226 An  Introduction  to  Christian  Economics The war is not the focus of my discussion here, however. I am more concerned with more fundamental intellectual issues that serve as points of division between traditional conservatives and libertarian anarcho-capitalists. As  I see it, the essential questions are these: what are ~he limits of toleration, both personal and social, and what role does autonomous human reason play in discovering these limits? In the “pure type” (to use Max Weber’s terminology) of each position, we discover irreconcilable opposition. The libertarian denies that society can use force to impose limits on the actions of others which do not interfere with the voluntary activities of their fellows. The conservative  denies  the  existence  of  anythhg resembling an  all- encompassing neutral human reason; to one extent or another, he rejects any hypothesis based on the idea of the autonomous individual or autonomous human  reason.1 The traditional conservative tends to value human freedom because he has very little faith in human nature.  Thk may seem incongruous, but it can be explained. Because human nature is corrupt, the tradi- tionalist resists the concentration of power in any single institution or person. No one institution should be regarded as sovereign outside of its own legitimate, but strictly limited, sphere. Society in this per- spective is a matrix of competing sovereignties, each with certain claims on men, but none with total claims in all areas. Almost without exception, traditional conservative apologetics rests on the institution of the family as being primary to society. Any law or in- stitutional arrangement which threatens the integrity of the family- faces very serious opposition from conservatives: guilt is presumed until innocence is proven without a shadow of a doubt. Other insti- tutions--churches, local governments, schools, voluntary societies of all types-act as buffers against centralized political power. Atomize men, Hannah Arendt and Robert Nisbet both argue, and you create the framework necessary for the exercise of totalitarian power.z Re- duce men to individuals who are not protected by institutions that possess limited but legitimate sovereignty, and the State will centralize and concentrate power with a vengeance. Man does not live by autonomy alone, in short. The individual is therefore not the starting- 1. Russell Kirk% account of Burke’s view of the limited nature of human reason is relevant here: Kirk,  The Conservative  Mind (Chicago:  Regne~, 1953 ), p. 76 ff, cf. R. J. Rushdoony, By What Standard?  (Philadelphia:  Presby- terian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1958). 2. Robert A.  Nisbet,  The Quest for Community (New  York: Oxford Uni- versity Press, [1953] 1970); Nisbet, “Rousseau and the Political Community; Tradition  and Revolt (New  York: Vintage, 1969), chap. 1. Hannah  Arendt’s thesis is presented in her classic study, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, [1951] 1966).