August 2, 2019

The conservative conserves both ancient and modern wisdom.  What happens, then, when ancient and modern wisdom conflict?  As I attempted to show in Part 2, the ancients viewed liberty as a balance between freedom from external forces and internal restraints upon our passions.  They did not believe the individual was truly “free” if, having been set free from all external authorities, they became enslaved to their animalistic instincts.  It w...

July 26, 2019

Prior to classical liberalism, people living in Western societies were largely enslaved to the arbitrary powers of church and state.  Preferring order to anarchy, nation-states developed complex power structures where authority was divvyed between unelected and unaccountable monarchs and the priestly class.  This does not mean that all those in authority abused their power; but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine instances in which abuses transpired....

July 19, 2019

Years ago, comedian and director Woody Allen had the legendary conservative icon William F. Buckley on his TV show.  The audience was invited to ask questions of either of them when someone asked: “Mr. Allen, in your terms, what does liberal mean?”  Woody Allen responded:

“Liberal [pause] well, you’ve got me on this [another pause] I, um, if—let me—if a girl will neck with me, she’s liberal.  If Mr. Buckley will neck with me, he’s very libera...

July 12, 2019

In Part 1, I tried to show how comparing and contrasting conservatism with liberalism is far more challenging than first meets the eye.  This is partially due to the difficulty in nailing down what we mean by “liberal”.  There are two variations of liberalism: progressives and Lockean or classical liberals.

In the parlance of our times, progressives are what we might call Leftists.  Progressives are concerned with equality and social justice...

July 5, 2019

When I shared with a friend that I was thinking about doing a series on how conservatism differs from liberalism they responded that should be easy enough since conservatism and liberalism were exact opposites.

If only.

Actually, the only true “opposite” to conservatism would be radicalism since where one aims to conserve while the other aims to demolish and what they aim to conserver/demolish is based entirely on the context of time, place, and cu...

March 29, 2019

American conservatives are, generally speaking, interested in conserving the American institutions of secular democracy.  As such, there are some similarities between conservatism and secularism.  There are also differences aplenty, as I’ve covered in the prior four posts.

While not all conservatives are religious, conservatism does defend the religious tradition as more than just an interesting relic that ought to be preserved for its histor...

March 15, 2019

Secularism has historically put science on a lofty pedestal.  Indeed, some secularists go so far as to ascribe to scientism—the belief that genuine knowledge of reality can be obtained through the scientific method of observation and experimentation only.  I dealt with scientism in Part 2 and Part 3.  But not all secularists believe in scientism.  Many secularists would rightly say that science alone is not the only window we have to genuine...

March 1, 2019

In Part 2 I began to argue why scientism—a belief generally associated with secularism—is unreasonable.  Scientism is the view that genuine knowledge of reality can be obtained through the scientific method of observation and experimentation only.  While I listed several reasons why we should be suspicious of this view in Part 2, I will tackle one of the most compelling reasons in this post: your self-awareness.

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum...

February 15, 2019

Secularism, like most political terms these days, can mean many things.  As I endeavored to explain in Part 1, the sort of secularism I wish to compare and contrast with the conservative view is the secularism that is not merely neutral on religious matters, but holds to the belief that religious and moral teachings have no business in the public square because they cannot be factual in the same way that science can be factual.

This is a belief we...

February 8, 2019

Thus far in the How does a Conservative differ series I’ve compared conservatism to libertarianism, authoritarianism, populism, centrism, and—most recently—nationalism.  Now I’d like to turn our focus to secularism.

And by secularism I’m not referring to the principle of separating institutions of government from institutions of religion—though that idea is present.  Rather, I mean an indifference, rejection, or exclusion of religious consideratio...

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Competing Worldviews

How are Conservatives Different?

Whether it's a complex worldview, religious tradition, abstract ideology, or personal conviction, we all have some idea of the nature of reality.

As a matter of politics, conservatism is the only ism that professes the main problem isn’t the Left or big government or any other ism, but human nature itself.  And that includes us all.  Conservatism isn’t trying to save humanity, but trying to deal with the harsh reality humanity cannot save itself.

So many competing ideologies teach a much different reality.  From authoritarianism to socialism to populism, a sense of "us" vs "them" prevails.  On this page you will find blog posts describing the differences between what conservatives believe and competing worldviews, and why it matters.