The rejection of Statism; or of government control over our lives, does not merely consist of rejecting some grand scheme in which the state siezes immediate control of production or the economy. It consists of a kind of discipline, and being led by a guiding principle. Whether an entire bag of cookies is consumed all at once or gradually it is consumed nonetheless. How must I assure that I do not consume the entire bag of cookies? It is not as some advocate, by asking myself what works for me in the moment. That will inevitably end in an empty bag of cookies. I must have the discipline to put aside what works for me in the moment in order to adhere to a principle.
In the U.S. we do not live within an absolute, unfettered free market. The government clearly plays a very prominent role, yet government power is still endlessly sought after to repair one more issue after the other. Furthermore we are told that we should not allow these new efforts to be hampered by the guiding principle of liberty (for this is “free market fundamentalism”). We should simply ask what works for us in the moment, without the constraints of “ideology”. There is no guiding principle, only expedience is to lead us. This is the man who presumes that he will not eat the entire bag of cookies because it is not his deliberate intention to eat the entire bag of cookies. But he does not take any other measure to avoid doing so. He does not have to deliberately intend to eat the entire bag in order to do so.
The irresistible attraction of tapping into government as an easy solution for one problem after the other, and the general perception of government as a panacea will only be stemmed by the discipline of a guiding principle. This guiding principle is the principle of liberty. Conservatism is the philosophy that teaches that although there is a place for government, individual liberty must be the foremost guiding principle in all of our future political activities.