I am Conservative because I believe humans have an individual mind. We have a mind to make our own choices, for which we are responsible. This distinguishes us from animals which live in herds and which follow orders from “shepherds”.
Thanks to our individual minds we have advanced the furthest of all living species. And within our species individuals have advanced furthest in societies which protect our individuality most.
The more free individuals are, the greater prosperity becomes. Individuals know their own circumstances best; they know best how to use their own resources (intelligence, labour, money, etc.) to advance furthest. A collective or politicians or the state never have the sum of all that individual knowledge and therefore decisions at a non-individual level are bound to produce lesser results or to fail altogether. This is F. A. Hayek’s famous Knowledge Problem.
We do not stand for chaos. We stand for an order based on contracts between individuals, not on diktat from “shepherds” or an elusive “common good” (what is good is different for each individual). We believe in the Rule of Law, in so far as it protects our individual freedom. This includes the protection of property. As John Locke said: property is part of our self, as it is the fruit of our labour. If we were not entitled to the fruit of our labour then we would be slaves. It is the drive to material or immaterial prosperity which motivates us to work and thereby increase the total wealth.
We are not per se pacifists, as peace at all cost could lead to the end of individual freedom.
We realise some individuals have had bad luck or received few resources. Humans are inherently good. In all times individuals have given generously to provide for the less fortunate.
Above all, I am a Conservative because it is the political system under which the sum of all individuals advance most. This may ultimately allow us to conquer diseases or natural calamities of which we may not yet be aware. The sky is not the limit: there are no limits to individual ingenuity.
JP Floru is a libertarian conservative. He is an author, commentator, Westminster Councillor and a Senior Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute.
The post is part of a new series, in which supporters of CfL talk about their beliefs and values. If you would like to take part please email firstname.lastname@example.org