Mandeville, LA – [Editor’s note: In this post I coin the term Vaporology as in Vaporware to describe the study of a political phenomenon that doesn’t exist i.e. “conservatism”. – Ed. M.C.]
“This is why conservatism, in the end, turns out to be a slower, less self-conscious version of liberalism. Liberalism takes as a principle that change is inherently good and, thus, that faster change is even better – as long as the change is in any direction away from tradition. Conservatism takes as its supposedly contrary principle that it is better to hold on to what one has than to give it up without a fight, but it fails to recognize the problem that, due to the prevailing liberalism, more and more good things are surrendered, undermined, and habitually ignored with each passing year, leaving less and less to conserve.
For these reasons, conservatism is liberalism in slow motion. What conservatives preserve, they preserve by force of custom and free choice, not by the firmness of a non-negotiable principle. As the truth fades away and people grow accustomed to its loss, the conservative has no ground to stand on; he wrings his hands while he watches beautiful things getting dismantled and sent away. (Sometimes it’s worse than that: the conservative will drive himself insane, zealously defending the same horrible novelties he would have decried only a few years before. We’ve seen this rubbery allegiance time and again. For example, it’s wrong to wash women’s feet at Mass on Holy Thursday – until the pope says it’s okay. Suddenly, out come the specious arguments to back it up, as if it had been true all along!) In contrast, adherence to Tradition goes beyond conservation of whatever minimal good is at hand, for it demands the love and honorable defense of an inheritance that is received and must not be squandered. And if part of this inheritance has been lost, the traditionalist knows that it must be restored with unstinting effort and in the face of all opposition.” – Peter Kwasniewski, One Peter Five – Why Conservatism Is Part of the Problem, Not Part of the Solution