Abraham Kuyper knew that revolutions almost always make life worse, says WORLD magazine’s Marvin Olasky:
Theologically, Kuyper followed John Calvin and other Reformers. Politically, he said government must not obstruct proclamation of the gospel, promote a counter-gospel, take away religious freedom, or coerce conscience. Reliance on central government “begets a slow process of dissolution that cannot but end in the demoralization of government and people alike.”
Kuyper’s alternative was “sphere sovereignty.” That meant leaders in education, business, religion, media, and other areas should have authority within their domains and not depend on government, which is one sphere among others. Kuyper first proposed “Christian-historical”—the equivalent of “evangelical” today—as the name for his theological and political position. Then he decided that was vague, so he switched to “Anti-revolutionary.” Kuyper attacked “the attempt to change totally how a person thinks and how he lives, to change his head and his heart, his home and his country … and so to lead us to a complete emancipation from the sovereign claims of Almighty God.”
“Anti-revolutionary” was not the same as “conservative,” because some things should not be conserved, but Kuyper knew that revolutions almost always make life worse. Anti-rev is also very different from antifa.