WHAT IS CONSERVATISM? by Frank S. -Ed. Meyer


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good question, and a good book- just don't expect direct answers. Lenin aid contradiction was the salt of the dialectic; here it seems to be the pepper of the conservative ethos. To imply as editor Meyer's rhetoric does that more consensus between the participating essayists exists than conflict is to go by generalities and not particulars. Further, though conservatives are agin' collectivism; social engineering and totalitarianism, so too are liberals; people like Tocqueville, cton, even Burke- all in the conservative pantheon- were, in fact, liberals- 19th century variety or no. There are, of course, programmatic differences, e.g., the New eal vs the Free Market, but these concrete issues are usually ditched in favor of struct ones: authoritarianism, libertarianism, statism, the Constitution etc. Still on the whole the collection is remarkably rewarding, strong, serious, stuff, and remarkably representative, from Kirk on tradition to Ropke on economics, Father Parry on reason and religion, Stephen Tonsor on historical aspects of accommodation and Stefan Possony on the problems of defense. The best piece of the collection is ayek's ""Why I Am Not A Conservative"". Contradiction, anyone?

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1964
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston