To most of us on the right, I suspect the answer would be no. Unlike those on the left who promote Utopian schemes and grand visions for society, believing in the perfectibility of man, those of us on the right side of things take a more realistic view of the (dare I say fallen?) state of man. This is why we believe government should be constrained, this is why we believe institutions are important to constrain individuals, and this is why we believe it will never be possible to build a ‘heaven on earth’.
And yet, somehow, I’m getting the feeling that this is a point that is starting to get drowned out. At times I worry that we are beginning to co-opt the mindset of the left, thinking that we can reshape people, that good always will triumph. That we should be optimistic about our future, as our world will surely only get better.
Perhaps it is time for conservatives to once again reestablish their Burkean pessimism. Rather than preaching rosy things about the future, we ought remind ourselves of the fact that things will never be perfect on this earth, and, why we by no means should give up on improving the world (that would be silly!), we ought recognize that at times, evil will triumph over good, life sucks, and we should just get used to the fact.
(Note: I’m referring to good triumphing over evil in the worldly sense, not in the grand scheme of the universe/theologically etc)