The nature of man is fundamental

to understanding conservatism

and liberalism.


Many books have been written

over the past 50 years on

conservatism but rarely have they

touched on the fundamental issues

that separate it from liberalism. In

a new book, Fight the Left,

(Infinity Publishing, February 5,

2011) French author, Dr. Jean-

Francois Orsini, describes the core

distinction between conservatism

and liberalism: their views of the

nature of man. While liberalism

believes men are weak and in need

of protection and government

assistance, conservatism sees man

as an intelligent decision maker, perfectly

capable of functioning autonomously. Men

need to make their own decisions in order

to sustain themselves, and need to bear

full responsibility for their decisions. 


Drawing on the philosophy of Thomas

Aquinas and Aristotle, Dr. Orsini, a

scholar of Catholic social teachings,

explains that every person has an

intellect and free will. He or she has the

power to make his or her own decisions

and choices, whether right or wrong, and

consequently is a free moral agent.

Conservatives are fully aware of the need

of moral principles to guide those

decisions. Free Will is the center of their

human dignity and is a supernatural gift

from the Creator.


Fight the Left delineates the conflicting

social and political differences of

conservatives and liberals. A key

conservative "first principle" is the fact

that each human being, designed by God

through nature to be autonomous, is a

moral agent and consequently possesses

a fundamental dignity.


This common dignity is the basis of the

natural equality of all persons. The natural

autonomy imperative also dictates his

need for liberty. Liberals, however, view

equality as something that is won by

claiming so-called "rights" to be bestowed

on the citizenry by an omnipotent

government. Liberty, for liberals, is the

freedom to demonstrate for those rights.

Liberals do not see the need for moral

guidance: those who disagree with the

statist philosophy need to be reeducated.

Fight the Left discusses at length the

significant influence of such writers and

leaders as Rousseau, Voltaire, Edmund

Burke, Russell Kirk, Alexis de Tocqueville,

William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and

Ronald Reagan. The book also analyzes

each of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

and explains how they should be used by

conservatives to promote a conservative

culture and mindset (which, of course,

was the opposite of what Alinsky


Fight the Left exposes basic liberal

falsehoods and gives practical

suggestions as to how conservatives can

use simple truths to expose erroneous

ideas. Orsini does not limit himself to

politicians but also takes on liberal

bishops, who, he says, should stop

promoting a leftist worldview which is

essentially materialistic and often

supports causes which are at odds with

the teaching of their Church. The true

dignity of human beings is the first

principle of conservatism. It has been

defended by the Church for centuries, and

has been the engine of development in

the Western world.

Dr. Orsini defines what he calls the

various aspects or "dimensions" of the

conservative movement, such as

economic conservatives, political

conservatives, social conservatives, and

the like. It is the author's thesis that social

conservatism can and should supersede

all other dimensions of conservatism. The

social conservative understands the

nature and the dignity of the human

person. This is the essential core of

conservatism, and the whole movement

needs to be built on this basic tenet: that

the dignity and Free Will of men is of the

paramount importance.  Acknowledging

and acting on this key "first principle", if

accepted by conservatives, will build and

ultimately strengthen the entire

conservative movement.

In fact, if the truths about the value,

worth, and liberty of every person could

be understood by activists and leaders in

the conservative movement - as well as

the general public -- our society would

more readily reject liberalism and

embrace conservative principles.


About the author

Jean-Francois Orsini was born in

Vietnam, grew up in Morocco and

Monaco, and completed higher studies in

France and the U.S., where he earned an

MBA and a Ph.D. from the Wharton

School. He is an entrepreneur, a college

adjunct professor, and a business

consultant. He lives in Washington, D.C.



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A Review on the Acton Institute's blog:

Click here: Acton blog



"This book by Jean-Francois Orsini is

so necessary today. With our focus on

massive amounts of mere data, and

the confusion resulting from that,

Orsini has returned to basic

principles, which allows the reader to

cut through all the blather and think

about the essentials of the two major

belief systems that affect politics in

the United States: Liberalism and

Conservatism. No one who wants to

understand the philosophical

background of today's political

disputes can do without this book!"


William R. Luckey, Ph.D.


Professor of Political Science and


Christendom College




"In the heat of political battle, even

conservatives can forget what it is all

about: the defense of the individual

person against the depredations of the

state.  Jean-Francois Orsini draws on

the wellsprings of Western thought to

explain why the individual person is

worth defending, is, in fact, the only

thing worth defending in politics. He

not only lays down the foundation of

properly understood human nature

and dignity, he supplies the practical

tools for fighting against the attacks

from the Left, including using tricks

from the Left's own kitbag."


Donna Fitzpatrick Bethell

Formerly Under Secretary,

U.S. Department of Energy




"Your proposed book on Conservatism

and Liberalism is well worthy of being



" It is well written, easy to read and

very informative. It presents the

tension between Conservatism and

Liberalism with copious

contemporary examples so that the

reader is able to evaluate his own past

thinking in relation to his experience

of those examples. "


"As one who is considered by many a

'renegade' Bishop who is frequently at

odds with the positions of the USCCB, I

can only applaud what you have set

out to accomplish in the chapter on

bishops. You have a right to examine

and apply a critical light on the

contemporary conduct of the majority

of the bishops in the United States as

revealed by the official statements of

the United States Conference of

Catholic Bishops."

The Most Reverend René Henry

Gracida, DD

Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi





"FIGHT THE LEFT's discussion of

so-called homosexual and abortion

'rights' is right on target. As Dr.

Orsini points out, the liberals'

enabling of aberrant behavior is

simply a pathway to government

promotion of immorality and State

interference in every aspect of

human existence.

Conservatives need to push for a

return of sound moral principles

lest our county slip back into the

dark ages of human history. I hope

this book will help to unravel the

blind spot our society has

developed toward deviant and

dysfunctional - and changeable -


Peter LaBarbera

President and Founder,

Americans For Truth About








Fight the left



it's gauche; it's sinister


with First Principled



a new book by Jean-Francois Orsini, Ph.D.


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