If you want a good, brief list of axioms that undergird a conservatives’ political beliefs, you won’t have to go far beyond this one by John Derbyshire. The list is distilled from a talk by Charles Murray, and author and scholar whose work I admire. I’ll give you his points in bullet form.
- If you tax a thing, you’ll get less of it.
- If you subsidize a thing, you’ll get more of it.
- If you do things for people, they will lose the inclination — and soon the ability — to do things for themselves.
- Kids need parents.
- Adults need colleagues, friends, and relatives.
- The people who administer government programs don’t have much interest in their efficiency or success.
- If the control levers of society are in the hands of a meritocratic caste, smug in their superiority and increasingly cut off from their fellow citizens, then the less bright and less able will be elbowed off the sidewalk, into jails, welfare slums, and dead rustbelt zones.
To that I’d add a couple three of my own, though he might disagree with one or two of them.
- Regular practice of a Judeo-Chrstian religion tends to make people better citizens and neighbors, though that does not necessarily mean that regular practitioners of other religions may not be .The jury is still out on a couple.
- Education is best done locally.
- Strong nations are built from strong individuals who learn to sacrifice some bit of their individuality for the welfare of their neighbors.
- History is important
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