Are You Conservative Enough?Posted: 15 June 2012
College of Political Knowledge
First of all, I am not here to condemn anyone from being a conservative….I just want to point out a few things that may not be known……in this world of political correctness we tend to be damn right ignorant when it comes to true philosophy……take conservatism for one….
But what is conservatism…….in politics, the desire to maintain, or conserve, the existing order. Conservatives value the wisdom of the past and are generally opposed to widespread reform. Modern political conservatism emerged in the 19th cent. in reaction to the political and social changes associated with the eras of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. By 1850 the term conservatism, probably first used by Chateaubriand, generally meant the politics of the right.
The original tenets of European conservatism had already been formulated by Edmund Burke , Joseph de Maistre , and others. They emphasized preserving the power of king and aristocracy, maintaining the influence of landholders against the rising industrial bourgeoisie, limiting suffrage, and continuing ties between church and state . The conservative view that social welfare was the responsibility of the privileged inspired passage of much humanitarian legislation, in which English conservatives usually led the way. In the late 19th cent. great conservative statesmen, notably Benjamin Disraeli , exemplified the conservative tendency to resort to moderate reform in order to preserve the foundations of the established order. By the 20th cent. conservatism was being redirected by erstwhile liberal manufacturing and professional groups who had achieved many of their political aims and had become more concerned with preserving them from attack by groups not so favored. Conservatism lost its predominantly agrarian and semifeudal bias, and accepted democratic suffrage, advocated economic laissez-faire , and opposed extension of the welfare state. This form of conservatism, which is best seen in highly industrialized nations, was exemplified by President Reagan in the United States and Prime Minister Thatcher
in Great Britain. It has been flexible and receptive to moderate change, favors the maintenance of order on social issues, and actively supports deregulation and privatization in the economic sphere. Conservatism should be distinguished both from a reactionary desire for the past and the radical right-wing ideology of fascism and National Socialism. (Thanx to the Free Dictionary for the definition)…….
In today’s political world, at least in the good ole US of A, when one calls themselves a conservative they are not completely accurate….they are more something else than a classical conservative….in the US of today we have several types of conservatives………
hard-hat A working-class conservative, so called from the protective metal or plastic helmet worn by construction workers.
A “Hard Hat” is a construction worker, but his helmet symbolizes all those beefy blue-collar workers who have suddenly become the knuckleduster on the strong right arm of President Nixon’s silent majority.
redneck An ultraconservative. This disparaging term usually refers to the poor white farmers of the Southern backwoods who are notorious for their purported intolerance of liberals, intellectuals, Blacks, and hippies. Redneck, originating as an allusion to a farmer’s perennially sunburned neck, is now an epithet for any person who shares similar prejudices.
right-wing Reactionary, conservative; averse to change, die-hard. The term reputedly arose from the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, in which conservatives sat on the right side, or wing, of the chamber. As used today, right-wing, like left-wing, has pejorative connotations of extremism—in this case, of bigotry, prejudice, moneyed interests, anti-humanitarianism, etc. Both terms are used primarily to denigrate and stigmatize one’s opponents; a political conservative would not call himself a right-winger, just as a liberal would not call himself a left-winger; yet each might well label the other with the appropriate epithet.
But what is a classical conservative?
mixed view of human nature
self-interest eventually harmful
society is organic whole
equality is not important
society is hierarchy of layers
elites have right to rule but responsibilities for welfare of others: “noblesse oblige”
stability of society paramount
law & order
customs & traditions are important
responsibilities & civil liberties of citizens, plus privileges for elites
mixed views on economy
Some of the traits of the classical branch are common in today’s political world but it all comes down to interruption…….and the mouthpiece spouting the perceived “truth”….in today’s world those calling themselves conservatives are more like neo-conservs……meaning?
limited government involvement in the economy
very limited range of social welfare programs
increased government protection of morality
emphasis on populism
maintain traditional social values
distrust of trade unionism
Once again let me emphasize that I am NOT condemning or demeaning conservative thought…..My only thing is trying to point out the differences in the beliefs and that NO one ideology is worse or better than another….only that there are different ways of approaching a political problem and that common ground should be found if there is to ever be a continuing of the political success of the country.
(For further explanation please check out next week’s post on neo-liberalism)