For the Love of the Bourgeois
Cover of issue 40
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How to Cite

For the Love of the Bourgeois: A Comparative Analysis of Paul Gottfried’s and Leo Strauss’s Defenses of the Liberal Democratic West. (2016). The Political Science Reviewer, 40, 82-115.


The Canadian Tory political philosopher George Grant once related the “impossibility of conservatism” to the “ridiculous task” of preserving tradition in the modern age of progress. How could conservatives protect their cherished institutions and customs in an age dedicated to technological and social transformation? Grant was particularly preoccupied with the survival of his own nation, whose existential “impossibility” mirrored the impossibility of conservatism as a whole. By the early 1960s, Grant contended in his most famous work, Lament for a Nation, that Canada had been inexorably drawn into the orbit of American liberal hegemony as its elites abandoned the last remnants of the old British conservatism that once defined the nation. What Grant lamented here was more than the loss of his country; it was the vanishing of the classical virtues that predated the age of progress and the rise of the United States. The ancient and medieval philosophers who had defended these virtues would have scorned the modern privileging of progress over tradition, material consumption over moderation, and mass democracy over the rule of wise elites.

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