define conservatism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by flaja, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    How’s this for a working definition of conservatism?

    Conservatism is a political philosophy that strives to preserve a functional society by keeping society on a firm foundation of works while rejecting anything that is or may be detrimental to it.

    Can anyone suggest a working definition of liberalism?

    I understand that some people see a conservatism that is based on process (being opposed to change) and a conservatism that is based on ideology. But, then these same people are likely to claim that conservatism is not based on any ideology the way something like communism is. Communists have Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto, but conservatives supposedly don’t have anything.

    If process conservatism is simply opposition to change, couldn’t someone be a conservative any place on the political spectrum? Couldn’t a conservative Russian be one that didn’t want the change to capitalism, while an American ideological conservative would see the Russian that still wants communism to be the worst kind of liberal?

    I haven’t seen anyplace on the net that claims there is a process-ideology distinction for liberalism, but wouldn’t a process liberal simply be someone that supports radical change just for the sake of change regardless of what the change is supposed to accomplish?
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    A start:

    * less taxes: from city on up. Look at gas station pump price. I live in IL. Collar county. Reg. gas today: 2.27 Chicago: 2.63. Difference? City and County taxes. Henry County-west of collar counties, 2.03. Same difference in causes.

    * less interference in our lives: Department of Education. Abortion. Gay marriage. Anything to do with our day-to-day lives. Leave those issues to the state/county/city.

    * Property rights: Only case for Emminent Domain, better conditions for the general public. Not for corporations or even the city. Not to increase tax base. Too build a hospital? Perhaps. A highway? Maybe. Green space? Referendum.

    You get the idea.
     
  3. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Don't we have another thread of this same title we could search up?
     
  4. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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  5. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    Just a quick perusal of this other thread shows that (as I expected) many so-called conservatives don’t understand the term because they are libertarians.

    Conservatives have never believed in total freedom for the individual because conservatives understand human nature. Individuals, when left to their own devices without any regulation will always act in their own self-interest and will care little about how they may end up harming others.

    From Project Gutenberg:
    Edmund Burke
    A LETTER TO A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, IN ANSWER TO SOME OBJECTIONS TO HIS BOOK ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 1791.

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites,--in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity,--in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption,--in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    I must've missed which "other thread" you speak of, and exactly which statement you are generalizing over.
     
  7. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Somebody doesn't understand what Libertarians are all about. It isn't Anarchy or depthless. While it may be the central theme of many Conservatives, they differ often from many of them. Of course you likely ran accross my post which directly states I consider myself a "Conservative Libertarian".

    There is a reason I am not in the Libertarian Party any longer though... That massive 1% of the vote they get just wasn't going to cut it any longer. Instead I work in the Party with the RLC to form a Party closer to my beliefs. Adults realize that compromise will often be part of what they must work with to get at least a portion of what they want.
     
  8. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Instead of going all into what I believed again, I just linked to another thread that asked us to "define conservatism".
     
  9. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    social conservative is easy

    fiscal conservative is easy

    government conservative is easy

    world conservative is easy

    problem is people mix and match to suit their own views and peoples views evolve

    in my opinion bush is a conservative in maybe 1 of the three
     
  10. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Your observations are off. Many conservatives would like to see lots of changes. Considering the initial sloppiness, wrong categories, and general pompousity of the initial post, I laugh.
     

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