Conservatives believe that a civilized society demands orders and classes, that men are not inherently equal, that change and reform are not identical, that in a free society men are children of God and not wards of the state. Self-reliance is a conservative principle. The work ethic is a conservative ethic. The free marketplace is vital to the conservative’s economic philosophy.
Note the contradictory endorsement of orders, classes, inequality -- and the free market. As Mises and others have long pointed out, the free market respects none of those other values. Freedom means social and cultural evolution, unguided by coercive authority. It means the constant potential for the upsetting of tradition as people discover new ways to live and do things.
Amazingly, conservatives still have not learned that lesson, which is why at best they are poor advocates of economic freedom. For evidence, see the hassle over gay marriage.
Read more on this issue in my review of the movie Chocolat and Steve Horwitz's discussion of the evolution of marriage and family.