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A key feature of this presumptive conservatism is that it does not call for a total embargo on innovative change.
Significantly, conservatism need have no quarrel with any of these considerations, but it insists on a larger contextualization that adds a pivotal further consideration:
The pivot of the presumptive conservatism now at issue inheres in the fog of futurity.
So, in the end, once the irreversibility of sociopolitical innovation is acknowledged, the most telling argument for conservatism is not a flat-out commitment to the status quo on the grounds of its merits, let alone a visceral aversion to change.
Social conservatism stems from an awareness that it lies beyond the capacity of individuals to act properly when they are left alone without boundaries, and that they thus must rely on government to bolster within them the virtues of restraint.
Whatever the cracks in conservatism may be, surely they are met one for one by those in liberalism.
MY GOAL here lies not in vindicating conservatism over liberalism, but in considering whether, because of its foreign and domestic policy tensions, American conservatism has, as David Farber says, "outlasted its historical purpose.
These images of conservatism and liberalism--in which conservatism is linked with irony and liberalism with humility--are rooted in a particular time and place, the era of the European Enlightenment and its aftermath.
While federalists led by Adams, Hamilton, and George Washington were seeking to consolidate the power of the national government, a conservatism emerged in the antebellum south that emphasized states' rights and small government.
Eventually, all the opinions and doctrines of southern conservatism, whatever their intrinsic merit, became bound up with the defense of the institution of slavery.
Distinctive forms of conservatism also emerged in the antebellum North.