Difference between revisions of "Political conservatism"

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[[Category:Political Philosophies]]{{seedling}}
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<hide>
==Viewpoint==
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[[page type::article]]
[[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, but this is not the main thrust of conservatism.
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[[thing type::similarity cluster]]
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[[category:political philosophies]]
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[[category:isms]]
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</hide>
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==About==
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[[Political conservatism]] (typically shortened to just "conservatism"/"conservative") is a [[political identity]] which hews to a loose collection ([[similarity cluster]]) of beliefs, generally consisting of some combination of the following attributes:
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* a set of [[belief]]s about society:
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** society must be preserved in its present form (it ''must'' not change)
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** society ''cannot'' be changed for the better
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*** This sometimes includes a [[reactionary]] belief that society should move ''backwards'', adhering more faithfully to traditional ways that have become neglected. To a reactionary, the ideal society would follow traditional forms to the letter.
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*** This is often phrased as "the human condition is eternal" or "human beings cannot be perfected" (cf Kipling)
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* a strong [[right wing]]/[[authoritarian]] tendency; valuing social hierarchy over [[egalitarianism]]
  
Conservatism encompasses a wide variety of possible viewpoints, with different aspects being emphasized in different countries.
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The word "conservatism" (in its various forms) is often used as a more palatable stand-in for beliefs which are actually [[social stagnationism]] or even [[social regressivism]].
==Conservatism in America==
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===Related===
''see also: [[Wikipedia:Conservatism in North America]]''
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* The [[conservative ideal]] encompasses what is best about conservatism, and ways in which the idea of conservatism is misrepresented or misused.
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* Conservatives tend to be on the political [[right wing]].
  
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.
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Conservatism encompasses a wide variety of possible viewpoints, with different aspects being emphasized in different countries:
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* [[US conservatism]]
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* {{rationalwiki|conservative}} has a good run-down of what "conservative" means in a number of different countries.
  
A cornerstone of American Conservative philosophy is '''personal responsibility''' &ndash; 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.
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===At Its Best===
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* Conservatism advises saving, rather than spending. Conservatism would be the voice that waits until there is an adequate positive balance in the till before buying new infrastructure or investing in new enterprises &ndash; rather than going into debt to do so.
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* Conservatism advises looking carefully at new things before spreading them widely &ndash; and is always ready to take a second look if an accepted idea seems to have had unintended consequences.
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* Conservatism advises careful management of resources for the long haul, rather than sacrificing them for short-term gain. (This differs greatly from [[American republicanism]], which tends to see the short-term corporate bottom line as the number one priority.)
  
Conervatives seem to be against "big government" in certain circumstances -- see http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110007328
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===At Its Worst===
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* Conservatism is the philosophy which allows social problems to escalate to the point of crisis rather than spend money solving them &ndash; and then, when the small problem is a large problem for which there is no other solution but to spend money, waits for [[American liberalism|liberals]] to demand that money be spent so that they can later heap scorn on said liberals and associate them with the disaster they helped solve and did not create.
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* When misfortune strikes, conservatism is the philosophy which will be the first to say "[[tough luck]]" and blame the victims.
  
During the presidential administration of [[George W. Bush]], the use of the term "Neocons" has arisen 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]].
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===Social Conservatism===
==Politics==
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Social conservatives believe that there is "wisdom embedded in [existing] social structures/norms", and that we tamper with those structures at our peril. In other words, the current social norms are the way they are because they have been proven to work over a long period of time, and there is considerable danger if they cease to work properly.
Conservatives in the United States are generally aligned with the [[United States Republican Party|Republican Party]] and sometimes with the [[United States Libertarian Party|Libertarian Party]].
 
  
==Related Articles==
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The implication of this is that we don't know how those norms got the way they are, nor why they work. This is at odds with the idea that we as a civilization have been documenting our own history in considerable detail for many centuries now, and are indeed quite capable of noting which experiments have succeeded, which failed, and which were made popular or unpopular without correlation to (and for reasons other than) their success or failure at their intended purpose. The social conservative attitude essentially favors custom over understanding, shuns experimentation, and fears the possible consequences.
*[[United States Republican Party]]
 
==Reference==
 
*[[wikipedia:Conservatism]]
 
  
==Conservative and Fundamentalist Groups==
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Social conservatives are at odds with social [[liberal]]s on certain issues:
*'''Conservative'''
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* [[marriage]] (liberals want to broaden it, conservatives [[war on marriage|don't]])
** [http://www.heritage.org/ The Heritage Foundation] (US)
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* [[death penalty]] (conservatives for, liberals against)
** [http://www.johnlocke.org/ John Locke Foundation] (US - North Carolina)
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* [[gun control]] (conservatives against, liberals for)
*** Interestingly, the writings of [[wikipedia:John Locke|John Locke]] himself "had an enormous influence on the development of liberalism", according to [[wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributions_to_liberal_theory#From_Locke_to_Mill|Wikipedia]], notably the idea of "religious toleration"
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===Fiscal Conservatism===
*'''Conservative Christian'''
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Fiscal conservatives are more concerned about unnecessary government expenditure, and tend to prefer solutions where private industry or "faith-based" groups provide the bulk of the funding. For this reason, they tend to seek solutions based in [[free market]] incentives. They also tend to be against government regulation, however, which they unfortunately often seem to forget is a [[free markets require regulation|requirement]] for a free marketplace.
** [http://www.bju.edu/ Bob Jones University] (Greenville, SC)
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==Quotes==
** [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Voice Christian Voice] (UK)
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{{quotation|[[Evelyn Waugh]] {{needcite}}|[ [[Rudyard Kipling]] ] was a conservative in the sense that he believed [[civilization]] to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the [[liberal]]s because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy [[perfectibility of man]] and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.}}
** [http://www.cofcc.org/ Council of Conservative Citizens] ({{wikipedia|Council of Conservative Citizens}})
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==Links==
** [http://www.liberty.edu/ Liberty University] (Lynchburg, VA) - e.g. [http://www.liberty.edu/studentaffairs/index.cfm?PID=7764 Dress Code for Women]
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===Reference===
** [[wikipedia:American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property|American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property]]
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* {{wikipedia}}
*'''Parody Sites'''
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* {{conservapedia}}
** [http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ Landover Baptist Church] "Where the Worthwhile Worship"
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* <s>{{dkosopedia}}</s>[[category:!dkosopedia]] no equivalent article (as of 2008-03-27); see [[dkosopedia:Special:Search/Conservatism|search]]
** [http://www.bettybowers.com/ Betty Bowers] "America's Best Christian"
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* {{sourcewatch}}
 
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* {{rationalwiki}} (redirects to {{l/rw|Conservative}})
==Well-Known Conservative Proponents==
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===Groups/Projects===
* [[Wikipedia:William F. Buckley, Jr.|Buckley, William F. Jr.]] "the godfather of modern American conservatism"
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* [[Americonservatism/organizations]]
* [[Wikipedia:Ann Coulter|Coulter, Ann]]
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** non-US:
* [[David Horowitz|Horowitz, David]]: neocon writer, activist and commentator
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*** '''Conservative Christian''':
* [[Wikipedia:Russell Kirk|Kirk, Russell]]: "the father of modern conservatism"
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**** [[wikipedia:Christian Voice (UK)|Christian Voice]] (UK)
* [[Rush Limbaugh|Limbaugh, Rush]]
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{{links/smw}}
* [[Wikipedia:Jerry Pournelle|Pournelle, Jerry]]
 
* [[Wikipedia:George Will|Will, George F.]]
 
 
 
==Related Links==
 
*[http://www.conservativethinking.com/ Conservative Thinking]
 
==Blogs==
 
* [http://www.antiprotester.blogspot.com/ The Autonomist]: by Rocco diPippo of Warren, RI
 
* [http://www.rightrainbow.com/ Right Side of the Rainbow]: "News and commentary on law and politics by a right- of-center, gun-owning, gay Texan"
 
* [http://sayanythingblog.com/ Say Anything Blog]: not explicitly conservative, but seems to lean that way
 
* [http://www.cathyseipp.net/ Cathy's World]: Cathy Seipp is a columnist for National Review Online and the Independent Women's Forum
 
 
 
==News Sites==
 
* [http://www.newsmax.com/ NewsMax]: "America's News Page" (see also {{wikipedia|NewsMax.com}})
 
* [http://www.townhall.com/ townhall.com] is generally described as conservative, but according to {{wikipedia|Townhall.com}} their mission is specifically to aid in "the fight against those who would sacrifice the individual and freedom for political gain and big government."
 
 
 
==Publications==
 
*[http://www.nationalreview.com/ National Review]
 
 
 
==Commentary==
 
* '''2005-12-05''' [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-perlstein/i-didnt-like-nixon-_b_11735.html 'I Didn't Like Nixon ''Until'' Watergate': The Conservative Movement Now] by Ric Perlstein
 
* '''2005-12-02''' [http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2005/12/political-battle-over-modernity-iv.html 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 [http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2005/10/propertarianism-iv-only-if-crackpot.html 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''': [http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com/2004/08/moral-politics-in-context-of-history.html] 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?)
 

Latest revision as of 16:43, 28 September 2020

About

Political conservatism (typically shortened to just "conservatism"/"conservative") is a political identity which hews to a loose collection (similarity cluster) of beliefs, generally consisting of some combination of the following attributes:

  • a set of beliefs about society:
    • society must be preserved in its present form (it must not change)
    • society cannot be changed for the better
      • This sometimes includes a reactionary belief that society should move backwards, adhering more faithfully to traditional ways that have become neglected. To a reactionary, the ideal society would follow traditional forms to the letter.
      • This is often phrased as "the human condition is eternal" or "human beings cannot be perfected" (cf Kipling)
  • a strong right wing/authoritarian tendency; valuing social hierarchy over egalitarianism

The word "conservatism" (in its various forms) is often used as a more palatable stand-in for beliefs which are actually social stagnationism or even social regressivism.

Related

  • The conservative ideal encompasses what is best about conservatism, and ways in which the idea of conservatism is misrepresented or misused.
  • Conservatives tend to be on the political right wing.

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

At Its Best

  • Conservatism advises saving, rather than spending. Conservatism would be the voice that waits until there is an adequate positive balance in the till before buying new infrastructure or investing in new enterprises – rather than going into debt to do so.
  • Conservatism advises looking carefully at new things before spreading them widely – and is always ready to take a second look if an accepted idea seems to have had unintended consequences.
  • Conservatism advises careful management of resources for the long haul, rather than sacrificing them for short-term gain. (This differs greatly from American republicanism, which tends to see the short-term corporate bottom line as the number one priority.)

At Its Worst

  • Conservatism is the philosophy which allows social problems to escalate to the point of crisis rather than spend money solving them – and then, when the small problem is a large problem for which there is no other solution but to spend money, waits for liberals to demand that money be spent so that they can later heap scorn on said liberals and associate them with the disaster they helped solve and did not create.
  • When misfortune strikes, conservatism is the philosophy which will be the first to say "tough luck" and blame the victims.

Social Conservatism

Social conservatives believe that there is "wisdom embedded in [existing] social structures/norms", and that we tamper with those structures at our peril. In other words, the current social norms are the way they are because they have been proven to work over a long period of time, and there is considerable danger if they cease to work properly.

The implication of this is that we don't know how those norms got the way they are, nor why they work. This is at odds with the idea that we as a civilization have been documenting our own history in considerable detail for many centuries now, and are indeed quite capable of noting which experiments have succeeded, which failed, and which were made popular or unpopular without correlation to (and for reasons other than) their success or failure at their intended purpose. The social conservative attitude essentially favors custom over understanding, shuns experimentation, and fears the possible consequences.

Social conservatives are at odds with social liberals on certain issues:

Fiscal Conservatism

Fiscal conservatives are more concerned about unnecessary government expenditure, and tend to prefer solutions where private industry or "faith-based" groups provide the bulk of the funding. For this reason, they tend to seek solutions based in free market incentives. They also tend to be against government regulation, however, which they unfortunately often seem to forget is a requirement for a free marketplace.

Quotes

[ Rudyard Kipling ] was a conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.

Evelyn Waugh [?]

Links

Reference

Groups/Projects

Related