As conservatives try to chart the way forward after the conservative sweep of November 2, some folks perceive friction between conservatives whose top priorities are economic/fiscal (the “FiCons”) and those whose top priorities are cultural/social (the “SoCons”).
This whole debate has always frustrated me, because I see the same principles — which I formulate here as 8 points — undergirding all of conservatism. I hold these truths to be self-evident — as well as inter- dependent with each other, and common to all branches of conservatism, including fiscal, social and the all-too-often-forgotten national-security/defense conservatism.
If FiCons don’t support these principles, then I’m not sure how they can call themselves conservatives. If FiCons do support these principles, then I don’t see anything much separating them from SoCons.
Please read this list. If you disagree with any of these 8 basic premises, please tell us what, and why, in the comment section. If you don’t see anything here that you take issue with, then maybe there’s more unity in our movement than some people think.
1. Human individuals have inherent dignity, and in this dignity inheres a sacred right to be free.
2. There is no freedom without corresponding responsibility.
3. Responsibility is acting in accordance with truth and justice, not just from impulse or appetite.
4. If the individual does not take responsibility for himself, outside forces such as government will step in to control him or her.
5. The smaller the number of individuals who take responsibility for themselves, the more will government step in, gradually becoming tyrannical.
6. Since tyrants necessarily prize ends over means, individuals who are deemed insufficiently useful toward the tyrant’s ends become disposable.
7. When some humans are deemed disposable, all humans are deprived of dignity.
8. Where there is no dignity, there is no freedom.
Which brings us full circle back to point 1.