The struggle for the soul of conservatism
Part 5: Henrik Syse about Peter Viereck and Eric Voegelin
This page is not available in English. Below is the Norwegian page translated by Google.
In almost all western countries, old conservative parties are challenged by new movements that explicitly or implicitly also claim a conservative idea heritage. This challenge does not primarily take place along the economic right-left axis, but over a wide range of issues related to culture and identity: migration and nation, religion and secularity, city and country, "people" and "elite". Some see conservatism in crisis; others see a conservative rebirth.
In this context, it is doubly interesting to take another look at the conservative idea heritage, from Edmund Burke onwards. Not only does this legacy illustrate the struggle for the soul of conservatism that is now going on in many countries; it is largely also an attempt to meet some of the challenges that today challenge not only conservatism, but all Western societies: How to get a state together? How do we handle change? What is the essence of our societies that politics must seek to preserve?
Asle Toje , in collaboration with the Minerva newspaper, is organizing a lecture series at Litteraturhuset this fall, where we present different thinkers from the conservative idea tradition. The lecture will be followed by a conversation, which relates to the political issues of our time.
Fifth man out is Henrik Syse , who will talk about two conservative thinkers who are highly critical of - and different from - much of what modern political conservatism represents: Peter Viereck (1916–2006) and Eric Voegelin (1901–1985). With them as guides, we ask: What is - and what should be - the place of community and history in today's conservatism? What should a conservative see as their job to preserve? And how should a conservative face the real, radical evil of the world?