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:

  1. 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.

  2. The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.

  3. Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.

  4. Conservatives are guided by their principles of prudence.

  5. Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

  6. Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

  7. Conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.

  8. Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as the oppose involuntary collectivism - which contrasts with libertarians who uphold individualism.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.