define conservatism

flaja

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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?
 

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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?
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.
 

no1tovote4

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Don't we have another thread of this same title we could search up?
 
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flaja

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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.”
 

Gunny

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

no1tovote4

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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.”
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.
 

no1tovote4

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I must've missed which "other thread" you speak of, and exactly which statement you are generalizing over.
Instead of going all into what I believed again, I just linked to another thread that asked us to "define conservatism".
 

manu1959

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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?
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
 

rtwngAvngr

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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?


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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flaja

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

The thread linked to in post #4.

I've had several years of experience encountering libertarians on the net. They masquerade as conservatives, but they don't understanding the meaning of the term.

Libertarianism will never contribute much of anything towards solving our socio-economic problems because:

1. Libertarians are too belligerent in their individualism to cooperate well with others;
2. Libertarians are too paranoid about government to allow the government to take action that is needed, but which the private sector cannot perform- and
3. Libertarians are too naïve about human nature to ever believe there are any socio-economic problems to begin with.
 
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flaja

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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.

A lot of changes would be the antithesis of conservative process.

I would like to see a lot of changes (end abortion, end no-fault divorce, balance the federal budget and do away with much of women's lib). As far as implementing these changes I would concede to being a radical when compared to process conservatives. But as far as ideology goes, wanting these changes would make be a reactionary in the overall political spectrum.
 

rtwngAvngr

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A lot of changes would be the antithesis of conservative process.
Many conservatives would love to see the size of government literally decimated, cut into a tenth. For real. That's a massive change.

Libs are for the status quo, the continuation of the 60 or more year trend of advancing government scope, size, responsibility and power.
I would like to see a lot of changes (end abortion, end no-fault divorce, balance the federal budget and do away with much of women's lib). As far as implementing these changes I would concede to being a radical when compared to process conservatives. But as far as ideology goes, wanting these changes would make be a reactionary in the overall political spectrum.
Your whole schema of comingling ideology with process style is an exercise in wrong.
 
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flaja

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Many conservatives would love to see the size of government literally decimated, cut into a tenth. For real. That's a massive change.

Libs are for the status quo, the continuation of the 60 or more year trend of advancing government scope, size, responsibility and power.


Your whole schema of comingling ideology with process style is an exercise in wrong.

How so? If conservatism is only a matter of ideology, how can so many of the self-professed conservatives here have such disparate ideologies? How can there be so many branches of conservatism if conservatism is based only on ideology?
 

theHawk

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A lot of changes would be the antithesis of conservative process.
Conservatives base their beleifs on traditional values. In this country most would define traditional values as "Judeo-Christian" values. Changing or moving away from those traditional values is the kind of change that conservatives resist. But conservatives would certainly welcome changes that are more in line with traditional values. As our country slides more and more towards socialism, secularism, and other liberal values, conservatives will be fighting for more and more change.
 

rtwngAvngr

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How so? If conservatism is only a matter of ideology, how can so many of the self-professed conservatives here have such disparate ideologies? How can there be so many branches of conservatism if conservatism is based only on ideology?

Are you saying ideology cannot branch? That seems to be the underlying assumption of your question. If you rethink that assumption, perhaps you will find the answers you seek.
 

no1tovote4

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He pretends that Libertarian values cannot coincide with Conservative values, it is an inane argument falsely reasoned.

A Conservative believes in smaller government, a Libertarian does as well. A Conservative believes in following the Constitution, a Libertarian does as well.

There are levels to it, but belief that Conservatism must only mean "no change" is a false premise in government. The argument was built on sand from the beginning and loses ground quickly the more the false premise is articulated.
 

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....

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.
...
Not quite for the reasons stated by others. Conservatism is the belief that the Federal Government should do only what is stated in the Constitution as Amended, and nothing else.
 
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flaja

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Conservatives base their beleifs on traditional values. In this country most would define traditional values as "Judeo-Christian" values. Changing or moving away from those traditional values is the kind of change that conservatives resist. But conservatives would certainly welcome changes that are more in line with traditional values. As our country slides more and more towards socialism, secularism, and other liberal values, conservatives will be fighting for more and more change.
If you reduce the definition of conservative to a textbook issue, anyone who wants to return to something that society no longer endorses is a reactionary.

I don’t agree that conservatism can be totally divorced from ideology, but I do agree that you can be a liberal, conservative or reactionary anywhere on the political spectrum depending on how much change you are willing to accept and in what direction you want that change to go.

I think the process/ideology division in conservatism is somewhat muddled in popular culture because when historians, politicians and the news media talk about liberals and conservatives, they are talking about ideology, not process.
 
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flaja

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Are you saying ideology cannot branch? That seems to be the underlying assumption of your question. If you rethink that assumption, perhaps you will find the answers you seek.
Branching is one thing. Being diametrically opposed is another animal entirely. Consider how the libertarians who call themselves conservatives (because they are so on economic issues), won’t support any of the distinct ideologies of social conservatives (drug laws, ban abortion et cetera).

People who claim they are conservative do not make up a homogenous group. In power they fight one another over their different objectives and priorities, so none of them is completely satisfied and little gets done to settle pressing political issues. And out of power they blame each for their defeat in the last election.
 

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