Thursday, January 04, 2007

Another Set of Conservative Principles

While I'm trying to define the basic principles of genuine conservatism here is an attempt to do something similar by one of the most famous of the New Conservatives of the 1950s, Russell Kirk; click here for his "Ten Conservative Principles."

While I don't have much problem with his ten conservative principles I do believe Kirk took positions, under the influence of Goldwater, Buckley and others, that were contradictory to a genuine commitment to his abstract principles. For example, Kirk says nothing here about what has been justified in the name of American nationalism, 'defense' and 'security.' But many of the things advocated by pseudo-conservatives would significantly conflict with at least these Kirkian principles:
the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.
conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.
conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.
As Claes Ryn demonstrates repeatedly in America the Virtuous, there are no apparent restraints upon the nationalistic passions of most of today's so-called 'conservatives'. And 'involuntary collectivism' is enforced by the Patriot Act, NSA spying, and attacks upon the 'patriotism' of any who disagree with the increasingly dictatorial George W. Bush administration.

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