Out here on the edge of the continent, where the force fields of respectability and convention run thin, we like to think of ourselves as progressive, in an undogmatic way. But really we are conservative, when you get down to it. We are alert constantly to the capacity for evil in human nature, especially in the form of greed, and greed’s designs upon the land. We are skeptical of the version of progress that the corporate market pushes at us. We embrace the wisdom of the past, especially as embodied in the natives of this place.
Russell Kirk, the intellectual progenitor of modern conservative thought, marked these as central tendencies of what he called the “conservative mind.” (Kirk would not be pleased by what claims that banner today, but that’s another matter.) We revere the land and take a dim view of change, and if those are not conservative inclinations, then nothing is.