Difference between revisions of "Conservatism"

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==Conservative and Fundamentalist Groups/Projects==
==Conservative and Fundamentalist Groups/Projects==
** [http://www.conservapedia.com/ Conservapedia]: "pro-American, pro-Christian" alternative to Wikipedia. Despite appearances, and unlike Wikipedia, editing is closed (you have to log in to edit, and the "log in/create account" page is log-in only).
** [[Conservapedia]]: "pro-American, pro-Christian" alternative to Wikipedia
** [http://www.heritage.org/ The Heritage Foundation] (US)
** [http://www.heritage.org/ The Heritage Foundation] (US)
** [http://www.johnlocke.org/ John Locke Foundation] (US - North Carolina)
** [http://www.johnlocke.org/ John Locke Foundation] (US - North Carolina)

Revision as of 23:10, 28 February 2007

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Classic conservatism is a political philosophy whose central theme is the prevention of change in society. It often includes a certain reactionary element that wishes to revert society to an earlier (supposedly happer) time, or a set of societal norms that existed during that time, but this is not the main thrust of conservatism around the world.

Conservatism encompasses a wide variety of possible viewpoints, with different aspects being emphasized in different countries.

Conservatism in America

see also: Wikipedia:Conservatism in North America

The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think-tank, states a belief "in individual liberty, free enterprise, limited government, a strong national defense, and traditional American values. We want an America that is safe and secure; where choices (in education, health care and retirement) abound; where taxes are fair, flat, and comprehensible; where everybody has the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them; where government concentrates on its core functions, recognizes its limits and shows favor to none. ... we believe the values and ideas that motivated our Founding Fathers are worth conserving." This would seem to be a reasonable definition of the best attributes of American conservatism.

A cornerstone of American Conservative philosophy is personal responsibility – the idea that each individual is solely responsible for his/her own well-being; government exists solely to ensure that the rules are enforced, which includes protection from hostile external forces.

American Conservatives seem to be generally against "big government": "The government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." -- attributed to Gerald Ford [1]

During the presidential administration of George W. Bush, the use of the term "Neocons" has re-emerged to describe a certain offshoot of conservatism whose adherents are openly conservative but in practice somewhat at odds with some of conservatism's basic tenets; see Bush Neoconservative.


Conservatives in the United States are generally aligned with the Republican Party and sometimes with the Libertarian Party.

Related Articles


Conservative and Fundamentalist Groups/Projects

Well-Known Conservative Proponents

Related Links



  • The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian (Amazon): "Americans have come to tolerate, embrace and even champion many things that would have horrified their parents' generation – from easy divorce and unrestricted abortion-on-demand to extreme body piercing and teaching homosexuality to grade-schoolers."
    • Comments:
      • Easy divorce has been shown to reduce suicide rates; nobody gets unrestricted abortion-on-demand, though I could argue that it would be a good idea, at least in the first trimester; and you can't "teach homosexuality" – is anyone actually trying to do this? Unless it means "teaching about homosexuality", which would be an important part of any decent sex education curriculum (otherwise kids are likely to grow up hating and fearing gay people, which would probably make this book's author happy – or, if the student in question is gay, hating and fearing her/himself, which would probably also make the book's author happy). What's wrong with body-piercing? --Woozle 11:07, 12 January 2007 (EST)

News Sites

  • NewsMax: "America's News Page" (see also Wikipedia)
  • townhall.com is generally described as conservative, but according to Wikipedia their mission is specifically to aid in "the fight against those who would sacrifice the individual and freedom for political gain and big government."



David Brin writes about this [3]:

This fellow is another species. One that would prefer to stay feudal, terrified, and only half sapient forever -- though with confident expectation that God’s reality is a cramped, short term exercise, and so it does not matter.

He praises elitism, mythology, romanticism, nostalgia, mysticism, exceptionalism, ritualistic-dogmatic traditionalism, and prejudice in the purest meaning of the word - pre-judice - judging others and all thoughts based upon comfortable, self-serving assumptions and eliminating all processes that test those subjective assumptions against the genuine holiness of the Creator’s greatest work, a thing called objective reality.

Indeed, denial of objective reality or its relevance is the underlying commonality that this fellow howls in perfect synchrony with romantics of the far left, whose praise of ancient mysticism and tribal ways converge eerily on the extreme, with "reactionaries" like this guy.

(Naturally, my own theology, that were were meant to be apprentices and knowingly (through science) begin sharing and completing the art/craft of Creation, would send both types shrieking.)

If you have not seen it, do. And know the full range of human personality that makes our task so dauntingly difficult. Trogs who know that 6,000 years of trying their way never got humanity anything but pain, nevertheless bitterly resent us our turn, trying something new and blatantly better.

No wonder they are fighting back so hard, as we speak. They must re-establish the old way fast, or lose their chance forever, as humanity finally steps into the light.

A responding poster on the same thread says:

I don't have a link handy but there's been some research [indicating that far-right partisans] don't use their cerebral cortex much when evaluating political statements. Instead another part of their brain associated with emotional rewards lights up whenever they affirm the "correct" side or disagree with the "incorrect" side. I'm sure such a pack mentality came in handy back in the day but it's ill suited to a democracy.

I think this is also why we see such an overlap between creationists and people who vehemently object to global warming. The global warming hypothesis requires them to believe in a moral cause of a nature that they find unpalatable (there's no foreign enemy to blame it on and they're not necessarily the good guys).

Deconstructing the far right is easy. Just turn their accusations around, most of them in fact apply to them: global warming is a religion (they're creationists and/or heavily influenced by christian dominionism), liberals are arrogant and ignorant, etc. etc.

But in fairness we should be deconstructing the loonies on the other side of the political spectrum too. Unfortunately this is a lot harder to do since they're a lot more diversified and neurotic, a Baskin Robbins of ideological weirdness (although a lot of them them tend to have issues with daddy). The end result is basicaly the same nature of thinking, just with different packaging.

  • 2006-07-06 The thug and intimidation tactics of the Far Right go mainstream by Glenn Greenwald
  • 2005-12-05 'I Didn't Like Nixon Until Watergate': The Conservative Movement Now by Ric Perlstein
  • 2005-12-02 The Political Battle over Modernity IV: Part 4 of a longer essay which includes an analysis of some of the major tools used by Neocons (note: should "Neoconservatism" be split off into a separate article?)
  • 2005-10-23 David Brin writes: "Right now, the very word "conservative" is used to mask the fact that one group wants dynamic markets and measures our success according to the rate of small business startups, vigorous investment in new business opportunities, social mobility for those who exhibit honest ambition and hard work, and rapid rewards for innovation. Sooner or later, champions of markets will realize that these traits are being systematically quashed by others who use "conservative" to mask a different agenda. The old agenda that destroyed every other market system on record."
  • 2005-09-27 J.E.R. Staddon writes: "...there are acres written on conservatism, but one of the best definitions I've seen is that it is a disbelief in utopia, i.e., a disbelief in the "progressive" idea that human beings, and human society, are infinitely perfectible. The problem with belief in utopia is that if you believe it is possible, then you are obliged to take active steps tio bring it about, which usually leads to the death and misery of large numbers of human beings (see Stalin, Mao, the Islamists, etc.)."
  • 2004-08-18: [4] In the context of a book review, suggests a brief definition of key conservative values, and then states that they are contradicted by scientific findings, which explains why conservatives tend to be anti-science. (To be investigated: do the given values accurately reflect the conservative worldview? Does science contradict them?)


Many conservatives, especially those tending to the extreme (including DiPippo and Horowitz) seem to have it in for The New York Times, for reasons on which I'm not entirely clear. The NYT has recently been attacked for publishing photos and addresses of the vacation homes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld; Rocco DiPippo retaliated by publishing similar information about the NYT's editor Arthur Sulzburger [5] and photographer Linda Spillers, who (with Rumsfeld's permission) took the photo of Rumsfeld's vacation home. The argument is apparently: (1) we are at war (the War on Terror); (2) providing such information in public is therefore providing aid and comfort to the enemy, (3) which is treason, (4) which is a crime punishable by death. See Conservative pundits reveal murderous plot by the Travel Section of the NYT! --Woozle 08:32, 13 July 2006 (EDT)