The Spectacle Blog

A Shudder at the Sound of Tumbrels

By on 7.14.08 | 2:22PM

My article today elicited an e-mail from a college instructor who, apparently being a disciple of Harry Jaffa, wondered if I'd be interested in his thoughts on "natural rights theory." From my reply:

As a proper Burkean, I shudder at the mere mention of "natural rights," a phrase that always summons to my ears the sound of tumbrels rolling to the guillotine. . . . Let's get the damned meddlesome federal bureaucracy off our collective back, and then we'll have plenty of time to amuse ourselves with fine phrases and theories.
Why would anyone want to be an intellectual, when we anti-intellectuals have all the fun?
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