The common principles of the early Conservatives of Western Europe (roughly, from Burke to Donoso Cortes) listed by Robert Nisbet in his foreword to The Works of Joseph de Maistre (Schocken, 1971).Not libertarianism (although that is useful in America; it taught me to think critically about our political scene, left and right) and not the "liberalism a few decades ago" (exactly what American neoconservatism is) that passes for American conservatism (which isn't surprising since America was founded on the "Enlightenment") or, put another way, American "conservatism" as in mainstream Republicans is just social liberalism that plays the stock market (the dumbed-down, non-threatening to liberals "conservatism" of "Alex P. Keaton"). I do believe in capitalism/the market (better than any other economics man has tried), though, but the real reactionaries, and the best churchmen, are right that work is for man, not man for wage slavery, which is cleverly marketed as individual liberation from poverty and narrow old morals; among other evils it destroys families and communities. (Medieval life may have been hard and short but the church made sure you got your time off for festivals, etc., which the Protestants got rid of.) The worst churchmen mistake the ripoff of Christianity that is Western liberalism (only our apostates could have come up with it: for example, globalism and "it takes a village" are its false church; it includes feminism) for the gospel. My guess is Pope Francis is one of these suckers, which doesn't affect our teachings, because it can't, but he doesn't act like somebody owns him; he's unpredictable. Vatican II (policies, not doctrine) happened because too many of our churchmen forgot the seventh point: "Let's streamline the church for the space age, and as part of that, now that we've learned the history of the Mass so we know what we can take out, let's rewrite it."
- 1. God and the divine order, not the natural order, must be the starting point of any understanding of society and history.
- 2. Society, not the individual, is the subject of the true science of man.
- 3. Tradition, not pure reason, is the only possible approach to reform of government and society.
- 4. Organism, not social contract, is the true image of social reality.
- 5. The groups and associations of society, not the abstracted individual, are the true seats of human morality — and also of human identity.
- 6. True authority springs directly from God and is distributed normally among a plurality of institutions — church, guild, social class, and family, as well as a political state.
- 7. A tragic view of man and history is required, one that sees the recurrence of evil and disaster in human affairs, not the kind of linear progress assumed by the Enlightenment.
I am a Catholic so unlike most Americans I believe a king or a caudillo is an option. The right thing to do in 1775-1783 was to remain loyal to George III (even though he was Protestant, which didn't affect us, and Burke thought the rebels had a point).
On paper Britain and Canada (partly the American Loyalists who rightly opposed the revolution) should have been a conservative high-Anglican ideal but aren't. (Many/most English Reformed Christians lost what was left of their faith at the "Enlightenment.") Of course we believe Anglicanism is fatally flawed — it's just Protestantism with bishops — but anyway. And, although semi-congregationism is worth looking at as a hedge against liberalism, Popeless "Catholicisms" eventually get owned.