Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Conservatives: Stay or go?

"Larison identifies the traditionalist conservative dilemma: to be in a position to move the culture, you probably will have to violate your traditionalist principles. Excerpt: 'Conservatives who don’t eschew pursuing professional and academic degrees are said to lack authenticity and credibility when they make arguments to go home, and the temperamental conservatives who don’t pursue such paths find themselves arrayed against institutions dominated entirely by people who valorize constant mobility and who embrace political and cultural values antithetical to everything the conservatives treasure.' It's a real problem. How credible are traditionalists who advise people to stay home, develop roots, etc., from comfortable positions in the academy, in the think tanks, or, well, in newsrooms -- all far from their homes? Aren't we really saying, "Don't be like us!"? Or: "Do as we say, not as we do"?"-Rod Dreher

This prompts the question of whether or not a truly conservative ethos can be lived out in a highly mobile society. Wendell Berry doesn't think so.

On a side note, Steve says: "The role of the conservative is not to stand before the march of history and stop it but rather to slow it or redirect it."

Good point! This is what a conservative ethos is all about: not to "stop" change, but to slow it down enough for us to consider how it will be incoporprated with our recieved traditions. And this requires (shall I use such an un-pc word?) some kind of "discrimination," a careful sorting of what and how certain changes can be incoroporated into the fabric of our society and what can't.

Incidently, the Senate was supposed to be the "conservative" branch, each member given six years in order to slow down radical legislation from the more "radical" branch-the House of Representatives.

No comments: