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The Trouble with Conservatism

From my 1980 article, which seems oddly relevant today: "Libertarians are not 'against' tradition. But we make certain elementary distinctions. It is time conservatives like van den Haag began doing likewise – starting with the distinction between the traditions that mankind has voluntarily generated and preserved, and those stemming from coercion, violence, and force. And it is time they stopped talking as if all the good and great traditions that are our rightful inheritance were somehow to be credited to the state, and to themselves as the state’s apologists, rather than to their true source – the women and men who, with what freedom they had, created, sifted, refined, and transmitted those traditions through the generations." [full article]

Ralph Raico (1936-2016) was Professor Emeritus in European history at Buffalo State College and a senior fellow of the Mises Institute. He was a specialist on the history of liberty, the liberal tradition in Europe, and the relationship between war and the rise of the state. He is the author of The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton.

A bibliography of Ralph Raico's work, compiled by Tyler Kubik, is found here.

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