Koyzis – Chapter 3

In order to practice conservatism one needs something to conserve. In this way conservatism is related to other ideologies. A distrust of human nature and its tendency for chaos leads conservatives to value the achievements of society over the promise of better future by theoretical or insufficiently tested strategy. Acceptable change is small, incremental, and well tested in past experience. Traditional conservatism differs from liberalism in that it strives to restrain freedom in the name of the common good. But conservatism and liberalism are not opposites. The closest thing to an opposite of conservatism would be progressivism. Two kinds of conservatism include Burkean conservatism which is concerned with the status quo, and restorationist conservatism which is concerned with “turning the clock back” to otherwise “bygone traditions.” Conservatives often ignore the “temporal multiplicity of traditions” (how tradition develops and morphs over time), yet conservatism itself is not a unified ideology.


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