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The Fundamentals of Left and Right – A Conversation with Yuval Levin

January 15, 2014

Dr. Yuval Levin, Editor of National Affairs and a former domestic policy advisor to President George W. Bush,  has an idea about the fundamental philosophical commitments that animate liberals and conservatives.  He has developed this idea into a recent book entitled The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Left and Right.  Dr. Levin will discuss his book at an event at the Tikvah Center on February 13, 2014. The event is open to the public but requires all who attend to RSVP through our website here.

Dr. Levin will also be one of the instructors in a Tikvah Advanced Institute on Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews, which takes place in May 12 – May 23, 2014. Applications for this and other Advanced Institutes are open until February 15th.

Tikvah’s Eric Cohen interviewed Dr. Levin in Washington DC last week. You can listen to the audio below.

Paine is a great believer in liberating the individual from obligations that he does not choose… And that, I think, has always been the driving aim of the left.  Burke argues that, at the end of the day, this is an impossible dream and that the attempt to achieve it can really destroy society; that human life has to be understood as emanating from unchosen obligations – in the family, first and foremost – and kind of rolling out from those unchosen obligations to the very form of society itself. 


More about: Jewish Political Thought