681. (2-19-2010) Concentrating upon the safeguards of freedom and the power of reason to arrive at any understanding of freedom, it sometimes tends to forget that reason is well-grounded only when it operates within tradition, that is, in the light of the accumulated wisdom of the generations; and, in its concern with the preservation of the freedom of the individual person, it can lose sight of the philosophical values which are at the same time the ends which freedom serves and the very foundation of that respect for the innate dignity of the individual person upon which the defense of freedom rests.
- Frank S. Meyer – In Defense of Freedom and Other Essays – Conservatives in Pursuit of Truth, 1962
683. (2-20-2010) …if the freedom of individual persons is not guaranteed by the arrangements of the political order, power always corrupts, even when the motives of those who use it to enforce their beliefs are beneficent.
- Frank S. Meyer - In Defense of Freedom and Other Essays – Conservatism and Crisis: A Reply to Father Parry, 1962
685. (2-20-2010) The essence of civilization, however, is tradition; no single generation of men can of itself discover the proper ends of human existence. At its best, as understood by contemporary American conservatism, the traditionalist view accepts political freedom, accepts the role of reason and innovation and criticism; but it insists, if civilization is to be preserved, that reason operate within tradition and that political freedom is only effectively achieved when the bulwarks of civilizational [sic] order are preserved.
- Frank S. Meyer – In Defense of Freedom and Other Essays – Libertarianism or Libertinism, 1962