Conservative and Liberal Brains
I'm with Jonah on this, which may disconcert him. I think conservatism is indeed linked to resistance to change at a deep level. But at a deeper one, it also accepts change as an integral part of human organization and society. What distinguishes conservatives in the sense I prefer from liberals is a residual respect for what has been, a desire to understand it before changing it. But change it conservatives will. Think of the conservative game-changers in the past: Lincoln, Disraeli, Thatcher, Reagan. They key is the mechanism for change - whether it springs from the experiential intimations of the past and present or from the abstract certainty of the rational mind. The former is conservative; the latter liberal. The genius of the West has been that both tendencies are part of its DNA; and both are necessary. Prudence alone can tell us when to apply which. Which is a key conservative insight as well. This is all developed at some length in The Conservative Soul, which, alas, Jonah declared no conservatives would read. Maybe at some point, some will.