"The word ?conservatism? came into general use after the French Revolution of 1789, its first and most eloquent spokesman being Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France . Burke argued for the traditional liberties of the English against the ?abstract? Rights of Man advocated by the revolutionaries, predicting correctly that such abstract rights, with no force of custom behind them, would perish in a reign of terror. The revolutionaries, he said, were so obsessed with man's rights that they had forgotten man's nature. History has vindicated Burke's warning, but many have doubted that his kind of conservatism fully applies to America . We don't have the sort of history England and France had, a feudal ancien r?gime with a social hierarchy and inherited status. It is even argued that our only tradition is a liberal one, of legal equality for everyone. After all, we are not divided into peasants versus noblemen, or anything of the sort. We even take pride in our social fluidity and more or less equal opportunity." Joe Sobran offers a more intellectually coherent view of what conservatism actually means in a cultural context.