But of course this is the trouble with basing your political value system on things like authority and tradition. It’s always changing! William F Buckley’s determination to stand athwart history yelling stop led him to a robust defense of apartheid as a system of government for the American South. At times in different countries, authority and tradition has meant backing absolute monarchy or vicious dictatorships. Or maybe conservatism means women can’t vote. Eventually, you wind up defending the United Federation of Planets just like Captain Picard. Earlier this week TNR did a fun look back at various instances of social progress that the right swore would doom America. By Picard’s time, it’s bound to be a much longer list.
The question then shifts: have all the enthusiasms of the Left since the Enlightenment been unmitigated goods which they would accept wholeheartedly? No errors where a few eggs were cracked to create a progressive omelette? The Left is wont to critique the unsubtle and manichean vision of the Right which divides the world between Good & Evil, but when looking at themselves all such necessity for subtly and moral complexity is lost. History marches on!