High Toryism Can Make Britain Great Again

mbga2992016… For me, as a strong Anglophile, the answer is clear: it is in the tradition of communitarian civic conservatism—High Toryism. In 1931 T. S. Eliot wrote in The Criterion, “The only hope [for Britain] is a Toryism which, though not necessarily distinct for parliamentary purposes, should refuse to identify itself philosophically with that ‘Conservatism’ which has been overrun first by deserters from Whiggism and later by businessmen.” … Continue reading

Neo-Reaction on North American High Toryism

bck16192016Likewise, the growth of the global liberal anti-order has come from America, a child of the English civilization. If broader Western civilization can hope to achieve its Restoration without dividing against itself, then it is to the heart of America itself that the Restoration must reach. And for this it is necessary that we remember the Anglo-Tory faith. If a Restoration in the Anglosphere is possible, then it will be by tapping into currents of thought which preserved and guided us before the rise and reign of liberalism. Continue reading

Barry Spurr on T. S. Eliot and Renewal of the West

Ax140903.jpgIn his most sweeping survey of the rise and fall of civilisations, in The Waste Land, Eliot interprets the decline of the West in the twentieth century in terms of a cyclic sequence of cultural development and concentration, and then decline and destruction, dating from antiquity to modernity … This fragmentation of a civilisation required new voices and modes of expression in literature (as in the other arts) to give embodiment to the new world that was so brutally coming into being. Continue reading

The Politics of T. S. Eliot

tse20116T.S. Eliot is not a political poet; but he was a traditionalist and a moralist, and his artistic integrity led him to postulate an organic society with a religious basis. A conservative? Maybe. A High Tory? Certainly. T.S. Eliot is not a political poet in the accepted sense of the term. When we think of political poetry we do not think of the Wasteland, or the Four Quartets, or even of Coriolan: there are political points in all these works but they are not political poems. Continue reading

Red Toryism: A Total Antidote to Neo-Conservatism

George Parkin Grant, the great Dread Tory of Canadian fame, noted in English-Speaking Justice that English and American thinkers had cut themselves off in a depressing parochialism when they facilely identified totalitarianism with Nietzsche, Rousseau, and the Continentals, and opted hands down for English liberalism rooted in Locke. Conservatives were also affected, being an offshoot of the classic liberal-democratic tradition. Although Conservative roots are sunk deep in the classically liberal tradition, that of (largely unknown) Swiss theorists like Vinet, English Whigs as represented by Lord Acton, and the latest American reinterpretations offered by men like Richard Weaver, they have gone along by degrees in accepting both John Locke’s “blank-slate” epistemology as well as his pared-down Kantian contractualism. Continue reading

T. S. Eliot and Southern Nationalism

erMay I say that my first, and no doubt superficial impressions of your country I speak as a New Englander … no one, surely, can cross the Potomac for the first time without being struck by differences so great that their extinction could only mean the death of both cultures. I had previously been led to wonder, in travelling from Boston to New York, at what point Connecticut ceases to be a New England state and is transformed into a New York suburb; but to cross into Virginia is as definite an experience as to cross from England to Wales, almost as definite as to cross the English Channel. And the differences here, with no difference of language or race to support them, have had to survive the immense pressure towards monotony exerted by the industrial expansion of the latter part of the nineteenth and the first part of the twentieth century. Continue reading

T.S. Eliot And C.S. Lewis: Discord And Concord

It is virtually impossible to live in the 20th century Western Tradition without being exposed to T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) and C.S. Lewis (1898-1963). Both men, for different reasons, were main actors and intellectuals on the stage of the early decades of the 20th century. Eliot and Lewis rise, like towering Alpine peaks, far above the lesser mountains that surround them. Books abound aplenty about them, and libraries are packed with their literary contributions and many publications. Continue reading

Anglo-Catholic In Religion: T.S. Eliot And Christianity

By Barry Spurr

Barry Spurr’s eagerly-awaited, definitive study of T.S. Eliot’s Anglo-Catholic belief and practice shows how the poet’s religion shaped his life and work for almost forty years, until his death in 1965.

Incorporating significant new material from correspondence and diaries which sheds light on Eliot’s thought, the author examines the poet’s formal adoption of Anglo-Catholicism, in 1927, as the culmination of his intellectual, cultural, artistic, spiritual and personal development to that point. Continue reading

High Tories, Left and Right

As someone who self-identifies as a “High Tory” I have on occasion been asked to explain what exactly a High Tory is. I usually respond by explaining what a Tory is first and then explaining what is suggested by the qualifying adjective High. While Tory can be simply a nickname for a member or supporter of the Conservative Party I use the term to mean someone who holds to a certain set of principles and convictions and a certain way of looking at life and the world. The expression “small c conservative” is also used by those who wish to identify themselves as being conservative other than in the partisan sense but I prefer the word Tory because it hearkens back to an older form of conservatism, that exemplified by the eighteenth century poet, biographer, essayist, and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson. Continue reading