Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrating Conservatism As The Intellectual Tradition That It Is!

By John Sykes

Conservative giant Russell Kirk enumerated ten principles that celebrate conservatism as the intellectual tradition that it is.

Redacted from Jack Kerwick's "Russell Kirk": 
  • First, there is “an enduring moral order” of both “the soul” and “the commonwealth.” It is at our peril, conservatives insist, that we ignore this order.
  • Second, “custom, convention, and continuity” constitute the glue that keeps us together.
  • Third, prescription—“things established by immemorial usage”—is the stuff of which a flourishing civil society is made.
  • Fourth, prudence is a cardinal virtue.
  • Fifth, variety is both necessary and desirable.
  • The sixth principle is that of human imperfectability.
  • Seventh, freedom and property are indissolubly linked.
  • Eighth, “voluntary community” is as essential to the civil order as “involuntary collectivism” is destructive of it.
  • Ninth, there must be “prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.”
  • The tenth and final principle of the conservative attitude concerns the affirmation and harmonizing of “permanence and change” in “a vigorous society.”

Would that today's conservatives read, understand and apply these insights. Conservatism truly operates in a far less rigid framework than others would have us believe. 

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