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ConservatismWhat are its benefits and weaknesses?

Discussion in 'Deep Thoughts' started by Jack Haywood, Jun 10, 2018.

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    1. Before the discussion starts, I understand that conservatism is defined somewhat differently in the US than in my native country (conservatives in my country usually aren't pro-gun or hyper-nationalistic, for instance) so I will give a definition of Western conservatism in general, in the context of its usual manifestation as being authoritarian and capitalist so everyone can understand what they're talking about:

      CONSERVATISM
      1. Traditional institutions, laws, practices and the status quo need to be preserved and change must be resisted
      2. Humans are imperfect, flawed, malevolent, selfish and greedy, and cannot be "made" to be better than they naturally are; as explained by Thomas Hobbes in his assertion that humanity's natural state is a war of all against all (i.e. chimps flinging shit at each other)
      3. The above can only be solved by having a strong State to provide order and stability by enforcing strict laws and using strict punishments when said laws are broken, therefore preventing humans drifting into the state of all against all
      4. A positive view of whatever traditional, established religion there is (usually Christianity in the West, Islam in the Arab world) as a stability-creating institution that gives people a sense of belonging and timeless values to be preserved (which may or may not cross the line into religious fanaticism & theocracy)
      5. Society is organic: it is arranged in a particular way because that's the way it best works and any attempt to rearrange it differently (through reform or revolution) will result in mild cultural degradation at best and total societal breakdown at worst
      6. Economic and social inequality is a good thing because it encourages a fixed hierarchy where people in different positions have particular duties to fulfill according to their rank, which again, provides order and stability. There is a 'natural aristocracy' in society where the elite rule over and guide the masses, and crack down on anyone who tries to defy their authority because it is their job to do so, just as much as it is everyone else's job to respect their authority.
      7. Private wealth and property, and a deregulated economy are paramount to encourage conservative ideals such as thrift and competition, and the State should take as little from the individual's wealth as possible so he can keep as much of it as he can so he can feel stable in an inherently unstable world.
      8. Strong restrictions on immigration, to ensure that the nation remains an exclusive nation unless immigrants would be of huge benefit to the country

      Those are the main points of conservatism, some of which may be emphasised more than others or gotten rid of entirely in particular schools of conservative thought (one-nation conservatism vs Thatcherite conservatism in Britain for example) but still remain in all conservative ideologies.

      DISCUSS.

      (Note: I am not a conservative myself, I actually really hate conservatism, I just wanted to see other people's take on it is all.)
       
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      #1 Jack Haywood, Jun 10, 2018
      Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
      Jack Haywood

      Jack Haywood Interested in psychology, games and adventure

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    2. It's pretty gay tbh
       
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      Vrakks

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    3. "Conservatism", as a universal concept, is more properly set in opposition to "radicalism". Conservatism desires to avert anything but the slowest change; radicalism wants all the changes today.

      How that manifests depends on where you are and when. American rebels were the radicals and the "loyalists" were the conservatives during the Revolution; today, those who espouse the colonists' principles are the conservatives, and those who would push for unification with other nations (globalists, etc.) are the radicals.

      You can't build a "universal definition" for conservatism that embraces any political or sociological points.
       
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      Vorhtbame

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    4. What an intellectually profound comment :biggrin: Would you like to explain why you think conservatism is gay?
       
      Jack Haywood

      Jack Haywood Interested in psychology, games and adventure

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    5. yeah pretty gay tbqh
      all that guns and stuff
      too spicy for me idk
       
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      Zack the ripper

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    6. It just kinda is tho isn't it
       
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      Vrakks

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    7. they literally are trying to conserve another man :thinking:
       
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      Zack the ripper

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    8. God damn deep thoughts is a shitshow.

      There are no universal characteristics of conservatism at all. In the USSR a "conservative" would have wanted to keep the communist regime in power. In the US a "conservative" would want to keep the market free. Those two ideas (communism and capitalism) are polar opposites. Both parties want to stick to what is current, that's the only similarity.

      If you're thinking of the American definition of conservative, it's a synonym for "right wing." Liberal is a synonym for "left wing."
       
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      skiddlez

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    9. Changed the OP. Better?
       
      Jack Haywood

      Jack Haywood Interested in psychology, games and adventure

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    10. it should just read "i'm a fucking idiot and don't know what conservatism means, please rape my face"
       
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      Coconut Gun

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    11. This thread is why "Deep Thoughts" should be changed to "Deep Thots".
       
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      Autismo Pinochet

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    12. Conservatism has no benefits.
       
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      drtoboggan

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    13. Nobody is hyper-nationalistic in the US. That is a European thing.

      We look to the Constitution which states what the government rights are, the rest are left to the people, or the state.

      You ever read the European Constitution? What a cluster fuck that is.
       
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      Piss Clam

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    14. Conservatism is good for certain people and hurts certain other people. Leftism benefits a lot of the people that conservatism is bad for, but hurts a lot of the people that conservatism works for. Somewhere in there there's a happy medium where nobody's really happy but we're also not angry enough to revolt.
       
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      Jon-Kacho

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    15. Obviously it depends on where you are.

      American conservatism is unprincipled in the sense that they don't care about the freedoms of their opposition and up for sale to the highest bidder and European conservatism is weak, ineffective and willing to sacrifice freedom to the sjws for economic policy.
       
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      Apoth42

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    16. Technically, that definition only covers traditional conservatism.
       
      NotAKitty

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    17. I think in many respects conservatism is a disposition without a dogma. What it means to be conservative can vary widely depending upon the time and place, and possibly the only defining characteristic present across all these different brands of conservatism is a resistance towards change. It's more a character trait than a clearly definable ideology, and those who do attempt to define it usually just end up borrowing from already existing schools of thought (William F. Buckley was basically a classical liberal; Irving Kristol was a disillusioned Trotskyist, etc).

      As for strengths and weaknesses, the biggest strength of conservatism is probably that it seeks to understand and explain the reasons why existing traditions work, which in many cases can provide important pragmatic wisdom to the wider political discussion. On the other hand, it's biggest weakness is arguably it's timidity and pessimism in the face of progress, which I think is the reason that conservatives are destined to always be on the losing side of history.

      This doesn't mean that progressives are necessarily right in characterizing conservatives as nothing but a dead weight holding society back though. I think conservatives serve an important function. They may not be the architects of progress, but they are in many ways the stewards of it. They are often needed to ask the right questions of those demanding change, which can not only ease the transition between the past, present, and future, but it can also prevent idealists with access to power from getting too carried away.
       
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    18. You sir, have won the internet :semperfidelis:
       
      Jack Haywood

      Jack Haywood Interested in psychology, games and adventure

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    19. So should we have a massive military industrial complex or not because American conservatives never seem to actually have a consistent position on that.
       
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