Defining Conservatism

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Defining Conservatism

A podcast from the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies


Regulation by Subterfuge: Why Finance Needs the Rule of Law
ESG, debanking, bailouts are just some of the tools that the administrative state uses to undermine the rule of law to force financial companies to become the equivalent of government agencies doing the federal government’s bidding. Professor Todd Zywicki draws heavily from his new Heritage First Principles essay “Restoring the Rule of Law in Finance” in this wide-ranging interview.

Stakeholder Capitalism, ESG, and the Grip of Statism
Stakeholder capitalism promises a more ethical and egalitarian-oriented capitalism, but it places capitalism in the grip of social justice ideology and, ultimately, reduces corporations to state-directed entities. In this episode, Jeremy Kidd and George Mocsary, authors of a recent Heritage Report on stakeholder capitalism, discuss the movement’s philosophy and objectives.

Gender Ideology and the Destruction of the Human Person
Carl Trueman, author of the Heritage Report “Gender Ideology and the Future of the Human Person,” unpacks the elements of gender ideology and connects them to the grand project of undermining the embodied person in favor of a transgender and transhumanist future.

Free Enterprise and the Common Good: Economic Science and Political–Economic Art as Complements
Alex Salter discusses his new paper for The Heritage Foundation that weighs the relationship between free markets and the common good and the framework it provides for thinking about economics, the human person, and community. Read the transcript.

The Education that Americans Need
Why do Americans need an education in leisure? Rachel Alexander Cambre discusses the foundation of education and how it leads to a true understanding of freedom and flourishing. Read the transcript.

Rebuilding Community, Rebuilding Freedom
Luke Sheahan discusses his new Heritage Report “Restoring Civil Society” where he argues that while political and economic institutions receive a great deal of attention, the social realm is arguably the most important of these three because it is more fundamental to individual development than any government or employer. Individuals are citizens and workers but central to human flourishing is the process of socialization in the family, school, and neighborhood and the continuing sustenance these institutions provide shapes human beings into the types of people who act in a politically responsible manner as citizens and thrive economically in a free market. But social institutions are not important only for what they do for the political and economic realms. A social institution is important first and foremost for what it does for itself—what it does for its members as social beings.

American Freedom and Its Enemies
Sam Gregg discusses his new paper for The Heritage Foundation “American Individualism, Rightly Understood” which considers how Individualism in America is rooted in Biblical, Classical, and Scottish Enlightenment sources. All of these provide a foundation for freedom and virtue rooted in God and human nature. But they have been challenged now by egalitarianism, and also by expressive individualism. These ideologies locate individualism in either sameness of result or moral anarchy. Sam Gregg urges us to return to the sturdy ground of freedom and virtue that supports individual flourishing.

Love, Loyalty, and Patriotism
Susan Hanssen, Associate Professor of History at the University of Dallas, joins the Defining Conservatism podcast to discuss what American patriots must love and be loyal to as we try to uphold our nation against the anticulture of the left and the forgetfulness bred by social media and our mediocre educational system.

The Common Good and the Constitution
Steven Hayward, Joseph Postell, and Emina Melonic join Richard Reinsch for a discussion of how the common good should shape political debate in a constitution of divided and limited powers.

Memory and American Patriotism
In this new edition of Defining Conservatism, Richard Reinsch interviews Bill McClay at the 2022 National Conservatism Conference about the meaning of American patriotism.

Why the American Founding Matters for American Conservatism
Richard Reinsch and Simon Center Visiting Fellow Sam Gregg discuss the three features of the American Founding that especially matter for American conservatism today.

  1. The idea of natural rights and natural law;
  2. The particular political order of American constitutionalism, especially the separation of powers and the distinct idea of federalism; and
  3. The political economy associated with the idea of a commercial republic.

The Statesmen We Need
In this Defining Conservatism podcast, Richard Reinsch interviews Daniel Mahoney about his new book, The Statesman as Thinker, to understand the unbroken line of political leadership stretching from Cicero to George Washington to Winston Churchill. These statesmen could lead their people through turbulent times with prudence and courage, which drew from their learning in classical philosophy and histories of other great leaders and episodes in classic and modern times. If we find ourselves wondering where our statesman have gone, we should read deeply this work to understand the criteria for excellence in political leadership and how we might recover it.