I spent the weekend at an excellent conference on the work of Frank S. Meyer, a leading post-war thinker of the right. His major effort has generally been called fusionism –an attempt to marry classical liberalism and traditional conservatism. But he himself did not claim the term “fusionism”: that was a label others affixed. He saw himself as revealing the complementary nature of liberty and tradition rather than creating a new alloy out of disparate materials. For Meyer, liberty was the end of politics, and that fact could be apprehended by reason. But because of the constraints of human knowledge, traditions were important as a guide for the appropriate realization of liberty. And traditions help men choose virtue when political freedom appropriately gives them that choice.
Besides its importance in reconciling liberty with tradition analytically, fusionism had and continues to have important political implications.