Common Ground for Conservatives

The Intercollegiate Review recently republished Frank S. Meyer's "What All Conservatives Can Agree On". This is from an analysis of the 1964 book What Is Conservatism? which is a collection of essays by Conservative thinkers and which Meyer edited.

He lists the following, though he goes into much more detail in the article:

1. An objective moral order

2. The human person as the center of political and social thought

3. A distaste for the use of state power to enforce ideological patterns upon human beings

4. A rejection of social engineering, or the "planned" society

5. The spirit of the Constitution of the United States as originally conceived, especially the division of powers between state and federal governments and between the three branches of the federal government

6. A devotion to Western civilization and an awareness of the need to defend it

Meyer claims the differences within Conservatism are primarily matters of emphasis. This does seem a good summary to me. Any thoughts?


Grim said...

You can run the math the other way:

1. Against moral relativism. Also, against all objective moral orders other than the one supported (e.g., against shariah law, which is certainly an objective moral order, but one that violates Western conservatives' morality in several ways).

2. Against radical environmentalism, though not against conservationism: preserving nature and nature's beauty is a laudable goal, but precisely so that people can enjoy and experience it. The idea that Mother Earth would be better off if humanity went extinct is right out.

3. Against totalitarianism, at least; some variations oppose other lesser forms, whereas some simply find it distasteful.

4. Against utopianism.

5. Against living Constitutionalism, as well as against treason to the original project even if it comes cloaked as the workings of the actual government branches in their current form.

6. Against pacifism, against multiculturalism, and against cowardice. Not necessarily xenophobia, but rather a pride in one's own that allows one to meet the other as another.

Dad29 said...

So. Trump fails on #s 1, 3, and 5.

And none of those are 'lesser' propositions.

Texan99 said...

The only quarrel I'd have with the list is that there is a branch of conservatism that's only too happy to use state power to enforce ideological patterns on human beings. Not all conservatives have a libertarian streak.