October 29, 2009
Interview and translation by Diederik Boomsma & Yoram Stein
We interview the French intellectual Rémi Brague, about his life and work. The question of whether and in what way the West is unique forms a large part of the interview. Whether one can sensibly speak of “three religions of the book”, whether Brague is a Straussian, what the civilizational role of poverty, humility, and cultural inferiority complexes are, and whether Americans really are cultural cowboys, each get discussed in turn.
October 9, 2009
Interviewer: Diederik Boomsma
What distinguishes conservatism from classical liberalism?
The problem with classical liberalism is that it never pauses to examine what is involved in ‘not harming others’. Do I leave others unharmed when I destroy my capacity for personal relationships, through drug-taking, promiscuity, or porn addiction? Do I leave them unharmed when I stupefy myself with pop music? I have nothing against individualism, so long as it is recognized that the individual is created by a community and by the moral constraints that prevail in it. The individual is not the foundation of society but its most important by-product.