Returning to Conservatism
The term 'The New Right' is being thrown around a lot lately, but it really isn't new. Rather, it is a return to the true definition of what a conservative is. I think one of the best definitions of conservatism was stated by Russell Kirk, known as the Father of American Conservatism. He laid out the following 10 Principles:
- The conservative believes that their exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.
- The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.
- Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.
- Conservatives are guided by their principles of prudence.
- Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.
- Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.
- Conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.
- Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as the oppose involuntary collectivism - which contrasts with libertarians who uphold individualism.
- The conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions. The conservative endeavors to so limit and balance power that anarchy or tyranny may not arrive.
- The thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.
If you are interested in more information about how conservatism is not libertarianism, there is some great information on this at the Russell Kirk Center.