American conservatives struggle with the fact that their political sensibilities consist of both the sentiments of conservatism and the remnants of aristocratic european philosophy – and that because they neither understand aristocratic philosophy, or understand conservatism, they cannot separate these two bodies of thought into their constituent parts. As constituent parts they can easily be defended against radical progressives who would continue to undermine the system of rule of law, and innovative individualism that we have inherited from our ancestors, and which is the source of our prosperity.
Conservatism is a sentiment and a philosophy. Aristocracy is a philosophy and a system of government. Conservatism has a skeptical view of man’s abilities. Aristocracy has an aspirational view of man’s abilities. But both conservatism and Aristocratic philosophy acknowledge the difference in ability between humans and that inequality is persistent, permanent, and obvious.
Both support the meritocratic rotation of elites, as long as that rotation is accomplished in the market or in defense of the realm – in the service of others. And both hold disdain for political ambitions that are not accomplished through the market or defense of the realm.
There is nothing inherently conservative about Aristocratic philosophy. But there is everything meritocratic about it.