One of Andrew Sullivan has posted a list of supposed conservative principles to get opinions. I'd say I agree with about 7 out of 10 (six and three-thirds, perhaps): The private property = freedom one I definitely reject; private property is an institution that has its uses, but I don't think it's an inherent part of freedom. I agree with parts of the first one, on an enduring moral order, but not the bit about "The order is made for man." A made order--made presumably by God--is one that may be changed, not a permenant one. The second and third ones, about the value of tradition, I agree with up until a point, though my thoughts are better represented by point 10, "Permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society."
What does this mean? Not sure. I think the statements are to some extent platitudinous, designed to appeal to many people who wouldn't support most of what has gone under the lable "conservative." Still, there's some genuine insight there, insight that not everybody gets.
Tags: Andrew Sullivan, conservatism, politics, political philosophy