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“We do not simply study the past: we inherit it, from people to whom we are bound by natural piety. Inheritance brings not only property rights, but guardianship duties, wasted unnecessarily. For they are the property of others, who have not yet been born. – “City and Country”, edited by Roger Scruton and Anthony Barnett
In this quote, Sir Roger Scruton perfectly summed up the essence of conservatism. It is not an ideology, but rather a variety of ideas, beliefs and feelings that are natural to every human being.
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We inherit from our parents the home we were born into, the extended family, the community, the city and the country of our ancestors. Instantly, and quite instinctively, we become attached to these places and these people, and a sense of protection arises.
We become the heirs of traditions and culture, of history and deeds, for better or for worse. Each of us is born into an environment and into a certain social and economic status. It is our duty to leave this multi-layered heritage to our successors in a better state than it was when we received it.
The curator is an individual who understands this most natural relationship between the living, the dead and unborn children. However, in addition to making this fundamental and human relationship visible to all, a curator must find practical ways to protect and strengthen it.
To this end, conservatives should have an answer as to the political and economic systems that must be implemented for a country and its people to be free, have social mobility, meritocracy, and protect their cultural and moral standards. With the right economic system, Conservatives can improve the well-being of every citizen in a society, so that each of us leaves a better world for future generations, while honoring our past.
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After decades of intimidation and silence, a sort of awakening is occurring among conservatives – a resurgence that is taking shape over the past six years. Threatened by the cancellation of culture, self-censorship, the revision of history, the return of Marxism, illegal immigration and a forced push towards the herd mentality and rejection of critical thinking, conservatives are beginning to stand up and stand up for what they believe in.
It’s an existential struggle propelled by the most unlikely of individuals: a real estate mogul from perhaps the most progressive city, New York. Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency not only inspired tens of millions of Americans, but seemed to wake Europe’s divided conservatives from a deep sleep.
Many establishment conservatives don’t like him and wouldn’t want to admit in public that Donald Trump gave them a fighting chance. He showed the Conservatives how to fight and win. The 45th President had the courage to stand up for his convictions and therefore inspired conservatives, the right in general and freedom-loving people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now, the Conservatives must find common ground and build a sustainable and credible strategy that produces results.
Conservatism has many nuances and forms, each having something to offer in a grand center-right coalition. We need to agree on some common fundamental principles, based on what has worked in the past, adapted to current circumstances.
There are certainly several conservative models of success that can be adapted to the reality of our time and implemented by nation states in Europe, as well as in the United States.
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We can learn from what President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher did in the 1980s and combine their economic policies with the cultural, patriotic and social values that Burke, Scruton and many others present and defend. These two sides are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, such an alliance may be what the West needs to be saved.
Patriotic capitalism is the way forward for conservatism. A patriot cares about his family, his property, his community, his country and the environment, undoubtedly while wanting to cooperate closely and peacefully with others. A capitalist system provides the means to conserve everything that is dear to conservatives – and most human beings.
A patriotic education leads to better citizens with a higher degree of civil responsibility and respect for the environment – capitalism provides the means to have the choice of school and to achieve this solid patriotic education. Educated individuals with the necessary economic means and opportunities create stronger families, which undoubtedly lead to healthier and harder societies.
The Conservatives are right to focus on the cultural aspects. However, this orientation does not mean giving up or choosing the wrong economic policies. On the contrary! Conservatives should come up with a holistic alternative based on both cultural and economic pillars. On the latter, they offer no alternative.
What is the conservative alternative to modern monetary theory, crony capitalism and oligarchy? What economic system are they defending? Where is the outrage at a large – and ever-expanding – government, which is undoubtedly the main factor in the West’s current economic degradation?
Conservatives cannot rejoice when conservative politicians use the power of a great government and denounce it when the left does.
Governments should exist to preserve life, liberty, private property, national security and nothing else. This is what makes a strong government, a different concept than a great government.
Limited governments have been successful, especially in America. Europe’s legacy of great governments has produced a potential superstate with socialist aspirations. The bigger the government, the more likely it is to abuse its powers. Coming from a country with a communist past, I understand the dangers of extending the reach of government and its appeal, even to conservatives.
The Conservatives have ideas that work and yet they do not use them. It is important to understand that without the economic empowerment of individuals, there can be no successful cultural struggles. They, as curators, should have more confidence in individuals and their decision-making abilities.
It shouldn’t be the state – no matter who runs it – telling people what to do with their lives or how to spend their money. The richer people are, the less they will depend on governments and bureaucrats and the stronger their ability to create a patriotic and stronger society. It all starts with education and economic empowerment, and capitalism provides the means.
On the supply side, capitalist policies are the tools to create societies where freedom, opportunity, patriotism, prosperity, civil society and strong nation states thrive. However, the Conservatives are endorsing trillion dollar packages that are funneled into unproductive industries, zombie companies and political friends, ironically helping to weaken the concept of the nation state.
Few in Europe speak out against endless massive indebtedness, negative rates and fiscal and spending policies. The myopia of politicians – many self-proclaimed conservatives – leads to a dying continent. There must be clear conservative opposition and an alternative to the continent’s current economic annihilation.
I will never tire of quoting President Reagan: “The best welfare program is a job.” This is what gives dignity to people.
An individual with a sense of his own dignity will then fight for family, tradition, sovereignty and culture. Someone who depends on the government will be a servant of political buddies in the private sector, reluctantly accepting aroused ideologies and nefarious policies.
Europe and America are on the path to perpetual state aid. Many social groups become dependent on government aid for generations. Providing guaranteed income to unproductive people will create more unproductive people.
The Conservatives should focus on reducing taxes and reducing the regulatory burden. They should promote work incentives and seek to reduce bureaucracy. Governments should tax enough to generate a bare minimum of revenue for the most vital areas such as national security.
Attacking capitalism is all the rage. The Conservatives should not fall prey to it. Europe is in a state of permanent crisis because of government intervention and Keynesian policies, not capitalism.
For more than two decades there has been mismanagement of public finances, high taxes, huge and unproductive public spending and massive accumulation of debt by European governments. These governments and central banks have interfered in the markets, distorting them. And as a remedy, they present more of the same. It is the opposite of capitalism.
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True patriotic capitalism promotes freedom, cooperation and equality of opportunity, not results. On the contrary, crony capitalism, great systems of government and socialism thrive immorally in the absence of these three elements.
Moreover, capitalism promotes choice and competition, thanks to the free cooperation of market players. Fundamentally, capitalism is about channeling self-interest into altruism.
Overall, it is more in line with human nature, as is conservatism. For this reason alone, capitalism will always be morally superior to any other economic system.
Providing a reasonable economic alternative to the current socialist reality in the EU, and also fighting for patriotism, the nation-state, tradition, culture and history, will give European conservatives the trump card in their current struggle against madness.
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Failure to embrace these two pillars of patriotic capitalism will result in the assured cultural and economic zombification of our societies and the decline of the West.
The American people through the centuries have shown that they understand this. Will the Europeans – especially the Conservatives – follow suit?