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
The Law Preference for uniform Code Law vs. Preference for an evolved common law
based on natural rights based on natural law