Conservatism can be understood by means of a metaphor of a chain. The chain stretches back into history and goes forward into the future as new links are added. Another metaphor is that of the tree: the roots of history provide a basis for future growth, and with the different parts of the tree working together, it sustainably fulfils its purpose.
In basic terms, conservatism can be understood as a willingness to innovate on the condition that the lessons of history and the laws of objective reality are observed. When conservatives use the term “revolution” pejoratively, they are often referring to a complete break with the past or reality or both.
Such breaks can be seen in various parts of life: art, architecture, clothing, food, pastimes, religion, and relationships. These disruptions come at a cost. It has often been said that brutalist architecture contributes to the overall feeling of gloom experienced by many who live and work in cities.
In situations where such breaks have occurred, conservatism becomes more than a call to careful development. It becomes a summons, a call to return to our roots and begin again. In the architectural example given above, a remedy to the situation would be radical: destroying or covering such buildings and encouraging architects to avoid certain styles of building on future projects.
The radical requirements of returning to good beliefs and practices, the cost of doing so, give grist to the mill of leftists who wish to label conservatives as extremists. All things being equal, conservative wishes are generally not radical. They become so when there is a large obstacle of revolutionary disruption that must be overcome in order to return to tried and trusted norms.
This is the challenge faced by western conservatives at the moment. They are seeking to embrace the goods developments in technology and other parts of life while simultaneously calling society to repentance and reform. Repentance is the important word here, to be understood in its Judeo-Christian sense.
The LORD is the source of our objective reality. He is a necessary being: all others are contigent upon Him. The break with objectivity seen in the revolutionary travails of the end of the age must be met with a call to return to the LORD. Only in Him can we find salvation, stability, and Truth.