Home/Rod Dreher/In Praise Of The Unprincipled Conservative

In Praise Of The Unprincipled Conservative

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwVqBY_cFGo?rel=0&w=525&h=330]

Philosopher Peter King (above), from his short book of short essays, Here And Now:

I am almost serious when I argue that a principled conservative is one who happily admits that they do not have any principles. They do not wish to impose a worldview on anyone and are quite happy to take the world as it is. Conservatives know that there can be no consensus in society but merely the accommodation of difference. To impose one view at the expense of all others has little to do with truth, but is rather merely an expression of power. Indeed, it is worse: it is power without authority, which can only come when power has a legitimate basis.

Conservatives are people who wish to protect things. They recognise what is valuable in their culture and their daily lives and work to sustain these. This is not about principles, but is a matter of reaction. It is a disposition based on vigilance and on an awareness of the dangers posed by others who wish to sacrifice the present for a future only they can imagine. When you come across those with such principles, sit them down and buy them a drink. It will keep them off their feet and off our backs.

Must. Have. Pint. With. This. Man. Soon. I can predict without fear of contradiction or disappointment that he has proper theology and geometry.

UPDATE: A reader kindly points out that I have confused my Peter Kings. My PK is in the UK, not in Toronto. I’ve removed Canadian PK’s image. Very sorry!


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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