SUMMARY: I make a sharp distinction between true conservatism and today’s most popular conservatism. I then draw the conclusion that, while true conservatism is both necessary and good, today’s most popular conservatism is a radical and dangerous departure from it.
(About a 6 minute read)
A curious thing about human politics is that it seems everywhere on earth to be roughly divided between “liberals and conservatives”. That is, between people who are more or less inclined to experiment with new things, and people who are more or less disinclined to do so.
In recent years, there have been a number of scientific studies to see if there is some kind of biological or psychological basis for the division of human politics into those two camps. A number of hypotheses have been proposed — such that conservatives lack empathy compared to liberals, or that conservatives are more likely to see the world as a hostile place compared to liberals — but so far as I know, none of those hypotheses has been backed up by a solid weight of studies except for one of them.