Progressives want to engineer society in accordance with a blueprint. Conservatives want to let individuals work things out for themselves, in communities. Progressives want to impose order from the top. Conservatives want to let order emerge, spontaneously. Progressives put their faith in reason and view tradition as an obstacle. Conservatives put their faith in tradition, which they believe to be the embodiment of reason. Progressives are impatient; they want to bring about heaven on earth. Conservatives are patient; they don’t believe that heaven on earth is possible (even if it were desirable). Progressives want to force change—from without. Conservatives want change to come naturally—from within. Progressives want revolution. Conservatives want evolution. One reason I enjoy reading Thomas Sowell is that he gets to the bottom of things. See here for his latest column.
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