Russell Kirk’s Ten Conservative Principles;
True Conservatism Meaning returns with President Donald Trump
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. ~Adrian Rogers
Russell Amos Kirk was an American political theorist, moralist, historian, social critic, and literary critic, known for his influence on 20th-century American conservatism. His 1953 book The Conservative Mind gave shape to the amorphous post–World War II conservative movement.Wikipedia
Born:Russell Amos Kirk, Oct 19, 1918, Plymouth, Michigan, U.S.
Died:Apr 29, 1994, Mecosta, Michigan, U.S.
President Donald Trump is the first truly conservative president we’ve had since Ronald Reagan. ~C.D.
Ten Conservative Principles
Russell Kirk, a Distinguished Scholar at The Heritage Foundation.
He spoke at The Heritage Foundation on March 20, 1986.
Perhaps no words have been more abused, both in the popular press and within the Academy, t han conservatism and conservative. The New York Times, not without malice prepense, now and again refers to Stalinists within the Soviet Union as conservatives.
1. Enduring Moral Order
First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.
2. Custom, Convention, Continuity
Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire.
3. Respect the History Heroes of the Past
Third, Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time.
Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away.
5. Variety of Individualism, Not “One-size fits all”
Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems.
6. Human Nature is not Perfect
Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectibility. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent–or el s e expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things.
7. Freedom and Private Property are Closely Linked
Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonweal th. Economic leveling, conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.
8. Voluntary Community, Not Involuntary Collectivism
Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism. Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community.
9. Limited Power
Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human Passions.
Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons,.. just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host.
10. Balance of Permanence and Change
Tenth, the thinking conservative understands-that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.
Strengthening America’s Tradition of Order, Justice & Freedom
The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal aims to recover, conserve, and enliven those enduring norms and principles that Russell Kirk (1918–1994) called the Permanent Things. Explore the Center’s programs, publications, and fellowships and join with us to continue Kirk’s work to renew our culture and redeem our time.