So we have a right-wing and a left-wing party. But we do not have a conservative party – nor could we. Parties are organized around coalitions of interests, and interests don’t have a temperament. Both the right- and left-wing party can exhibit and have exhibited a temperament that is conservative, liberal, or even radical, depending on circumstances and on the issue in question.

In my view, a conservative political and intellectual journal should be pushing in a particular temperamental direction, for both the left-wing and right-wing party.

The reason for pushing this way is not to ensure that this or that coalition of interests triumphs at the polls, because that triumph will, ultimately, be a function of the relative power of said interests, which in turn will be a function of deeper historical forces that are too chaotic to be discerned. Signing up as the intellectual handmaid of a particular set of interests may feel like it is essential work to ensuring the triumph of truth and right (which are implicitly identified with one particular set of interests), but this is mostly an illusion, and an even less-plausible illusion than that of Napoleon, convinced that he is shaping history through the application of his genius through the instrument of his will. And by signing up to be such a handmaid, you are signing up to perpetuate that illusion among your readership. Which runs precisely counter to cultivating the conservative virtues that I listed above.