Susannah Black, who blogs at Radio Free Thulcandra, recently wrote an interesting piece in the conservative blog Front Porch Republic, entitled “Debating Conservatism”.
There are highly informative Chesterton quotes peppered throughout the piece, but the heart of the article is the assertion that what is often currently passed off as conservatism is really a rehashed nineteenth-century liberalism. The conceptual hinge is the notion of merit in social organisation. While many commentators say this is the special reserve of conservatives, Black compellingly argues that the genealogy locates meritocracy in the liberal family tree, not the conservative.
This article comes highly recommended if one wants to give greater precision to intuitions that something is not quite right about contemporary political life, especially those living in de-facto 2-party parliamentary systems. It also comes at a time when Republicans fielding candidates for the next American Presidential election jostle to prove what may appear to be conservative credentials.