Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate Rod Dreher’s contributions to environmental discourse and advancing the better elements of conservativism. Some may recall his work at National Review, where he was the king of Crunchy Con. It’s difficult to improve upon his Manifesto, which I’m reposting here:
- We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.
- Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.
- Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
- Culture is more important than politics and economics.
- A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.
- Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
- Beauty is more important than efficiency.
- The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
- We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.”
- Politics and economics won’t save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.
I would love to hear from anyone, liberal or conservative, with ideas on how this set of guiding principles could be improved.