To join this union, just copy the logo and display it prominently on your blog. Before you do, please take a few minutes to read and consider the following.
Conservatism, as I have written, is primarily a disposition:
A conservative’s default position is to respect prevailing social norms, taking them as a guide to conduct that will yield productive social and economic collaboration. Conservatism isn’t merely a knee-jerk response to authority. It reflects an understanding, if only an intuitive one, that tradition reflects wisdom that has passed the test of time. It also reflects a preference for changing tradition — where it needs changing — from the inside out, a bit at a time, rather from the outside in. The latter kind of change is uninformed by first-hand experience and therefore likely to be counterproductive, that is, destructive of social and economic cohesion and cooperation.
There is, however, such a thing as conservative governance:
The essential ingredient in conservative governance is the preservation and reinforcement of the beneficial norms that are cultivated in the voluntary institutions of civil society: family, religion, club, community (where it is close-knit), and commerce. When those institutions are allowed to flourish, much of the work of government is done without the imposition of taxes and regulations, including the enforcement of moral codes and the care of those who unable to care for themselves.
In the conservative view, government would then be limited to making and enforcing the few rules that are required to adjudicate what Oakeshott calls “collisions”. And there are always foreign and domestic predators who are beyond the effective reach of voluntary social institutions and must be dealt with by the kind of superior force wielded by government.
By thus limiting government to the roles of referee and defender of last resort, civil society is allowed to flourish, both economically and socially. Social conservatism is analogous to the market liberalism of libertarian economics. The price signals that help to organize economic production have their counterpart in the “market” for social behavior. That behavior which is seen to advance a group’s well-being is encouraged; that behavior which is seen to degrade a group’s well-being is discouraged.
Libertarians are conservative in their view of the role of government, but
self-styled libertarians are too often dismissive of the wisdom and social cohesion the flows from voluntarily evolved social norms.
I have dealt with the defects of libertarian ideology at length elsewhere, as I have also explained that true libertarianism is to be found in conservatism. (See this post, for example, and follow the links therein. See also a later post, which takes up the theme.)
Are you conservative by disposition? Are you conservative in your view of the proper role of government? Do you believe that it’s conservative to roll back government drastically in order to create that room? If you answer “yes” to those questions, you should join the Union of Conservative Bloggers.
Are there examples of blogs that qualify for the UCB? Here’s a selection of my favorites:
Allergic to Bull
House of Eratosthenes
Maverick Philosopher (with the occasional dose of professional philosophy)
Political Correctness Watch
Join the party.