Taking the Right seriously at Berkeley: “Conservatism is a tradition, not a pathology”

A conservative viewpoint.

Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University, writing at The Chronicle of Higher Education:

There were many surprises as the students examined the history of conservatism. The biggest one, for both Lyons and me, was how attractive all the students found Whittaker Chambers and how much they enjoyed his cold-war memoir, Witness. Who knew? If anything, the liberal students were more enthusiastic because they saw Chambers as an idealist participating in a cosmic battle between good and evil, which is how they saw themselves. Apparently it never occurred to them that conservatives, too, could be idealists. Even Lyons caught the bug, admitting that before reading Witness he had considered Chambers a “degenerate,” but now saw him as a “compelling if sad figure.” It turns out a book can change your mind. Again, who knew?


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