After recently pointing out issues with conservatism of the ‘small government’ stripe, it is proper to positively stipulate the aspects of traditional conservatism.
In short, traditional conservatism could be understood to entail:
- Rejecting ideology as a cure to mankind’s ills;
- Preserving ancient moral traditions and norms, even if these conflict with the political and cultural status quo;
- Using history, experience and prejudice as a practical guide to solving problems, in an analogous manner to the judicial application of precedent;
- Respecting the intricate (seen and unseen) ties that bind together human society. Therefore, being alive as to the necessity of fitting plans according to what already exists; and
- Establishing a harmony with telos: arranging affairs so that things may fulfil the ends towards which they are inherently directed towards. As intelligent beings, we fulfil our telos by acting in accordance with reason.
- The Conservative Mind, by Russell Kirk.
- Reflection on the Revolution in France, by Edmund Burke.
- Why Liberalism Failed, by Patrick Deneen.
- The Last Superstition, by Edward Feser.