Meyer_FrankWhen I took this quiz, one of the typical wasteful quizzes found on the Facebook I expected to be identified with Russell Kirk. Despite my awareness of fusionism, thanks to the arch-philosopher Jonah Goldberg, I don’t know Frank S. Meyer so much. I’ve read or skimmed a selection of Kirk’s work and one of the conclusions I’ve came to after years of study is that conservatism, especially as Kirk describes it, is no tight distinction with platform planks and percentage points and scorecards.  It’s a philosophical approach and a set of principles which in turn leads to broad set of results and a vague enough definition that allows a variety of individuals with a variety of belief sets to still rightfully be labeled a conservative.  Approaching the quiz with that attitude allowed it to peg me a fusionist.

You are what is often called a fusionist: you believe that libertarians and traditionalists share a lot of common ground, not only politically but also philosophically. Freedom is fundamental, but freedom cannot mean mere license; virtue is the highest goal, but virtue not freely chosen is not really virtue. As Meyer put it, “Truth withers when freedom dies, however righteous the authority that kills it; and free individualism uninformed by moral value rots at its core and soon brings about conditions that pave the way for surrender to tyranny.” Meyer (1909–1972) was a longtime editor of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. As the leading proponent of fusionism, he played a key role in shaping the modern conservative movement. Read Meyer’s thoughts on the fundamental beliefs that conservatives and libertarians can agree on.

Admittedly I only took the quiz because I still have respect for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. They serve as excellent educators regarding philosophy, culture and policy. The only weaknesses are barely weaknesses at all. Their audience is only the people that come to them and they have little voice outside the movement. Unfortunately in these Trump/Cruz days their audience inside the movement has not played a huge role. Many Republicans have fallen sway to demagoguery and fearmongering. As it is even I have doubts whether I interpreted Russell Kirk correctly regarding who is a conservative. Yet my reading of Kirk guided me to what I believe a conservative, and the correlative -sim, actually is: a rejection of ideology and especially the instinct/urge/impulse to combine it with a scorecard and/or a platform.  The notion of fusionism isn’t too far from what I am.  As I see conservatism as a rejection of a scorecard approach to judging a person it means that the label serves to contain philosophically or ideologically disparate figures such as Jack Kemp, George W. Bush, Tom Tancredo, Fred Thompson, and William F. Buckley. Jr