AHI Senior Fellow Daniel J. Mahoney, Professor of Political Science, Assumption College, has published “The Conservative Ethos” in the June 22, 2020 issue of National Review. The essay reviews American Conservatism: Reclaiming an Intellectual Tradition, a hefty anthology edited by Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University.
Conservatism embodies diverse streams of thought, and Dr. Mahoney begins by underscoring the richness and diversity of that tradition. Conservatism embodies no steeled ideology. “In fact,” Mahoney argues, “the most penetrating conservative thinkers have always insisted on conservatism as an antidote to ideology.” Although Mahoney regards the anthology as containing many potent and illuminating writings, he finds Bacevich “more an opinionated guide than a sure and equitable one” to understanding modern conservatism. Mahoney also faults Bacevich for his choice of “conservative” voices, some of whom would seem to fit the label “conservative” uneasily if at all.
Dr. Mahoney holds the Augustinian Boulanger Chair at Assumption College. His many writings include The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity (Encounter Books, 2018) and Bertrand de Jouvenel: The Conservative Liberal and the Illusions of Modernity (ISI Books, 2005).