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The Sharon Statement
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, January 31, 2008

Via Sean Hackbarth, here's an interesting statement of principles (Young Americans for Freedom, 1960) that should be broadly acceptable to the Right/Fusionist coalition. I'll excerpt the relevant portions...
THAT foremost among the transcendent values is the individual's use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;

THAT liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;

THAT the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;

THAT when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power, which tends to diminish order and liberty;

THAT the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;

THAT the genius of the Constitution - the division of powers - is summed up in the clause that reserves primacy to the several states, or to the people in those spheres not specifically delegated to the Federal government;

THAT the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;

THAT when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation, that when it takes from one to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;

THAT we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies…
[...]
THAT American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?
With the current Republican coalition balkanizing between the Goldwater (Limited Government Republicans), Teddy Roosevelt (Progressive Republicans) and Santorum/Huckabee (Social Conservative/Christian Liberals) factions, it's hard to see how the Right can maintain a cohesive coalition without regenerating its movement based on the above principles.
 
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and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies.
But the government has been working AGAINST this very concept for over 50 years.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Can I get that tattooed on my forehead? I mean, is there room enough, or would the print be too small?
 
Written By: dicentra
URL: http://dicentrasgarden.blogspot.com
I don’t see anything in there about health care. Or the pony I want.
 
Written By: DIffus
URL: http://
The Sharon Statement tells me conservatives have had troubles in the past but found ways to rise up. Common principles have to be the basis of any political movement. Once conservatives know what they’re conserving they can move on to the business of persuasion, building institutions, and developing fruitful tactics. Thus the value I saw upon stumbling on this bit of conservatism’s past.
 
Written By: Sean Hackbarth
URL: http://www.theamericanmind.com
I don’t have time to look for this online now, but an appendix one of Milton Friedman’s books contains either the CPUSA or Socialist Party platform circa 1928. It’s amazing how close we are to the socialist state set forth therein.
 
Written By: DIffus
URL: http://
Traditional conservatism was relativist and focused on maintaining cultural and social values, usually with a strong religious component. Liberalism was a belief in individual liberty and rights, with a strong belief in limited government. For a long time liberals fought against conservatives. Conservatism merged with liberalism with a common enemy: socialism. Since then socialism has liberalized (e.g., embraced individual rights and the markets — but controlled) and so you have an uneasy mix of socialism and liberalism on one side, and conservatism and liberalism on the other side. There will never be a unifying set of principles on either side, they mix too many different perspectives.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Socialism is the antithesis of the classical liberal world view: socialism believes we can create the perfect system here on earth, if only we would put the Smart People in charge and get rid of ALL of the rotten old institutions of the past—church, family, private enterprise, private property, individualism, democracy, etc.

The classical liberal world view denies that such perfection can be attained in this life because people suck—give any person or institution the kind of power that socialism requires and you ossify corruption into the system.

Where socialism would say that hard choices are false choices (you CAN have cheap, excellent, timely health care), the classical liberal says that there are only trade-offs available: no free lunch, and yes, you do get to pick ONLY two of the three options: fast, cheap, good.

The socialists despair at classical liberals because the CLs are standing in the way of progress. The CLs despair at the socialists because they see liberty being traded in for security, which leads to mediocrity and complacency, which leads to the dust bin of history.

I don’t know how those two camps are supposed to "unify" when their basic assumptions about human nature and reality are so diametrically opposed.


 
Written By: dicentra
URL: http://dicentrasgarden.blogspot.com
Dicentra: we are beyond the age of hard set ideologies. We’ve learned that ideologies that try to claim a kind of dogmatic certainty are inherently unsustainable, built on guesses, assumptions, and imperfect theories of how societies function. Now we’ve entered the pragmatic age, where people move away from hard fast ideologies, and find ways to understand how to realistically try to do what they can to achieve their goals.

Consider: socialism developed because of a goal of social justice and ending oppression. When it was a theory that demanded that society change to make oppression impossible and create structural equality, it failed utterly. That can’t work. When the goal was separated from the ideology and pragmatic efforts were made to improve the human condition, just about everyone bought in to it to some extent. Capitalism isn’t followed either in some kind of dogmatic ideological sense (though a few anarchists fantascize that it could, or have their own reason for thinking that "moral") because without rule of law and social stability, it doesn’t work.

Pragmatic liberalism defines both the left and the right. The right closer to classical liberalism, the left more reformist liberal (and in Europe with more of a socialist sense of ideals). Ideologies taken too seriously and rigorously are unsustainable and dangerous.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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