Throughout his years, Edmund Burke generated a prolific library of writings that are foundational to Conservative thinking and kept England on course away from Revolution.
Burke's words established British conservatism in the face of sweeping revolutions in France and United States and was a model for statesman in those countries.
Conservatives seek to conserve the traditions and ideas man has learned to be good through the centuries. Radicals seek change for change's sake.
The ideas of Babbitt, More, and Santayana had small circles of following but didn’t capture the general public’s attention. The nation greatly changed in character and temperance from WW1 to WW2 and conservatism was adrift.
George Santayana had a rich depth of conservative ideas that identified and fought against the materialism of the modern world.
Paul Elmer More is thought of "as a critic of ideas, perhaps there has not been his peer in England or American since Coleridge". He fought the pragmatism of James, the naturalism of Dewey, the sentimentality of the socialists, and the presumption of those that forgot dualism.
Conservatism was in a sort of "wilderness" and struggled through the beginning years of the 20th century. Great leaders of ideas were hard to come by, and it seemed that the vision of America espoused by Hamilton had won. Ideas shifted from the political leaders to the educational leaders.
Man is a creature with a dual nature: an individual spirit that longs for a sense of connection to their fellow man. Conservatives celebrate that individual spirit but also seek to nurture a voluntary community built around shared principles, experiences, and a sense of something greater than the individual. The Radical seeks to destroy these communities at every chance they get. When the individual is isolated they are ripe to be exploited by the Radical's siren call of "community" which is nothing more than a despotic state of misery.
Ben breaks down the current battle within the Republican Party's conservative wing between Classical Liberals and an ideological bent to conservatism that believes government is there to "do the common good" or "do justice".
In the late 20th century, conservatives in both America and England faced a crisis of leadership and ideas. It seems the radicals are destined to win, but they are always met with challengers that break the very foundations of the radical's ideas.