Saturday, May 23, 2009

What is a conservative?

Note: We are working exclusively with the Anglo-American and Sino-Korean conservatives (they are nearly identical) and not the European or Islamic kinds, which may be very different. Likewise, we are working with Anglo-American liberals.

People tend to look at liberal and conservative as simple bullet points of policy. This makes no sense. It makes no sense because that is not the way people view the world. It takes the extremely cynical (and extremely wrong) view that people find a random set of issues to vote a certain way on and follow through with them, or that each group just watches the same news channels, but people look for the news channel that agrees with them.

Kathleen parker nailed it when she wrote this article: "Mars and Venus Collide." Liberals also nail it when they call themselves "progressives," Conservatives when they call themselves "strict constructionists." These are not lies, there is more truth to them then nearly anyone can know.

The difference between a liberal and a conservative is the difference between ideals and opposing goods. A liberal believes that there is a goal, a hope, a specific place that we should shift our entire society and everyone in it towards, while a conservative believes in a natural balance created by our competing desires, motivations, and intellects, opposing opposites, and leaves ideals for individuals. Your right-winger believes that if everything in society (including government) is in the proper place in which it fits, and those in power essentially keep their hands off, we will find tranquility, prosperity, and enlightenment (scientific progress) on a higher level then the liberals foolhardy extreme, and then the individuals can step forward with their own ideals, and shift themselves among the boxes as they please and their abillity allows them. Conservatives may still believe in ideals, but they are individual ideals, and NOT goals for society.

Now keep in mind that not everyone who is a Republican is a conservative, and that Democrat and liberal are not interchageable either, for the political parties truly are just policy points (as they would be, since they need to win elections and stay in a pack for power) and you would find in the Republican tent many libertarians, populists, moderates, Christian theocrats (who may be a different kind of liberal), et cetera. In the Democrat tent you would find labor unionists (who may be a different kind of conservative), anarchists, moderates, and environmentalists who may or may not be liberal.

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