Many people do not know the intellectual side of conservatism. This is partly the fault of conservatives who sometimes make arguments without reference to the principles involved. It’s also partly the fault of faculty who simply do not know any conservatives or conservative intellectuals.
If you are so inclined, I recommend the work of Russell Kirk. Kirk was the very definition of an intellectual conservative. For decades he was the intellectual thrust behind conservative ideas concerning social arrangements, the necessity of tradition, the relationship between an individual and government, and the fundamental need for ordered liberty.
According to Kirk:
Conservatism, then, is not simply the concern of the people who have a great deal of property and influence: it is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal freedom and all the lovable old ways of humanity. —Russell Kirk, Prospects for Conservatives: A Compass for Rediscovering the Permanent Things.
Moreover, he wrote:
The conservative is concerned, first of all, with the regeneration of the spirit and character—with the perennial problem of the inner order of the soul, the restoration of the ethical understanding, and the religious sanction upon which any life worth living is founded. This is conservatism at its highest.
For those of you so interested, take a look at the following website: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology