Readers should keep in mind Terry Nardin’s insight that the significant divide in modern political thought is not between left and right; it is between those who see the state as an instrument for promoting particular purposes, a conservative view, and those who see it as a framework within which people can pursue their own self-chosen purposes, a liberal view.
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“The terms conservative and liberal have their traditional political theory meanings here and not their meanings in contemporary U. S. political dialogue. The conservative view rests on the assumption that any authority is based on shared beliefs. In other words, a common set of beliefs is constitutive of authority in a social order (de Tocqueville  1956; Durkheim  1965: 236-245). The influence of authority is a function of the existence of shared beliefs, values, and practices within a given social setting (Durkheim  1965: 207; Parsons 1960). The liberal view is that the lack of shared beliefs is what makes authority crucial in social relations. In this view, authority solves the inherent problem of chaos in situations with no substantive agreement between the actors. Having a person in authority solves the predicament of disagreement over what is to be done; in other words, when actors cannot agree on a course of action, they select an actor to make the decision for them (Friedman 1973: 140). This view of authority, often associated with Thomas Hobbes, is based on procedural and not substantive agreement. Any social action is part of what Terry Nardin calls a practical association, which assists not in generating shared goals but in tolerance between people (Nardin 1983: 10-14).”
Robert B. Shelledy, in Church, State, and Citizen: Christian Approaches to Political Engagement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 17, 29-30, n. 5.