Yet another aspect of the conservative philosophy of property in modern history is found in the frequent criticisms of capitalism, together with its industrialism, commerce, and technology, by conservatives. As I have stressed above, conservativism is almost as much a response to the industrial as the democratic revolution at the end of the eighteenth century.I have several problems with this statement: 1) my reading suggests that it is not true that his emphasis has been almost as much on the industrial revolution; as I read him criticism of the French Revolution gets far more attention and always is mentioned first, while the critique of capitalism and industrialism appears as second and something tacked on after fulsome criticism of the French Revolution; and, 2) this "democratic revolution at the end of the eighteenth century" must, in large part be a a reference to the French Revolution and it is at least questionable whether that Revolution was primarily 'democratic' as it had significant elitist elements. In general, I think Nisbet and other conservatives use 'democratic' somewhat loosely. He certainly approves of the republican, representaive system articulated in the U.S. Constitution which was certainly democratic in some sense even if not absolutely so.
His secondary emphasis on the Industrial Revolution and capitalism is important because it seems to me likely that these forces have had far more profound influence upon the modern world than the French Revolution. Certainly this is utterly true of the United States; the U.S. Constitution and federal government were already in place when the French Revolution occurred and although the latter was a topic of heated debate in the U.S. it had minimal influence upon U.S. institutions. However, the only true social revolution the U.S. has undergone is the Industrial Revolution. I believe American 'conservatives' like Nisbet are less consistent in the application of conservative principles to the Industrial Revolution because that would be a bit too non-conformist in the USA. The American Ideology pretty much holds capitalism and the Industrial Revolution in the highest regard for their contribution to American consumer abundance. Nonetheless, I believe it is inconsistent and timid to hold certain principles and yet soft pedal their application where it is politically inconvenient.
Nisbet makes it clear that the revolutionary social change, the destruction of local groups and authority and 'massification' of modern urban capitalist life, the crass materialism, and the individualism of American industrial capitalism are thoroughly repugnant to a genuine conservative philosophy; yet glorification and protection of American industrial capitalism are a major tenet in the pseudo-conservatism of William F. Buckley, et. al. from the the 1950s until today. Under the pressures of political ambition and will to power, actual conservative principles have been jettisoned by American pseudo-conservatives.