Segments in this Video

Definition of Conservatism (09:10)


M. Stanton Evans, Russell Kirk, William Rusher, and Milton Friedman agree that conservatives wish to repeal most social legislation made since the New Deal. Friedman suggests that modern liberals and conservatives share the same values but disagree on the means to achieve similar goals in society. Liberals believe in the government's ability to solve social and other problems, while conservatives believe that change happens through individuals, and competition is strengthened through lessening government controls.

Balance Between Order and Change (10:31)

Conservatism values the achievement of order through knowledge gained from tradition and experience, while liberalism prioritizes new methods and change. Friedman argues that the prevention of change is damaging to order. Rusher adds that law does not force social change, but codifies a social impulse.

Law Enforcement and Conservatism (08:42)

The Nixon Administration is working towards appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court as acts of violence from the New Left create fear among conservatives. Rusher argues that conservatives in the Supreme Court would enable local courts to enforce laws more strictly in response to this new unrest, and Friedman and Evans debate whether this assumes a different kind of conservative that would increase government control and whether this would be reactionary. In theory judges should not be appointed based on politics, but political views are too ingrained in the system.

Conservative Foreign Policy (09:24)

Friedman argues that there is no conservative position on foreign policy, but Evans counters that there are at least conservative principles, namely that the purpose of the U.S. government is to defend the nation. Rusher points out that conservatives view Soviet power as a serious threat, which will require building up the military—the high cost will mean reducing government spending in other areas. Many conservatives agree that the U.S. should not be involved in the Vietnam War because there is no obvious threat to the nation.

Conservative Solutions in Urban Affairs (12:48)

Evans, Friedman, and Rusher agree that problems of housing, crime, and poverty in cities are due to previous dysfunctional programs, and the conservative response would be to repeal these programs and give people incentives to be productive. Friedman explains the income problem, which could be solved through a negative income tax, and the schooling problem which conservatives should solve by encouraging private enterprise and providing a voucher program. Most conservatives agree that there should be laws against racial discrimination, but with imposed integration, especially in schools, the government has gone too far.

Conservatism of Nixon Administration (04:15)

Kirk and Friedman agree that President Nixon is conservative and is working towards increasing the number of conservatives in government positions; Nixon realizes that it will take time to reverse liberal policies and gain support of Congress and the people. The government is reducing the power of the central government. Evans points out that Nixon is a centrist and is not instating policies that are conservative enough, though he is slowing the liberal trend.

Credits: Conservative Viewpoint (00:53)

Credits: Conservative Viewpoint

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Conservative Viewpoint

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Participants in this hour-long panel discussion, as announced earlier, are Milton Friedman, William Rusher, M. Stanton Evans, and Russell Kirk. Moderator is Sidney Hyman. The discussion involves a definition of "the conservative viewpoint" especially as it applies to the proper use of government authority in such areas as civil rights and urban problems; the formulation of a foreign policy; and the role of the Supreme Court in national affairs. Conservatism, according to Friedman, is based in 'the value of the individual as the ultimate entity". Kirk notes that the conservative seeks "a certain balance or healthy tension between the claims of order and the claim of freedom".

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: FMK145626

Copyright date: ©1970

Closed Captioned

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