On "Conservatism"

A very interesting read on the idea of “conservative” politics and an at-least-plausible theory for one of the core reasons they’ve become the cesspool they currently are.

I knew, for example, that modern US-centric “conservatism” wasn’t actually conservative in nature, but reactionary. The main question one should ask when anybody identifies as a conservative is, of course, “what are you trying to conserve?” As the article cogently notes, seeking to conserve liberal ideas against different liberal ideas is itself conservative. But more to the point: US conservatism as it is today expressed in the Republican party is an outgrowth of a reaction against communism, not a desire to actually conserve anything that existed as it was, per se. As a result, the full-throated embrace of freer and freer markets could even be construed as a very liberal idea (liberal in the economic sense, specifically), and they weren’t conserving it, they were advocating to change society in that direction strenuously and intentionally. Of course, this is not what the “left” wanted to do, since the “left” at that time was either in the swoon of communism and sought greater social protection and organization from the government.

Of course, these days “conservative” and “liberal” are much like the term “fascist” - now-meaningless symbols we attach to people we dislike in order to ensure that we don’t need to actually explain why we dislike them because we might find ourselves in a logical quandary if we do.

Well, ain’t you just a libruhl commie fascist pinko?

I would like to disagree, but I’m pretty sure I can’t, at least for the 95+% case. Republicans are, almost entirely, the party of “Oh, fuck, well… I mean, Better than Biden!”

In general, though, it quite irritates me that Republicans can largely be defined as “STOP THOSE DAMNED DEMOCRATS!” - and the Democrats can be defined as “STOP THOSE HORRID REPUBLICANS!”

Yet, both, in general, push towards certain goals - a more globalized, connected, unequal state, freed from those awful unions and such things. Unless, of course, you think a union might vote for you this election, then, suck up, but not so much they’re upset when you ignore them.

A telling question to ask is, “What do you believe?” Not, “What are you against” - but, “What do you believe?” People of both parties are awfully hard pressed to answer that one.

I don’t have any good answers. I would like to see the Republican party pull their Trump-head out of their ass and actually do something useful, but that’s probably a bridge too far. That they’re generally in favor of environmental ruin is rather baffling…

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I mostly agree… it’s easy enough for me to answer.

I believe in bottom up, participatory solutions, at their appropriate level of effect. It’s not a national government’s place to dictate standards for youth group. Individual desires might be subsumed by nation-state competition against adversaries, however. Nation level problems require nation level solutions.

But hey, I’m a libertarian, we’re going to always lose and must compromise long and hard. :stuck_out_tongue:

Regardless of the individual, 3 SCOTUS appointment who are anti-liberal isn’t a bad result.

Maybe I should rant about that, and Proposition 16 style racism affirmative action, later.

Well yeah. basically meaningless, except for they actually have policy bundles attached to each.