Thursday, November 07, 2002


John Jay Ray has more on conservatism. Indeed, conservatism favors smaller government than we tend to have now, whereas my realist definition of conservatism leaves open debates about what the facts are, the facts to which one is supposed to be attuned, as a conservative. John remains meta-conservative, thinking it best not to try to define conservatism as realist and pragmatic but just to characterize it as such. I'll differ slightly. The realism entails a tragedic streak in conservatism, according to which not all values can be fulfilled completely and it is madness (fanaticism) to try to fulfill one completely at the expense of others. So, I'll be meta-conservative by being tragedic about realism: It may be very difficult to find out the facts. We may fail. This is the best we can do. There's clearly more to say here.

This is actually interesting. Not much in university is interesting.