The Philadelphia Society and New Orleans, Part II

This year’s national meeting of the Philadelphia Society was my first.  William Campbell of LSU invited me (a young-ish faculty member of Houston Baptist University) after reading a piece I wrote on libertarians and conservatives for the Acton Institute.  I am very thankful for the opportunity and enjoyed the event very much.  The list of attendees was really quite impressive and people were generally interested in and open to others.

At each meal I sat with a different group of people and found the conversation rewarding.  There was a strong sense of fellowship and collegiality.  I felt that individuals who offered divergences of opinion were treated respectfully and well.  It was, in the best sense of the word, scholarly.

However, I write to offer a suggestion.  To me, the panels shaded too much to the hall of famer/veteran side and not enough (or even at all) to rising, young talent needing an opportunity to demonstrate what they can do or what new things they have to say.  A meeting of this kind would represent a great way for the distinguished members to identify talent and then to figure out how to promote the careers of young people who can seek to build on the previous generation’s successes.

For every paper delivered by a long-standing member who is confident in what he has said and is ready to say it again, there are young people who will work their brains out for a chance to present something impressive to people they respect.  The leadership needs to figure out how to move national meetings in that direction to a greater degree.


One thought on “The Philadelphia Society and New Orleans, Part II

  1. How can you be both a conservative and a “libertarian”?

    Libertarians are essentially eternal adolescents (even outlaws) who are dramatizing the typical entirely narcissistic adolescent ambiguity towards all sources of true authority, and indeed dependence on anyone or anything, including the general society, and of course the State. And even of the entire natural world.

    Therefore their common mood is one of adolescent anti-authority and anti-heirarchy with their common search for a kind of ever youthful and entirely narcissistic self omnipotence and omniscience.

    A society composed of such mere self-absorbed individuals does not need, and cannot even tolerate, a true culture. Because a true culture must, necessarily, be characterized in its best demonstration, by mutual tolerance, cooperation, peace and PROFUNDITY. Therefore societies based on competitive individualism, and narcissistic self-fulfilment and merely gross superficial mindedness, actually destroy culture, and all, until then, existing cultures, and cultural adaptations.

    Cow-BOY “culture”.

    By contrast true cultures and cultural adaptations are produced and needed ONLY when individuals rightly and truly participate in a collective based on the moral law and demand to practice self-transcendence in all relations.

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