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Old 09-14-2018, 12:29 PM   #1
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America's need for a healthy conservatism

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...servatism.html

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Burke famously saw society not as a contract between individuals, but as a contract between generations: to pass on to the future the good and viable things we inherited from the past. This emphatically does not mean resistance to all change. In fact, it understands some change as critical to conservation. And perhaps that’s where American conservatism began to go wrong. The goal is not to stand athwart history and cry “Stop!”, as William F. Buckley put it. It’s to be part of the stream of history and say: slow it down a bit, will you?
I would like to be clear that I'm not posting this to shit on Trump or the GOP. But rather because I strongly believe that America needs it's conservatives and that they have a vital role to play in our society.

The only thing else I'll say is that I do love me some Andrew Sullivan. Happy Friday all.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:38 PM   #2
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One more thing:

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I know there’s no place for this in our current political climate. And that is why I believe this country is in as grave a crisis as any since the 1850s. Without a healthy conservatism, liberalism will degenerate. Without liberalism, conservatism has no inheritance to defend. And both rich veins in Western moderation are now under assault from the ideological left and the authoritarian right. We have to brave this pincer attack, conservatives and liberals together, or we will die together.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:51 PM   #3
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There are aspects of this article I like a lot, and aspects of it which I either disagree with, or I find to be entirely inaccurate or undefined.

On the whole, I think it is a pretty good article worth reading and sharing.

It think part of the author's "confusion" is his assertion that "conservatism" means "resistance to change, preservation of tradition". That's not actually accurate. That was how it was attacked by the left to promote the "progressive" philosophy.

Although sometimes conservatism meant preservation of the status quo or traditions, what it really was is libertarianism...and I'm not saying that to promote my own views. The very word "libertarian" had to be invented to distinguish traditional conservatism from the "new conservatism".

Traditional conservatism was grounded on the principles laid out in the Scottish Enlightenment movement, that all are equal and that the protection of the rights of the individual are the purpose for which goverments exist, and that extends to fiscal responsibility as well, that the government should not directly tax the individual, nor should the government saddle the individual with debts that must be paid.

Of course, these things are anathema to the 20th century rise of the state, as we now know it. Democrats became "progressive", and even Republicans got on board with a gigantic government that could "manage society", and that the rights if the individual were secondary to the will of the majority, and the needs of the state.

All in all, it's a good article, but I do feel the author was fumbling around with what "conservatism" actually means and represents. Really, all he needs to look to is probably Barry Goldwater, who for all practical purposes was propably the last traditional conservative in American politics with any weight or influence.

In essence, traditional conservatives didn't concern themselves with identity politics, because it was grounded on what was best for the individual, the individual rights, and the individual freedoms...primarily by way of not trying to manage them.

When the traditional democrat progressives left the Democrat party over the black civil rights movement, they joined the Republicans and started calling themselves conservatives.....but aside from the race issue, they were still really progressives, and the traditional conservatives were driven out of hte party, and had to redefine themselves as libertarian.

Note that I don't use the phrase "liberal", because the traditional liberal was the opposite of what we call liberal today...so I avoid that and use the term "progressive" for clarity.

But...both parties, and both groups that call themselves "liberal" and "conservative", have abandoned all of the fundamental, traditional principles in favor of a bigger, stronger, more powerful state.

I think maybe the author is fumbling for what "conservative" means because there is no aspect of the word today that resembles what it used to be, and the "stick in the mud, resist change" definition that he is trying to refute is actually a product of progressives' propaganda against hteir political opponenets in campaigns that stuck.
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Who is this self-important instigating douche-bag, anyway?
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:20 PM   #4
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Baron I'm not really sure it's fair to blame liberals for the "resist change at all cost" characterization of conservatives.

I mean, the GOP bragged about that during the Obama presidency.

Edit:. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not as if there wasn't a basis in reality for that claim.

Last edited by Jaric; 09-14-2018 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:11 PM   #5
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Baron I'm not really sure it's fair to blame liberals for the "resist change at all cost" characterization of conservatives.

I mean, the GOP bragged about that during the Obama presidency.

Edit:. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not as if there wasn't a basis in reality for that claim.
I'm talking about approximately 1913-1973. Starting with the establishment of the IRS and the Fed, the income tax, to the government takeover of schools to de-Catholicize the children of Catholics, to to the Civil Rights movement of the 60's. Lots of other stuff.

We think of social issues now....gay marriage, minority civil rigths, and all that, but identity politics as we understand them...sexuality, gender, and race...were a much smaller part of politics back then, and in fact the democrats and progressives were the ones resisting change in those areas...Jim Crow laws and segregation, gay issues, and all that. That wasn't the kind of progress they were pushing, what they were pushing for was a European style of nation state. It was the economic agenda that the progressives were campaigning to reform, not the social agenda. Progressives from 1913-1973 were the last people in the world ready to advance social rights for blacks, gays and women...they were still running around in white robes and shit.

That didn't change until JFK and LBJ...who defied the party and pushed through the Civil Rights Act, which is why a large portion of the party jumped ship and went Republican and became today's neocons. But the "stick in the mud resist change" propagana had been going on for decades before that, about government schools, progressive taxes, prohibition, government departments to manage things, that kind of stuff. These are things we take for granted now...Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, the USDA, the FDA, the ATF, the BLM...on and on. More government, bigger government, more expensive government, more powerful government.

The identity politics that we associate with "resist change" didn't come about until the 60's...but the propaganda predates that on a host of issues.

I'm not saying Conservatives today, circa 1970+ don't resist change, especially on social issues....I'm saying that today's conservatives are yesterdays left wingers, who were using the "resist change" propaganda against their opponents largely around the growth of the state, while at the same time those very same progressives strongly resisted the Civil Rights Movement.

In many ways, nothing has changed...both sides are fighting for their own particular Utopia. The only thing that has changed is that today, unlike 100 years ago, both parties push for bigger, more powerful government, and they debate each other on social issues only.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:01 PM   #6
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I stand by my claim that the essence of the "Liberal" "Conservative" split is the "Oppressed/Oppressor" meme.

"Liberals" view "everything" within that context, "Conservatives" do not.

Any other distinction is derivative.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:44 PM   #7
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I stand by my claim that the essence of the "Liberal" "Conservative" split is the "Oppressed/Oppressor" meme.

"Liberals" view "everything" within that context, "Conservatives" do not.

Any other distinction is derivative.
What's the difference between a Marxist and a Liberal then?
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Darth Despot already pointed out the problem with the supposed "oppressor/oppressed" dichotomy.

Quote:
As for the Oppressor/Oppressed methodology, I find it a tad ironic as much as conservatives hate reductionist thinking, that this argument reduces all motivation for anyone deemed "liberal" in the eyes of the beholder to this one dichotomy.

However, bottom line, oppression DOES exist, always has and on some levels probably always will.

Using this argument to somehow toss off any argument that "the oppressed" might make is just a way to silence argument that sounds like it's thought out but is in it's essence a way for the powerful to blow off the needs of the less powerful.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:07 AM   #9
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What's the difference between a Marxist and a Liberal then?
A Marxist wants to make everyone equal. A liberal wants to oppress the oppressor.
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Old Today, 05:12 PM   #10
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What's the difference between a Marxist and a Liberal then?
Oversimplification, but one's going to use violence to overthrow the regime and impose themselves in power, and continue to use violence to stay in power, the other isn't.
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Old Today, 05:36 PM   #11
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Darth Despot already pointed out the problem with the supposed "oppressor/oppressed" dichotomy.
As for the Oppressor/Oppressed methodology, I find it a tad ironic as much as conservatives hate reductionist thinking, that this argument reduces all motivation for anyone deemed "liberal" in the eyes of the beholder to this one dichotomy.

However, bottom line, oppression DOES exist, always has and on some levels probably always will.

Using this argument to somehow toss off any argument that "the oppressed" might make is just a way to silence argument that sounds like it's thought out but is in it's essence a way for the powerful to blow off the needs of the less powerful.
I didn't see this before.

Let me address it.
As for the Oppressor/Oppressed methodology, I find it a tad ironic as much as conservatives hate reductionist thinking,
They do? And how does Darth know that?
that this argument reduces all motivation for anyone deemed "liberal" in the eyes of the beholder to this one dichotomy.
Of course the "Oppressor/Oppressed" meme is an oversimplification.

Of course any and all human beings cannot be categorized by a single meme.

Of course there are cases where this meme will fail.

So what.

It isn't intended to be 100% accurate, but form a frame work to identify the starting position both sides come to any debate over.

It is a huge unstated assumption that both sides are blind to.

It forms the framework that they use to consider the issue.
However, bottom line, oppression DOES exist, always has and on some levels probably always will.
Agreed, again so what.

There's an old phrase that says "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

This critique is akin to criticizing that phrase by pointing out that there are actually nails out there and probably always be.
Using this argument to somehow toss off any argument that "the oppressed" might make is just a way to silence argument that sounds like it's thought out but is in it's essence a way for the powerful to blow off the needs of the less powerful.
Indeed, and when have I ever used the "Oppressor/Oppressed" as a way to "toss off any argument"?

I have been quite clear. I have explicitly stated that I make no claim as to which perspective is "correct", I simply recognize that this is the prism as to how the two sides view a topic.

I have further said that since it is an unstated assumption, namely that it is assumed the other side views the topic from the same perspective.

Since they don't, there is a fundamental barrier to communication.

You want examples supporting the meme?

Diversity.

When the left of center advocates diversity, what actually are they advocating?

Are they advocating for diversity of all kinds in any way it can be measured?

No.

They don't want diversity of thought since right of center ideas are excluded.

No, they define "diversity" as inclusion of "oppressed" groups.

Ask yourself this, are the Asian students suing Harvard over admission policies considered "oppressed"?

Does this mean diversity is a good or bad thing?

I've not said one way or another. I'm simply pointing out how the two sides view the question differently, because they come from different starting positions.

The right of center view the way diversity is implemented as not really being "inclusive" because of what it excludes.

The left of center does, because from their perspective the defining element is including the "oppressed".
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Old Today, 05:57 PM   #12
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Indeed, and when have I ever used the "Oppressor/Oppressed" as a way to "toss off any argument"?
You appeared to do so in our brief abortion discussion when you said that bodily autonomy as a primary consideration was just another instance of the opp/opp concept. If this is the case, then any challenge of abortion or defense of the fetus falls under opp/opp as well.
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