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What Do Conservatives Believe?

Have you ever debated someone about whether a presidential candidate were conservative or not?

Ever tried to summarize the conservative worldview and been at a loss for words? 

What do conservatives believe in? What is their agenda? How do they approach politics? What is the conservative philosophy? 

Conservatism is not as simple as it may seem. It is the result of a conversation going back hundreds of years. From Aristotle to Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley Jr., conservatism has taken many forms and challenged many thinkers. 

The following articles and excerpts summarize common questions and introduce you to the conversation surrounding conservative thought, and show you how to articulate and defend true conservatism. 

1.  The Six Core Beliefs of Conservatism

Ideology or principle? Conservatism is not easily narrowed down to a defined set of principles or beliefs. In this indispensable excerpt, Russell Kirk explores the basic pillars of conservatism.

2. Freedom and Virtue

Is complete freedom the ultimate purpose for human beings, or is it virtue? Doug Bandow argues it's both. In this brilliant analysis of freedom and virtue, Bandow offers the "fusionist" approach: the dovetail of conservative and libertarian thought in the tradition of Frank Meyer. 

3. The Path from Poverty to Prosperity

What are the elements of a prosperous, flourishing society? Jay Richards explores the ten elements that lead to wealth for everyone.  

4. ISIS the Irrational

Integral to human progress and flourishing is the development and use of reason. So why does ISIS behave so unreasonably and violently? Robert Reilly explains how a centuries old debate has influenced Muslim extremism, and continues to influence it today. 

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