the change we need
So what is wrong with the Republican Party? Let me suggest that the problem is that they have no idea of what they ought to conserve; they have no idea of what constitutes liberty. Indeed, the only common theme among the factions is economic, and in that what they are trying to conserve is economic liberalism, the doctrine of laissez-faire capitalism. They have forgotten that this was the very doctrine that destroyed conservatism in the 19th century, and while it is now over 200 years old, it will never be conservative.
What conservatism ought to conserve is the proper scale of things; government at its lowest possible level, strong families as the foundation of society, small manufacturing, small farms, strong communities. Low taxes, to be sure, but taxes commensurate with the tasks we ask government to perform. We know that the key to lowering taxes is to localize government as much as possible and reduce its scale. But you cannot have localized governments in the face of commercial institutions that are bigger than most states—indeed, bigger than most nations. These institutions declare themselves “too big to fail,” when in truth they are too big to succeed without massive government support....
Distributists know that the key to shrinking government and ending oppressive taxation is to shrink the need for government. Great and global institutions require big government and large military and regulatory apparatuses. And these require big taxes. And while they create great wealth, for some, they create great dependency for the mass of men, a dependency that expresses itself as the welfare state. The small farm is better for food, but it is also better for community; the small manufacturer, tied by bonds of economy and affection to his locality is the basis of a sane economy.