I just don’t see how you can say that economically people should be as free as they can to do the things they want unhindered by the State, but socially the State should be telling them what’s best and how they should structure their lives. It would actually be refreshing for a conservative to just say, “yeah, there is an ideological contradiction, but so what”.
– commenter Christian last week.
It has often been claimed that social conservatism and economic liberalism are contradictory. Christian seems here to be saying there is a logical contradiction on display, but I think conservatives can fairly easily side-step this criticism. It would only be valid if conservatives defend markets as institutions of freedom. But there is also a utilitarian defence of markets, which is that economic freedom is good because it produces more wealth than any other system. Social democrats could defend markets for the same reason.
At least on the surface, another version of this criticism is harder for conservatives to escape. Continue reading “The contradictions of conservatism?”