I ran across this quote at The Imaginative Conservative, one of my favorite internet sites. It’s worth quoting here because so much of it is at the core of conservative governing principles.
So much of the contemporary right-of-center governing coalition is made up of a coming together of traditional conservatives with libertarians. The coalition is based on agreement on the general scope of government (less is better) and on macroeconomics (free markets are a good thing). There is even a book out by Charles C. W. Cooke titled The Conservatarian Manifesto, which draws out what this overlapping nature of these two different philosophies. I haven’t read it, but you can read a review of it here.
But this quote I think draws the dividing line between conservatives and libertarians. Ordered liberty requires the power of government to maintain order and a citizenry filled with virtue, of which can be only truly obtained by the values of the Judeo-Christian religions. That last one might be a bit controversial. I’m not going to expand on it here.
“The only liberty that is valuable is a liberty connected with order; that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.”
- Edmund Burke