4 Upholding Community Values
Deepak Bhargava and Seth Borgos
BETWEEN Barry Goldwater’s defeat and Ronald Reagan’s election to the presidency, American conservatives forged a cogent and effective political narrative. The signature policies of the conservative movement—tax cuts, privatization, deregulation—were grounded in a simple set of guiding principles: freedom is the highest public value; competition is the engine of progress; markets are intrinsically fair and rational; big government constrains liberty and fosters dependency. These principles, in turn, rested on a starkly individualistic worldview that emphasized the autonomy of the self and the voluntary character of society. While conservatives did not win every battle, they succeeded ...