Tradition in the modern United States.

William Brafford

William Brafford grew up in North Carolina, home of the world's best barbecue, indie rock, and regional soft drinks. He just barely sustains a personal blog and "tweets" every now and then under the name @williamrandolph.

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8 Responses

  1. H.C. Johns says:

    I’ve recently become convinced that every copy of After Virtue ought to be bundled along with a copy of Sources of the Self by Charles Taylor. As much as there is to be learned from reading MacIntyre, his account is seriously incomplete in ways that Taylor really powerfully accounts for, particularly on the historical front. (Its particularl a must read if you’re not inclined to think that Catholics have a real contribution to make beyond the hybrid ideology of the culture war: Taylor’s Catholicism is deeply present but also profoundly democratic in the best sense, and has oodles to say to the current situation beyond the limits of the christian right.)Report

  2. William Brafford says:

    “if you’re not inclined to think that Catholics have a real contribution to make beyond the hybrid ideology of the culture war”

    I hope it didn’t sound like I was saying that! But, yes, I think you’re right that I need to read Charles Taylor.Report

  3. Will says:

    Brafford –

    Here’s a head-scratcher for you: if traditions are more amorphous than their ideological counterparts, do we still retain the right to kick people out? I’ve always wondered how one goes about defining and policing a tradition’s (already porous) borders . . .Report

  4. William Brafford says:

    Kicking someone out of a tradition looks a lot like the last battle rap scene in 8 Mile. It’s all in the story you tell and how you tell it.Report

  5. Will says:

    So, ummm, we can kick people out if their first names are ‘Clarence’ and they didn’t attend public school?Report

  6. Bob Cheeks says:

    I enjoyed your self reflection. I’m not quite sure what kind of Conservative I am either but I do know, from experience, that centralized gov’t isn’t good for either the individual or the community. You might find Voegelin interesting, particularly his Political Religions; The New Science of Politics; and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.Report

  7. William Brafford says:


    Thanks for the kind words and the recommendations. Voegelin’s somewhere on my list; I’ve read some fascinating articles about him in various ISI publications. Oh, my reading list, how it looms…


  8. E.D. Kain says:

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this piece for a while and simply didn’t remember to get around to it for one reason or another. In any case, I think it’s fantastic – thanks for the insight. I always find that there is simply so, so much that I haven’t read. And blogging – while great – keeps me reading lots of short bursts of information and opinion but not digging enough into the good, old books and theorists and philosophers. I keep making notes of authors you’ve recommended to me or (as in this post) authors you mention in your writing but I find I am simply terrible at getting around to reading them.

    In any case, lots and lots I agree with in here, or feel similarly about in any case…Report