2017/06/15: 12 principles for a 21st century conservatism
Conservatism has all-too-often found itself unable to articulate a coherent positive doctrine. By this I mean specifically that the laudable conservative tendency to preserve the best of past has too-often manifested itself in a series of “thou shalt not” statements, instead of laying out a manifesto of fundamental values that might serve to unite people around a set of common ambitions. I am attempting to rectify this problem with this statement of principles, some of which I believe might have the additional virtue of being attractive to young people, looking for mature and forthright purpose and responsibility.
I am not making the claim that the statement is perfect, comprehensive or final.
Background to the talk:
I spoke at Carleton Place, a town in Lanark County, Thursday, June 15/17. I was invited by Randy Hillier, who is a Member of Provincial Parliament for Ontario (randyhilliermpp.com). You can find out more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Hillier_(politician)
Tenets of a viable 21st century conservatism
1. The fundamental assumptions of Western civilization are valid.
2. Peaceful social being is preferable to isolation and to war. In consequence, it justly and rightly demands some sacrifice of individual impulse and idiosyncrasy.
3. Hierarchies of competence are desirable and should be promoted.
4. Borders are reasonable. Likewise, limits on immigration are reasonable. Furthermore, it should not be assumed that citizens of societies that have not evolved functional individual-rights predicated polities will hold values in keeping with such polities.
5. People should be paid so that they are able and willing to perform socially useful and desirable duties.
6. Citizens have the inalienable right to benefit from the result of their own honest labor.
7. It is more noble to teach young people about responsibilities than about rights.
8. It is better to do what everyone has always done, unless you have some extraordinarily valid reason to do otherwise.
9. Radical change should be viewed with suspicion, particularly in a time of radical change.
10. The government, local and distal, should leave people to their own devices as much as possible.
11. Intact heterosexual two-parent families constitute the necessary bedrock for a stable polity.
12. We should judge our political system in comparison to other actual political systems and not to hypothetical utopias.
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