I had dinner with an old friend today, and he inquired of me why I define myself as a conservative. After all, on many “hot button” issues I’m arguably a social liberal, and my attitude toward government and its current scope is of resigned acceptance, not an optimistic vision of rollback. Ultimately the main issue is that I am profoundly skeptical of the utopian and cosmic visions of the modern post-materialist Left. I believe that the cutting-edge Leftist jihad against Oppression stifles Eudaimonia. The eternal revolution only ends in exhaustion of spirit and social involution, as the platoons withdraw from the field lest they draw the attention of the latter day kommissars. This is a great danger, because humanity is a social species, and as the bonds which tie different social groups fray because of a lack of trust society as a whole will dissolve before our very eyes.
With that, I point you to a video by Respvblica. Surely many can disagree on the details, but I much agree with the emphasis on human nature, and the universal basic elements of our natures which span religion and culture. But another aspect of this which one may wish to highlight, and which explains the existence of religious skeptics across human history in all civilized societies, is that humans also vary in disposition, preference, and outlook. It is that fine balance between honest, frank, and sincere, individual disagreement, and a common set of values and norms which serve as the currency which bind us together as a social whole, where I believe that a pragmatic conservatism of disposition resides.