempting to make all Brownson’s works available on the web.
- Peter Kreeft on “Darkness at Noon”: The Eclipse of “The Permanent Things”. What the modern world looks like from the standpoint of tradition.
- Hayek on Tradition. It’s a good essay on tradition, although I think it makes Hayek out to be more traditionalist than he really was.
- What man becomes without tradition: C.S. Lewis on The Abolition of Man.
- For a discussion of the relation between conservatism and conformity, see Peter Viereck’s “The Unadjusted Man.”
- Don Colacho’s Aphorisms. English translations of the aphorisms of Nicolás Gómez Dávila (1913-1994). Also see this site and this site for two other selections from the aphorisms of the Colombian philosopher.
- A rather quirky introduction to Tage Lindbom, a Swedish traditionalist thinker and former leading Social Democrat.
- Lawrence Auster: A Voice for Traditionalist Conservatism. An unofficial site.
- Paul Gottfried: Scholar, writer, thinker. Another unofficial site. Not a traditionalist, but intelligent commentary on the current situation.
- Olavo de Carvalho—Sapientiam Autem Non Vincit Malitia. The Brazilian philosopher, mostly in Portuguese, but some material is in English.
- Chronicles—A Magazine of American Culture. The leading paleoconservative publication. Their website is continuously updated with news and commentary that don’t make it into the printed publication.
- Quarterly Review. A British publication edited by Derek Turner.
- The Public Interest was the original neoconservative publication, but its concern with social science means it has some articles worth reading.
- For a variety of materials on traditionalist and other streams of conservatism, somewhat tailored perhaps for mainstream respectability, see the Intercollegiate Studies Institute website.
- Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Conservative Order. Selections chosen for undergraduate readings.
- A list of conservative books recommended by Russell Kirk.
- The alt.society.conservatism Booklist is a 1993 compilation of suggestions from a.s.c. participants.
- A more recent Conservative Reading List.
- The Canadian Conservative Forum. Some intelligent articles tending to the moderate and mainstream.
- Various Rants I’ve picked up on the net.
- Revolutionary Conservative—What’s That?. A short essay by Ron Carrier.
- Now is not the first time issues of cultural decline have seemed troubling.
Traditionalist conservatives usually think of politics as an aspect of culture, and so recognize the mutual relevance of the two. So here are things relating more particularly to literary, philosophical, and artistic culture:
- National Humanities Institute. Something for all you Irving Babbitt fans. Very genteel.
- Babbitt’s Rousseau and Romanticism, a basic text in conservative thought. Also see his
books at Google Books.
- Writings of Paul Elmer More, like Babbitt a “New Humanist” critic.
- G. K. Chesterton Page, with links to etexts of many of his works. Also see his books at Google Books.
- The Google directory on Hilaire Belloc, the other half of Chesterbelloc. Also see his online books page and his books at Google books.
- The Institute of Classical Architecture
Some have argued that non-religious conservatism is possible. Nonetheless, it is hard to think of conservatives, other than a few comfortably-situated intellectuals, who decisively reject a moral order transcending mankind, or the necessity of beliefs and institutions that give that order authority in social life. So here are resources relating to traditional religious orthodoxy of one sort or another, some with a political slant:
- In general, see my page of tradish Catholic links.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- EWTN Global Catholic Network. Mother Angelica’s site. Includes library of thousands of documents and articles relevant to orthodox Catholicism.
- The Roman Forum. A sort of informal think tank dedicated to the broad defense of Catholic doctrine and Catholic culture. Also see the website of their director, Professor John C. Rao.
- James Schall on Political Philosophy. Also see James V. Schall, S.J—Another Sort of Learning. Philosophy and humane learning generally as well as Catholicism.
- New Oxford Review. You’ve seen the ads, now look at the magazine.
- First Things magazine. Some might call them neocons, but today any gesture at all toward orthodoxy puts you altogether off the bus. See below for “theocracy” flap.
- Inside Catholic. The successor to Crisis. Tries to combine orthodoxy and mainstream intellectual respectability.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Inquisition. Casting light on one of many Black Legends about the Church.
- Second Spring: a journal of faith and culture. Includes an extensive list of links.
Traditionalism seems more clearly constitutive of Eastern Orthodoxy than other branches of Christianity.
- The Orthodox Christian Page.
- The Orthodox Christian Information Center. Includes materials of interest to Protestants and Anglicans considering making the move to Orthodoxy.
- The Fundamental Difference Between the “East” and “West”. Orthodoxy and the West: how do they differ?
- Comments on Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy, in support of the latter.
Protestantism often has an uneasy relation to traditionalism. Nonetheless, it is not monolithic and one should distinguish cases:
- Contra Mundum, a journal of religion and society from a conservative Reform perspective. The site also has hundreds of other files, including lists of publications and organizations, back issues of a defunct magazine called Antithesis with a lot of Reconstructionist and Libertarian associations, and the essays of Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher.
- Christianity & Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen. An online book contrasting modernism and supernaturalism.
- Concerned Methodists Homepage.
- Varieties of Orthodox Judaism.
- FAQ on Hasidism (Chassidism).
- An Internet Guide to Chabad Literature.
- Lubavitcher Page.
- The Institute for American Values. Jews and Christians (mostly Jews) together.
- Reflections on Islam and Modern Life by Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
- Naqshbandi Sufi Order. On sufism.
- Al-Islam Subject Index. A very extensive collection of materials.
- as-Sunnah Foundation. An American group that has assembled scholars and professors to teach, write, and translate from traditional sources of Islamic knowledge.
- Al-Tawhid journal. A quarterly journal of Islamic thought and culture from Iran.
- General Principles of Imam Khumayni’s Political Thought.
Christianity, Conservatism, and the Polity:
- Our Questions and Answers on the Establishment of Religion consider some of the issues. Also see my page of tradish Catholic links.
- The symposium on the end of democracy in the November, 1996 issue of First Things is thought to raise the spectre of theocracy and led to the resignation of Gertrude Himmelfarb, Peter Berger and Walter Berns from their editorial board. Seems mild as such things go.
- Christianity in Nineteenth Century American Law and Christianity, Our Early State Constitutions, and American Federalism, two discussions of the place of Christianity in the American polity as originally understood.
- Common Law Review. Original understandings writ large: the common law tradition as pan-European and specifically Christian.
- Tolerance: Two Kinds is a review of The Long Truce: How Toleration Made the World Safe for Power and Profit, by A. J. Conyers (2001). The tyranny of tolerance is older than you think!
- The Kuyper Foundation—Home Page.
- Google Web Directory on Church-State Relations/Pro-Integration.
- The Bankruptcy of Conservatism. A critique from a religious perspective.
- The alt.revolution.counter Resource Lists compile a very great variety of materials on various strands of right-wing thought from the alt.revolution.counter newsgroup. Also see the alt.revolution.counter FAQ, which set forth the nature, origin, and goals of the newsgroup.
- rustymason.com, “The best of what’s out there” on traditional conservatism.
- Discover The Networks. David Horowitz’s site about the Left.
- Angelo M. Codevilla’s piece America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution.
- “Vilfredo Pareto—An Overview” by Fr. James Thornton.
- Anthony M. Ludovici Home Page. A collection of works by the right-wing Nietzschean author.
- The New Totalitarians—a page put together by some former military officers who provide their own take on trends in American life.
- Council of Conservative Citizens.
- Conservapedia. Internet conservatives unchained.
Traditionalist conservatism emphasizes the local and particular, and wants to make economics part of social life. The natural consequence is an inclination toward distributism in economics.
- “What is Distributism?” by David M. Deane.
- What is distributism? by Thomas Storck.
- Distributism; Ownership of the Means of Production and Economics. Yet more.
- The Distributist Review. A journal analyzing current events through the theoretical and practical socio-economic theory of Distributism.
- The Caelum Et Terra Homepage. Catholics sympathetic to distributism and agrarianism.
- A Distributism How To: A Parallel Economy, by Dr. Peter Chojnowski.
- The Open Directory section on distributism.
- Third Way, a UK political party with distributist ideals.
- Australian League of Rights.
- PoliticalSoldier.net and Final Conflict. A mixture of distributism and the European New Right.
- Sam Francis—articles and links.
- Jihad Vs. McWorld, an interesting analysis from a basically left/liberal perspective of the opposing tendencies today toward particularism and abstract economic universalism. For more Establishment gloom and doom from the Atlantic Monthly, see The Coming Anarchy , “Was Democracy Just a Moment?”, and “Must It Be the Rest Against the West?”.
- New World Order Rising? Thoughts on the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development. A good introduction to the movement that opposes particularism most radically.
- A Practicing Catholic Considers Why “The Church” Is Wrong About Immigration.
- Also see my Anti-Inclusiveness FAQ with appended links.
- Google Web Directory—Secession Links.
- Donald W. Livingston’s essay on Secession and the Modern State.
- For less theoretical efforts, see www.secession.net, which aims to create a worldwide Secession Network, and Wikipedia’s List of active autonomist and secessionist movements.
Neo-Confederate and Southern
Anti-Immigration and Related
- American Patrol Illegal Immigration. Opponents of immigration.
- VDARE. An online journal named for Virginia Dare (the first English child born in America) and devoted to ethnic American nationalism.
- Paul Fromm’s Canada First Immigration Reform Committee.
- Antiwar.com and Americans Against Bombing, right-wing opponents of American imperialism.
- British National Party Home Page. “Fighting Anti-White Racism.” Lots of articles.
- Ironbark Resources. Rebellion Down Under.
- Australian Nationalist Ideological, Historical, and Legal Archive. More rebellion. Includes scholarly discussion relating to the nationalist Australian Right.
- “What is the EU?”. Written by an American (the editor of this page) but about Europe.
- Monarchy.net. A site hosting the home pages of the International Monarchist League and the Constitutional Monarchy Association. Includes a directory of hundreds of monarchist groups.
- Theodore’s Royalty & Monarchy Page. Links, news and whatnot, frequently updated.
- Catholique et Royaliste. French monarchists, these inspired by Charles Maurras.
- CRCLinks—Catholic, royal and communitarian.
- Traditionalist, New Right, Conservationist and Integralist Thought. A large collection of classic texts.
- Nouvelle Droite - New Right - English Articles.
- The Scorpion, the leading publication in English associated with the European New Right.
- The Alain De Benoist Collection, English translations of the writings of the leading figure of the ENR. Also see Les Amis d’Alain de Benoist. Includes many of his writings, some in English.
- Junge Freiheit. A weekly magazine in German that publishes de Benoist and other ENR writers.
- Nueva Derecha. A large collection of materials in Spanish and other languages, including English.
- The Essence of Archaism, by Guillaume Faye, one of the principle organizers of the European New Right.
- Arctogaia. The thought of Alexander Dugin, mostly.
Integral Traditionalist and Related
- Traditionalists.org. Comprehensive resources on traditionalism and traditionalists by a (non-traditionalist) scholar at the American University in Cairo. In particular, see the Catalog of Contemporary Traditionalism (this site is said to be the leading political traditionalist site in America).
- Guide to Websites about Julius Evola.
- Sophia Perennis. A site for Frithjof Schuon fans.
- The Divine Conception and the Crisis of the Modern World.
- The Feminine Universe. A separatist feminine riff on Integral Traditionalism.
- Centro Studi La Runa. Italian traditionalists. Some things in English.
- The Catholic criticism of Integral Traditionalism: the Incarnation means that Christ cannot be assimilated to something more comprehensive. There are also criticisms of Integral Traditionalist writers on John Reilly’s Homepage.
In principle, libertarianism is at odds with conservatism and traditionalism. However, there is considerable practical overlap because all have a common enemy on present-day politically-correct managerial liberalism.
- The Online Library of Liberty. “Provided to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals by making freely available on the internet the classic texts in the classical liberal and free market traditions.” The selection is very broad and goes well beyond those traditions.
- Online resources of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. “The most complete online offering of the literature of the Austrian School and libertarian ideas.”
- Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism, by Frank S. Meyer. An explaination of his famous “fusionism,” combining traditionalist conservatism and libertarianism.
- The Last Ditch, a newsletter on issues of Liberty and Civility. Another paleolibertarian publication.
- Constitution Society Home Page.
- Separation of School & State Alliance web site.
- The State (1985), by Anthony de Jasay. Complete text. What would you do if you were the state?
- Papers by John Lott, a legal scholar now at Yale Law School. Cover a variety of topics, including gun control and consequences of abortion, from a perspective generally consistent with libertarianism.
- “A Nation of Cowards.” An article on gun control from The Public Interest.
- David Friedman on Medieval Iceland, libertarian paradise. For more, see my essay on “The Icelandic Sagas and Social Order,” which discusses Medieval Iceland from a less market-based perspective, and the
Guide to Classical Liberal Scholarship, Polycentric Law.
- Bryan Caplan’s Anarchist Theory FAQ. Very well done. Also, see his homepage, which includes his “Museum of Communism” and his useful “Museum of Communism FAQ.”
- FAME—Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education. Sound money restricts state power.
- For help fighting the modern managerial state, it’s worth looking at libertarian booklists like this and this.
- And for online texts, see Front Page: The Online Library of Liberty. The site includes many classic texts that are not specifically libertarian but are thought helpful in understanding the Western tradition of ordered liberty.
Modern thought radically separates subject and object. For that reason biology, which views man as a physically determined object, and liberal politics, which wants to view man as an unconditioned and autonomous subject, are perpetually at odds. The traditionalist conservative is inclined to let the two kill each other off and pick up the pieces with the aid of less radicalizing forms of thought, like Thomism. Here are some aspects of the confusion.
- See the Access Research Network Home Page for an introduction to current attacks on neodarwinism and scientific materialism.
- Or from an opposing perspective, see Stalking the Wild Taboo—Home Page for materials on issues people like to avoid, like group differences. Somewhat of an academic orientation.
- Future Generations is about eugenics but is useful for discussions of the biological aspects of human life and attempts to suppress such discussions).
- And for a very different view of matters related to biology, see the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia.