Classical Conservative Thought

Classical Conservatism

Classical Conservative Thought Defined

Pax Americana proudly defends the traditions of classical conservatism. We consider classical conservatism to be above the short-sighted aims of politicians and pundits who believe the most influential impact a political philosophy can have is supporting a political candidate.

Classical Conservatism is a philosophy rooted deeper than day-to-day partisan politics. Men and women come and go; ideas live on forever. The Pax Americana Institute is in the business of ideas. Classical Conservatism is a series of beliefs and interdependent philosophies which result in certain inescapable truths. We’ve listed those truths we take to be self-evident here.

Classical Conservatism’s Core Beliefs

  • Our Creator has established a natural and proper order for the universe and has bestowed certain inalienable rights upon all people since time began. We hold these truths to be self-evident.
  • Though corrupted by the realities of human nature, this natural order – this Divine Will – is discernible through reason and can be codified in reasonable laws.  By definition, no human is exempt from this natural law.  In contrast, relativism is both illogical and immoral.
  • The fundamental purpose of government is to secure these natural rights and to preserve the peace.  Peace is not merely the absence of conflict; rather, it is the presence of justice.  Any government that violates humans’ natural rights or fails in its obligation to contribute to the natural order is illegitimate.  It is the right and the duty of mankind to throw off such illegitimate government.
  • The type of government best structured to secure these principles is a federal republic, because a meritorious natural aristocracy governs the progress of the human experience and the course of history.
  • The greatest expression of natural law and natural rights is written in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  These documents, which serve to both guarantee liberty and limit citizens’ freedoms, define American Civilization.  This condition of liberty under law is the necessary foundation of any free, just, and good society.
  • Americans are obligated to preserve the principles of the American Revolution generally and in these two documents specifically.  However, the Constitution is not a suicide pact; the enemies of republican liberty – foreign and domestic – threaten the liberty of all.
  • The antithesis of natural order, natural law, and natural rights is tyranny.  Tyranny in any form is evil.  Americans are obligated to actively oppose all tyrannical philosophies and to resist the specific evils of communism, socialism, fascism, Nazism, and militant Islam, because they are enemies of republican liberty.
  • People owe their Creator a life of virtue.  To their government and nation, citizens owe their loyalty and love, as citizens have been entrusted the responsibility and duty to support and defend the principles of the Constitution. 
  • To each other and to their communities, gentlemen and ladies owe their honor, chivalry, compassion, and courtesy.  Taken together, such traits define a patriot.  In opposition to these, nihilism and narcissism are contemptible and dishonorable.
  • The foundation of virtue and responsibility is a proper education.  The foundation of proper education is the Western Canon.
  • The freedom of ideas, the sanctity of private property, and the free market of commerce are cornerstones of natural order and justice and are instruments for the pursuit of virtue.
  • Both idealism and realism have a place in proper American relations with other states, nations, groups, and individuals.  Ideally, American values can, should, and will triumph everywhere.  Yet statesmen and citizens must weigh America’s natural obligations to the world against the costs of the disruption of order and stability.  Ideal goals can never be achieved absent the maintenance and supremacy of American power.

Cornerstone Thinkers and Leaders

Aristotle, Plato, Tacitus, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, St. Paul, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Adams, George Washington, Thomas  Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville, Abraham Lincoln, Walter Bagehot, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Michael Oakeshott, Russell Kirk, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan.

Literary Traditions

Homer, Virgil, Sophocles, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Henry Adams, C.S. Lewis, & J.R.R. Tolkien.

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