Conservatism's essential element is experience

What is most ironic about the Left’s disdain for tradition is that it emanates from the same people who are most stridently worshipful of Darwinian evolutionary biology and most insistent that it makes sense even in the absence of the Divine. I have no quarrel with evolution as a scientific theory, but to recognize the basic mechanism of natural selection is by necessity to admit the value of tradition as a fundamental organizing principle of nature: that which works over time prospers, and that which does not falls by the wayside, even without the visible guiding hand of any centralized power.

Tradition, properly understood, is not stasis; it is change, but change over time by constant experimentation with the new and comparison of its results to the old. It is the gradual accrual of the lessons of trial and error of countless individuals. It changes when new things are proven to work, and old things are found to have become un-useful.

Tradition protects us from the tyranny of small sample sizes, by delivering to us the lessons drawn from experience of prior generations. It is growth that is organic to the human family. It is the school of mankind; and all the dictates and mandates of government can make us learn at no other. You cannot believe in moral progress of any kind if you do not believe in tradition, only a sort of moral Brownian motion in which nothing learned today has any guarantee against being unlearned tomorrow.