Bohemian Conservatives

From Austin Storm
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At the risk of approaching a definition, a bohemian conservative believes humans ought to appreciate, live amidst, and even love the eccentric particularity of physical nature, of distinctive persons, of local culture, of odd traditions that reach back before memory, and more generally of the person rooted in time and place–a historical expression as unique as the proverbial snowflake. The bohemian conservative appreciates less the abstract beauty of the woman on the billboard and more the peculiar beauty of the woman who works at the diner. The bohemian conservative does not love the individualist as much as the eccentric person who is rooted in cultural soil unprocessed by sanitizing consumerism. The bohemian conservative admires the unique and peculiar over the abstracted perfection of a universal form.

The person, understood as a being rooted in history, culture, and tradition, is not any one thing. He isn’t defined by the composition of his body. He isn’t defined by his individual experiences. He isn’t defined by his accomplishments, or failings, or abilities, or limitations. The complexity of his person, as contextualized in a living culture, allows him to think of himself as physical and spiritual, as an individual and part of a group, as living in the flux of existence that is nonetheless situated in the timelessness of reality.

Ted McAllister

after Russell Kirk, of course. Apparently the bohemian conservative is a rather red-blooded fellow. Still, I like it.