Human depravity bulks large in the Conservative Mind. The book exhibits a very Tory insistence on the reality of evil, the folly of schemes of social and personal perfectiblity, the inevitability of disappointment in a corrupt world.
Kirk thought of himself as a Christian Stoic. His best writing reflects a conviction that the most perduring of the permanent things is sorrow We would not be human without "the inescapable emotion of grief." Yet this is not as gloomy as it sounds.
Kirk used this grief to justify a politics not of dissent and despair, but of hope. After all, to recognize the fall from grace is to recognize grace itself as salvifically necessary. Awareness of human weakness is the beginning of wisdom.
Am I right in believing that contemporary hopemongers rarely show grief? At most, they muster compassion, which is not the same thing.
See also: Patrick Deneen's Hope against Hope