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What Is a Conservative?

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Bloviating Zeppelin: What Is a Conservative?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, November 11, 2005

What Is a Conservative?

From Wikipedia:

All conservatives value tradition. Tradition does not mean simply custom, habit or nostalgia for the past, though custom does inform tradition and sustain it. For a conservative, tradition is composed of standards and institutions that have been shown to promote the good, and therefore they find authority in tradition and apply it in politics. This authority, be it a person, a literature or a way of life, is rooted in the past, and thus cannot easily change .

To keep tradition alive, conservatives pass it down from generation to generation, embodied in the eternal verities or the sophia perennis.

Conservatives accept traditional values as authoritative, and judge the world around them by the standards they have come to trust. Many conservatives believe in God, and believe that He is not only the creator of the universe, but also the Author of those conservative values they espouse.

Since conservatives believe tradition supercedes the political process, the laws and constitutions of liberal democracies that permit behavior that conflict with traditional values cause friction in their eyes. Conservatives in a democracy choose to participate, separate, or resist. They often participate in liberal republican politics, using government policy to impose or preserve their values. Good examples of this are the Christian Democratic parties in Europe.

Another method of conservative reform, imposing their values on the public, is common among nationalist or religious conservatives. This can take a relatively benign form, such as Conservative Christians trying to order public school students to pray, or a more violent form, such as Islamists putting to death anyone who blasphemes. Armed conservatives who consider their tradition to be absolute for all may become revolutionary conservatives. In Europe the Catholic-nationalist-conservative regimes of Salazar and Franco are examples.

Though relatively rare, a modern example of conservatives who withdraw from society and attempt to live their lives in traditional ways is the Amish.

The above is a common thread from the internet regarding conservatism.

Some of my high points regarding Conservatism, would be:

  • Self-reliance, individual responsibility
  • Fiscal conservatism
  • Belief in a higher power or authority
  • Smaller government
  • Traditional mores, values and familial structure
  • Nationalism and sovereignty

There are many, many more, of course; these are but a few that come immediately to mind.

So:

In your mind, what is a Conservative? Not a Republican; a conservative.

What are your bullet points and, in addition, what is the first or most important aspect of a true conservative?

I suspect we'll be a bit of "all over the map" but, once in, I plan to assemble the responses and see if I can list, in order, the most important points of conservatism. There's a reason for all of this; temporarily, just humor me if you would be so kind.

Take it away:

9 Comments:

Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Fri Nov 11, 04:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 11 05

Hey Blo Zep:
Cool topic. I did an essay about this some time ago and I basically agree with you on everything. Except the belief in a higher power. Some total capitalists are athiestic and are on a fringe of the right but do affect our economic policies to favor conservative goals. SO that issue is somewhat debateable, yet what you have said applies to me! Good post and I REALLY like the philosophy here. I am somewhat ignorant of philosophy. I took a course in college about ten years ago and did okay, but some things I can't quite recall or never knew. I just like the LD debate style and much of my thoughts are my own opinions, which I justify and have thought about for many years.
So this was a wonderful lesson:)

Fri Nov 11, 04:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Yes, I would agree that it is not always the case that those on the right believe in a deity; however, I would submit the bulk do.

Mahndisa: I sense your belief system is swirling about these days, vascillating right, middle, libertarian and other points on the compass. Despite that, what do YOU think the core value set of a "conservative" should be? When you say the word conservative, what does that conjure up?

Fri Nov 11, 06:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Okay, and some day I'll how to spell "vacillate."

Fri Nov 11, 06:49:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Strike three, I'm out. I meant to write: "Some day I'll LEARN how to spell the word vacillate."

Sheesh!!

Fri Nov 11, 06:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

11 11 05

Hello Blo Zep:
Here is the link to the article I did about that topic. As I said, I agree with you on core principles.

http://mrigmaiden.blogspot.com/2005/10/what-is-modern-conservative-thought.html

And regarding me swirling about; interesting. I have just been reading a LOT lately, when I can. The stuff from the Cato Institute is certainly to the right regarding economic policies. the stuff from Capitalism Magazine is also part of the far out right it is almost left. For example they have libertarian economic policies but are strongly pro choice because of Ayn Rand's influence on individualism. So they would agree with you or I on economics,but many of them are atheists. See the link on my sidebar to see what I mean.

I have come to think of myself as a mixture a green plus a strong fiscal conservative plus a pro lifer. This is why I err towards conservative but am not part of any party. I simply don't quite belong anywhere. And I do have a bleeding heart for the poor, particularly children. Every political test I have taken says that I am a Centrist to the Right, or that I am an Independent to the Right. So I guess the vacillation makes sense! You noticed that, interesting...Just like Patrick noticed my bleeding heart! Thx for reading!

Fri Nov 11, 08:17:00 PM PST  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Awesome question. I will think about this and write out some points and come back.

You scared me there for awhile because I didn't see the wikipedia part and I thought it was your analysis of a conservative in the beginning part.

I love your quote under your ponderings section.

Sun Nov 13, 10:38:00 PM PST  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Okay here goes some of my thoughts on why I am a conservative:

--pro-life (all life is valuable)
--limited government
--morality and integrity (belief in God)
--pro-justice (John Walsh style)
--pro-2nd Amendment
--anti-affirmative action
--believe a free person in America can pursue their hopes and dreams and almost anything is possible with hard work
--pro-tax cuts
--strict constructionist view of the constitution
--Patriotism--I still cry when I sing "The Star Spangled Banner" & "God Bless the USA"
--Defending and Protecting our country against the enemies of freedom

I'm sure there is more but I will come back when/if I think of them :-).

Mon Nov 14, 08:46:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Mahndisa and LMC: THANKS for the responses! I was hoping to have some more responses so that I could make my comparison in current politics -- the reason for the post; there's a method to my madness.

Tue Nov 15, 06:15:00 AM PST  

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