The Great Divide of The Western World

 This is the first Table that appears in The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree (which you can see under “Books” on this website).

I had a little trouble formatting the spacing when I lifted it from the printed book, but each “Item” being contrasted is listed in bold. The text is sometimes double-spaced when it should be single-spaced, but it is still readable. I am going to publish a few more of the Tables from this book here soon.


                                                       Where Do You Stand?  


      The Two Incompatible Narratives of Western Civilization


Item                     Enlightenment                                                              Counter-Enlightenment

                         (Roots of Modern liberalism)                                          (Roots of Conservatism)


Reason           Reason can perfect society               vs.           What reason can create, reason can destroy

Rights        Rights are natural, individual,                 vs.              Rights are a concrete achievement of

                 and inherent in all human beings                                a civilization

 Moral            Personal choice has priority               vs.                 The common good has priority



 Human        Man is naturally benevolent & good       vs.      Man is weak, fallible, and self-interested

Nature       Because Man is good, society can be                  Man is by nature neither good nor evil,  

                   made good by Man.                                                but the historical record shows that

                                                                                                   when humans start forcibly engineering human 

                                                                                                   societies according to their abstract plan for

                                                                                                   perfection, the results are always evil.


Politics         Main goal is to perfect society                 vs.      Main goal is to conserve and protect the good

                 Rousseau: A legislator must be capable                 Schemes to perfect society destroy what is

                 “of changing human nature.” Education,                  already good. Humans should not be objects

                 legislation, and changes to the human                    of manipulation by progressives

                  environment are the tools


Democracy    Democracy is universally good        vs.    .       Democracy is a tool, not a good in itself


Equality           Inequalities and hierarchies             vs.                  Hierarchies and inequalities are natural

                         must be ended by force of law                                   in a lawful and free society.     

                        Inherited privilege must be ended


Freedom        Individual freedom is the priority.           vs.                   Social freedom is the priority.

                     Personal choice is paramount                                          The common good is paramount


Property         Property is the basis of inequality    vs.       Property is the basis of a free society


Economics    Wealth inequalities must be levelled     vs.        Levelling destroys wealth for everyone


 The State        Is a product of human Will,            vs.        Is a product of history and venerable custom 


Society     Is an aggregate of autonomous individuals        vs.        Is an organic communitarian body


Sex             These are private, individual matters                vs.         These are of paramount public concern          




Preferred            Top-Down unitary organization              vs.           Bottom-up natural evolution

Method of           



The Law     Preference for uniform Code Law                       vs.          Preference for an evolved common law                         

                             based on natural rights                                                based on natural law

This Post Has One Comment

  1. bb

    Kind of procrustean isn’t it?

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