Tag: Yuval Levin

ACF PoMoCon #19: Yuval Levin


We continue our series in memory of the later public intellectual and professor of political philosophy Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with Yuval Levin, who served with Peter on the President’s Council on Bio-ethics in the George W. Bush administration, which was led by another distinguished conservative scholar, Leon Kass, Levin’s mentor. We talk about the council, about dignity, and the need for moderation, institutions, and a sympathetic understanding of each other, lest our conflicts lead to madness.

ACF PoMoCon #13: Very Online Conservatism


My series on new developments and developing writers in conservatism continues. Here’s my PoMoCon talk with Tanner Greer, who’s writing a book on America since 2003 for Tyler Cowen, about old conservatism’s Trump-shock and new, Very Online Conservatism’s Great Awokening shock. Tanner has an NRO essay criticizing Reform Conservatism while agreeing with its reformist intentions and time-honored purposes. He argues that older conservatives worry about politics, whereas newer conservatives seem to worry about the very ground of politics. The previous assumptions about institutions are upended, down to the family, so it’s no longer a matter of how should we be doing things, but who even are we!

Ricochet vs. The Fractured Republic


I’m reading Yuval Levin’s book, The Fractured Republic, and it’s very good. His main premise is that America has moved from a period of consolidated culture (1930s – mid-’60s) into one of diffusion, and both parties are trapped in nostalgia for their respective “glory days.” The Democrats pine for the mid-’50s through the ’60s (high percentage of unionized workers, civil rights protests, War on Poverty via federal programs, etc.), and the right wants to restore the Reagan years (tax cuts, deregulation, moral majority, etc.). He says it’s impossible for us to return to either vision of America, given our current diffuse culture and atomization.

Anyway, in his chapter “Subculture Wars,” he writes:

The problem we face is not the risk of cataclysm, but the acceptance of widespread despair and disorder in the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. We risk getting used to living in a society that denies a great many of its most vulnerable people the opportunity to thrive. Making the case against such acquiescence in the torpor and misery of so many would mean calling people’s attention to just what it these Americans are being denied – to the possibility of flourishing, and to its appeal.

Member Post


As Trump’s victory seemed more and more inevitable, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we go from here.  Yuval Levin’s recent article, “The Next Conservative Movement,” summarizing his new book is important reading for a way forward.  My glass-half-full notion: things gotta get worse before they get better, because most everyone is trying to […]

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Yuval Levin on Edmund Burke’s Example for Modern Conservatives


In the clip I posted yesterday from the Uncommon Knowledge interview with Yuval Levin about his book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of the Right and LeftYuval clarified where Burke fit in the context of his own time. Today, a different focus: how Burke fits in ours.

Below, Yuval explains how the lessons of Burke can offer a corrective for modern conservative excesses:

Yuval Levin on the Revolution That Wasn’t


In the latest episode of Uncommon Knowledge, I interviewed Yuval Levin — the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Founding Editor of National Affairs magazine and Senior Editor of The New Atlantis — about his most recent book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.

In this exchange, Yuval explains Burke’s views on the American war for independence — and why he refused to refer to it as a “revolution.”