During a lecture at the Library of Conservatism in Germany, British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton described conservatism as a philosophy that recognizes and acknowledges that good things are easily destroyed but not easily created, such as law, peace, freedom, civility, the security of property and family life. He contends we depend on the cooperation of others for the aforementioned to exist because we have no means or ability to single handedly attain it. He states “the work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating.” “The work of creation is slow, laborious and dull.”
For the African American, the journey from captivity to slavery, to eventual freedom was indeed painful and laborious. The life and community they once enjoyed were easily destroyed. Before captivity, there was a culture, a community that freed Africans enjoyed before their captivity. The result of which, of course, was the complete dissolution of the known for the unknown that was justified based on the antiquated belief of ethnic superiority.
The decision to destroy and tear families apart goes against the very fabric of preservation, which is at the core of conservatism. However, it was justified because the ability to systematically dominate a group with a different identity meant you could easily disregard that identity. Free labor equated to creating wealth, material gain and expansion, as an objective that made it easy to disregard the their humanity.
In spite of the complete destruction of their peace, freedom, security, and family, such actions against the slave demanded their self-preservation. They needed to conserve as much of their culture as possible, although over time, their reality would demand the development of a new one that was necessary for their ongoing survival in a new world. Out of their struggle was born “Black Conservatism” that became inherent to future generations. The emphasis was born out of their struggle and was a means by which they could preserve themselves and their developing culture and heritage.
African Americans are the quintessential example of it means to be conservative. Beyond the fact that a…