Difference between revisions of "Political conservatism"

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[[Category:political philosophies]]{{seedling}}
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==Viewpoint==
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[[page type::article]]
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.
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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 the US]]
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===Related===
==Reference==
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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.
* {{wikipedia|Conservatism}}
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* Conservatives tend to be on the political [[right wing]].
* [[conservapedia:Conservative|Conservapedia]]
 
  
==Conservative and Fundamentalist Groups/Projects (non-US)==
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Conservatism encompasses a wide variety of possible viewpoints, with different aspects being emphasized in different countries:
*'''Conservative'''
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* [[US conservatism]]
*'''Conservative Christian'''
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* {{rationalwiki|conservative}} has a good run-down of what "conservative" means in a number of different countries.
** [[wikipedia:Christian Voice (UK)|Christian Voice]] (UK)
 
  
==Related Links==
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===At Its Best===
* [http://www.conservativethinking.com/ Conservative Thinking]
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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.
* [http://www.freerepublic.com/home.htm Free Republic]: "the premier online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web"
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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.
==Blogs==
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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.)
* [http://www.antiprotester.blogspot.com/ The Autonomist]: by Rocco diPippo of Warren, RI
 
* [http://www.cathyseipp.net/ Cathy's World]: Cathy Seipp is a columnist for National Review Online and the Independent Women's Forum
 
* [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://stoptheaclu.com/ Stop the ACLU]
 
** '''2006-07-03''' [http://blogs.salon.com/0003494/2006/07/03.html Jewish Family “Forced to Move” Over School Lawsuit]: "'Stop the ACLU Coalition' Publicised Home Address, Phone Number
 
==Books==
 
* ''The Marketing of Evil'' by David Kupelian ([http://www.amazon.com/Marketing-Evil-Pseudo-Experts-Corruption-Disguised/dp/1581824599/sr=1-1/qid=1168617604/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-8614437-3304823?ie=UTF8&s=books Amazon]): "Americans have come to tolerate, embrace and even champion many things that would have horrified their parents' generation &ndash; 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" &ndash; 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 &ndash; 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? --[[User:Woozle|Woozle]] 11:07, 12 January 2007 (EST)
 
  
==News Sites==
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===At Its Worst===
* [http://www.newsmax.com/ NewsMax]: "America's News Page" (see also {{wikipedia|NewsMax.com}})
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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.
* [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."
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* When misfortune strikes, conservatism is the philosophy which will be the first to say "[[tough luck]]" and blame the victims.
  
==Publications==
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===Social Conservatism===
*[http://www.nationalreview.com/ National Review]
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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.
  
==Commentary==
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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.
* [http://www.redstate.com/stories/miscellanea/a_reactionary_s_shorter_catechism A Reactionary’s Shorter Catechism] by Paul J Cella
 
{{excerpt|[[David Brin]] writes about this [http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/02/challenges-computer-graphic-trailers.html]:}}
 
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]].
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Social conservatives are at odds with social [[liberal]]s on certain issues:
 
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* [[marriage]] (liberals want to broaden it, conservatives [[war on marriage|don't]])
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.
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* [[death penalty]] (conservatives for, liberals against)
 
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* [[gun control]] (conservatives against, liberals for)
(Naturally, my own theology, that we were meant to be apprentices and knowingly (through [[science]]) begin sharing and completing the art/craft of [[Creation]], would send both types shrieking.)
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===Fiscal Conservatism===
 
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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.
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.
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==Quotes==
 
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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.}}
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.
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==Links==
{{-excerpt}}
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===Reference===
{{excerpt|A responding poster on the [http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2007/02/challenges-computer-graphic-trailers.html same thread] says:}}
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* {{wikipedia}}
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.
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* {{conservapedia}}
 
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* <s>{{dkosopedia}}</s>[[category:!dkosopedia]] no equivalent article (as of 2008-03-27); see [[dkosopedia:Special:Search/Conservatism|search]]
I think this is also why we see such an overlap between [[direct creation|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).
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* {{sourcewatch}}
 
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* {{rationalwiki}} (redirects to {{l/rw|Conservative}})
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.
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===Groups/Projects===
 
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* [[Americonservatism/organizations]]
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 basically the same nature of thinking, just with different packaging.
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** non-US:
{{-excerpt}}
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*** '''Conservative Christian''':
* '''2006-07-06''' [http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/07/thug-and-intimidation-tactics-of-far.html The thug and intimidation tactics of the Far Right go mainstream] by Glenn Greenwald
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**** [[wikipedia:Christian Voice (UK)|Christian Voice]] (UK)
* '''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 [[Rick Perlstein]]
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{{links/smw}}
* '''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?)
 
 
 
==Notes==
 
Many conservatives, especially those tending to the extreme (including DiPippo and Horowitz) seem to have it in for ''[[Wikipedia:The New York Times|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 [http://antiprotester.blogspot.com/2006/07/where-does-pinch-sulzberger-live.html] 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 [http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/07/conservative-pundits-reveal-murderous.html Conservative pundits reveal murderous plot by the Travel Section of the NYT!] --[[User:Woozle|Woozle]] 08:32, 13 July 2006 (EDT)
 

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