Re: A Good Chair is Hard to Find (Ezra Klein & Will Wilkinson)
Where does this definition of conservatism come from? It does not seem consistent with either the conservative movement in the US, taken as a whole, or, of course, conservatism understood historically.
This definition comes from between my ears and is a compilation of the things I've read and discussed with others over the years. I'm not sure what the inconsistency is with the conservative movement and what your understanding is of the conservatism historically. I think my hallmark card definition is a rough (very) summary of principles most conservatives could agree with.
"Collectivism" is just a word I have trouble taking seriously in contemporary political discourse, as it's not like anyone is pro collectivism (it's like leftwingers who pat themselves on the back for being "anti-imperialist"), and in my experience it's only used by bigtime Ayn Rand fans and is rather a code word for announcing one's fandom.
Collectivism is alive and well. The most familiar form of it is probably unions. I said that conservatives are wary of collectivism. I don't think that so far fetched when you consider the excesses of the unions. Companies have been brought to their knees by this type of collectivism. I think there are a lot of people who are pro-collectivism.
Beyond that, you are describing a certain kind of view of economics (an extreme free-market approach, I assume). That's fine, although my politics are somewhat different, but it's hardly the essence of "conservatism," IMO, so why is my understanding of the term wrong and the one you give above correct?
I think the free market is actually the essence of conservatism. I understand that the free market will never exist, but you have to believe in something, right?
PS you never actually said what your understanding of the term is. Care to share?