The New Criterion awarded the ninth annual Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society to Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn at its annual gala at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on April 28.
The award “honors individuals who have made conspicuous contributions to the defense of civilization.” Previous recipients include writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author and historian Victor Davis Hanson, and political scientist Charles Murray.
“While the American academy continues its slide towards terminal irrelevance, in thrall to the destructive pieties of political correctness and identity politics, [Arnn] has transformed Hillsdale College into a bastion of educational excellence rooted firmly in the canons of American liberty and nurtured by the great conversation across the ages that is Western civilization,” said Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion.
Dr. Arnn gave a speech titled “Consistency in Politics,” referencing a prominent essay of the same name by Sir Winston Churchill.
“There seem to be a lot of people who think that politics is everything. That is despotism,” said Dr. Arnn. “There seem to be a lot of people who think that it is nothing. That is servitude. Between them are people who know they are made for civic affairs, and also for more than civic affairs. Those people know that men are not angels, and so they require laws and government, and also they know that angels do not govern men, and so government must be limited and accountable to the governed.”
Dr. Arnn discussed how one judges consistency in politics, arguing that consistency, if it is to endure, depends on knowledge that is “partially outside and certainly above politics.”
“I am proud to read The New Criterion, in which these relationships among men, nature, and God are evident in every line,” said Arnn.
Dr. Arnn received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1985 to 2000, he served as the president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. Dr. Arnn now serves on the board of directors of The Heritage Foundation, the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College, the Philadelphia Society, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Claremont Institute.
A video of the ceremony is available on the New Criterion’s YouTube page.