One thing Americans of today are not always good at remembering is that there is more to the world than the 50 states—or at least that there are other ways of thinking and living than our way. Readers of Crisis are probably less prone to this, especially as we often turn our sights to happenings in Rome.
In this regard, though, I want to take a moment to recommend and appreciate the Hungarian journal The European Conservative. An English-language publication, it has a handsome quarterly print edition, as well as an online platform with daily posts including essays and news reporting.
As its name implies, the focus of the journal is traditional culture, faith, and politics in Europe. Approaching everything they do “from an unflinching traditionalist perspective,” their magazine engages, via a “conservative approach” with the “current debates about the nation-state, the role of the family, and the future of European democracy.”
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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The current European Conservative Nonprofit Ltd. grew out of volunteer work connected via the Center for European Renewal. By 2019, however, the magazine had grown out of a fluctuating and free format and, supported by several other European institutions, had become its own independent institution, which I might describe as a think tank.
Evidently Catholic in spirit, the publication isn’t “officially” Catholic: what makes it Catholic is that it is European and conservative, and you can’t be both without being Catholic. As the National Catholic Register reported in 2022, one of the “core objectives” of the journal is to resist “censorship, repression, and cancel culture,” promoting instead “vigorous open debate and the free exchange of divergent viewpoints.” The late British philosopher Roger Scruton was a major inspiration to The European Conservative team, and two of his disciples—philosophers and writers Mark Dooley and Sebastian Morello—are part of the journal’s editorial team. Evidently Catholic in spirit, the publication isn’t “officially” Catholic: what makes it Catholic is that it is European and conservative, and you can’t be both without being Catholic.Tweet This
Two things make The European Conservative stand out among other publications: its high-profile writers contributing top-notch content combined with its sleek and classy presentation. It is highbrow without being exclusive or “snooty.” But while its contributors include writers known to Crisis readers—such as Charles Coulombe, Rod Dreher, or Peter Kwasniewski—they also draw upon brilliant writers not so well-known to Americans.
As the journal states,
In everything we do, we believe in reasonable freedom of speech, civilized discussions, and vigorous debate as the best path to understanding. To that end, we publish a variety of writers and a range of viewpoints on the Right, broadly conceived, including but not limited to: agrarians, anti-statists, classical liberals, decentralists, integralists, monarchists, nationalists, populists, radical localists, sovereigntists, and defenders of the Judeo-Christian and Western tradition.
For Americans, it is interesting to look through this window into the European scene, which we can often forget about—but that is to forget about the mother of our Western civilization, our political concepts, and just about everything that has shaped our country’s history.
It is truly refreshing to pick up their thick and delightfully papery journal and remember that there is such a thing as the “pan-Scandinavian conservative conference,” or to read about a Frenchman’s view of Trump. It is neat to see Angelico Press books advertised alongside publications in French, German, or Portuguese and remember that other people are thinking in places and languages we know nothing about!
The quarterly print journal of The European Conservative is a beautiful work of graphic design and printing. Often running to 80 pages or more, the journal’s editors make generous room for full page spreads of paintings or photographs. Each issue includes an alcohol review, a political comic, book reviews, essays, analysis, and interviews. The thick cover with embossed title, crisp print, and uncoated pages make it the best printed journal I know of. In these pages I have read about the joys of used bookstores, the history of various wines, Argentinian revolutionaries, and Anglican bibliophiles. This is a publication for anyone interested in the arts, literature, or global politics.
While the journal’s online media production isn’t quite as quality as the print, its content is still spectacular. Recently, Sebastian Morello, one of their senior editors, began a Symposia podcast in which he interviews important contemporary thinkers. The symposia often run over two hours as Sebastian and his guest roam through the countryside or sit down to a meal while discussing (for example) monarchy, psychology, or sexuality. Do give them a listen: the strolls of mind and body are delightful.
Whether you want to follow their news reporting or subscribe to their sumptuous print quarterly, I highly recommend perusing The European Conservative. A subscription might make a lovely start to the New Year, or even a late Christmas gift. This journal is one of the most thoughtful and well-produced publications available to English speakers; don’t leave it unread.