The Violence of Conservatism


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Apr 4, 2009
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by Jeffrey A. Tucker


Ads like this one make me shudder, mainly because I once thought of myself as a conservative (for both good and bad reasons). The ad runs: "3 Conservative Books for $1 each" and examples of such conservative books flash by, all of them screaming for blood, exalting the imperial state, decrying the very basis of civilization (peace), and demanding the jailing of dissidents, and one more: something denouncing Democrats.

This is conservatism. There's no use in denying it. The war party and American conservatism are interchangeable and inseparable. They are synonyms. The same thing. They co-exist. How many ways can we put it? Militarism and violence is at the core of conservatism.

In our times, the meaning of conservatism is violence. It means violence against foreigners and violence against political dissidents. It means celebrating violence as the right and proper method of government policy. It means soundly rejecting the views of those who doubt the merit of violence as the omnipotent tool of domestic and international order.

Just look at the books, if you can stand it. They are everywhere at the bookstores. Read them and get on the side of the state and its killing machine before the state sides against you. In these tracts we discover that to be conservative is to sit up and face the bloodshed with the courage to celebrate it.

Indeed, the very meaning of conservatism is to reject all that smarmy liberal stuff about human rights and peace and face the productive power of war and conflict. True morality is embedded in the cold hard steel of tanks, bombers, and prison bars. Government by Democrats should be limited but government by Republicans should be expensive, global, militarized, unchallenged, omnipresent, and if you don't like it, what have you got to hide?

Organized conservatism dishes out this message to you in a package you prefer. For the illiterate there is talk radio. For geeks, there are innumerable e-zines. For the religiously minded, there is the version with scriptural proof texting and its associated rhetorical apparatus. For those with intellectual pretensions, there are professors of ancient history to tell us that Sparta had the right way about it, and that the Roman Empire at its height might have lasted forever had it not been for weak-kneed Christians that hindered the triumph of the will.

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Oct 3, 2009
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At one time a liberal did believe in rights and freedom but modern liberals have fully ingested the progressive philosophy and now are not liberals. Have you ever wondered why they called progressives something different than liberals? Perhaps these were not liberals and something else. I'm all for liberalism in the old sense that believed the best way to maximize freedom was to have the least govt interference in our lives but sadly I can't say that modern liberals think like that.


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Feb 22, 2004
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The left needs to realize that their ideas are not the only ones that matter. In fact, it be nice if they decided to apply principles that work in reality instead of just trying things randomly that hurt people in an attempt to help them.

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