In practical politics, what we call the conservative movement in America is a coalition of several interests and bodies of opinion. In popular journalism, the word “conservative” has come to imply virtually any person who resists the great grim tendency tow a rd a totalist state; or perhaps anybody who sets his face against Communism.
So we ought not to be surprised that within this camp called conservative there flourish factions and deep differences of opinion. It is only in their opposition to Leviathan tha t the several factions join forces.
I have been asked to offer you four lectures on the varieties of the conservative impulse, my general title playing on William James’s book 77ie Varieties ofRefigious Experience. So I mean to take up, during this year, f o ur aspects of this subject: the ideas and approaches of the cultural conservatives, the libertarians, the neo-conservatives, and, in another lecture of the series, the popular conservatism of the American people.
I confess that this general subject is not wholly congenial to my temperament: for my own tendency is to avoid fission and to promote amicable relationships among groups that have common objectives. I do not wish to consign to arbitrary categories persons who object to being ideologically tagged.
Conservative Impulse. Still less do I desire to manufacture an ideology called conservatism, and demand conformity to its political dogmas. For the conservative impulse is the negation of ideology. Conservatives do not believe that man and society may be p erfected through revolutionary politics – the conviction that lies at the heart of every ideology.
(Excerpt) Read more at heritage.org …
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