Why I am (Still) a Conservative (For Now)

by Kevin Munger on January 16, 2023

In celebration (?) of my book’s recent Kindle release, today’s post aims to make the connection between my interest in generational conflict and technological progress more explicit.

(In case anyone came here just to get mad about the title, let me emphasize that this is a follow-up to Why I am (Still) a Liberal (For Now). I am less invested in defending a single theoretical or political tradition than in re-evaluating these traditions—indeed, in re-evaluating everything—in light of contemporary technology, and especially media technology.)

The traditional justification for conservatism is based in epistemic humility: there is only so much knowledge that we can accumulate within our lifetimes—especially about life-changing events like marriage or raising a child—so we should defer to the condensed knowledge of the past, condensed in the form of traditions, norms and institutions. The challenge for any reasonable person is to evaluate the tradeoff between tradition and progress, and the conservative is simply someone who puts more weight on the former.

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