But what about the purpose of conservatism?
Ask 99/100 conservatives this, and you’ll get a lot of different answers, very few at the level of abstraction you need. Most will start talking about what’s right, what God wants, what history has proven correct or what feels good in the gut. But the purpose of conservatism is even simpler.
We are those who aspire to the good, the beautiful, the timeless, the true and the intelligent. If you think for a moment, you will see that these things are one and the same. (By “a moment,” I mean seven days in spring under a Bodhi tree, or 40 days in the desert. Your choice.)
Our lives here are not our mission. The tangible is a mere reflection of the ideal, of the significant, of meaning itself; this cannot be found in nature, but is the union of our imagination with our analysis of the world itself.
These lives are a means to an end, even if you are a pure materialist (one who believes nothing exists beyond the physical). What gives life purpose and value is that we make choices, that we express our will, and that we form ideas of who we are and what we revere.
This is the essence of Platonic, Hindu and Pagan teachings as well as the words of Jesus Christ. The physical world is the means to the idea, and the idea is what fills our souls. We cannot end suffering, but we can make such beauty so that suffering is only an activities fee for the wonder that is life.
Knowing this, the ancients crafted great cities, intense works of art, massive philosophy, radical spirituality and a mythology of incomparable creativity. They did this because the goal of life is greatness and beauty, or a rising above our animal and material state.
On the left, they want our goal to be that animal and material state. They do not want any to rise above; rather, they want us all to be at the same level, so none feel — as they see others rise above — a sense of being insufficient.
Conservatism is eternal for this reason. So much so that we never had a name for it until recently, and probably have no way of explaining it to others. It is both complex as the stars and as simple as breathing, or falling in love.
It is the union between the life within and the universe itself, through the order of beauty that pervades all life. For those who discover it, nothing less would ever be satisfying.