Skip to comments.'Conservatism' -- Social movement or Political movement?
Posted on 05/31/2006 1:32:23 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
If I may, I'd like to ask for an informal 'poll' of FReepers:
There are 2 'Conservative' movements in this country.
All I would like to know is, what % of us are which? Please respond and say which, or both.
What? No mention of limited gov't as framed in the Constitution? Gov't protection of rights as opposed to Gov't granting rights (aka unalienable rights)... a republic vs. a democracy...safe and secure borders...
Gay marriage and deficit spending are side issues compared to these priciples.
I don't like adding new contradictory definitions to words. If we seek change, we are not conservative. At most we are reactionary; assuming the change is an attempt at regression to a previous state.
"Conservative" also means "careful". As in a conservative estimate. To be conservative with words. To spend money conservatively.
Yeah but by that logic it could be argued that Kerry was campaigning on a platform of conservatism vis-a-vis the war on terror.
Ls are "liberal" with money, solutions, words.
Their solution are usually generous with our freedoms, so they are not liberal AFAIC.
That's why Ls can call Bush 'Hitler' and 'Chimp' and 'Stupid'. Where a conservative would be more careful, more circumspect in their use of words.
So it's your position that what makes modern conservatives conservative, and libs liberal is an issue of attitude rather then philosophy? I would prefer to use the term radical in describing leftist politicking, rather than liberal. Or better yet, infantile. Of course I usually use Leftist, myself.
Maybe I'm just too "Conservative," but I don't like changing the meaning of words or accepting new definitions based merely upon popular use. People have been using "liberal" and "conservative" so poorly in this country that the words have lost all their original meaning. If we start defining Conservative as the antithesis of liberal in an ideology of change we will get a word that means not generous, and anti-liberty. And if we start defining liberal by the attitudes and philosophies of the leftists we will get a word which doesn't mean generous, or pro-liberty, but something else entirely. Eventually we will define conservative to mean not liberal, and vice versa.
"...so that we can come together to form a consensus on what we decide we all do agree on."
----This is exactly where the wheels are going to come off your whole effort! Most Conservatives of the Ronald Reagan/Maggie Thatcher variety don't believe in concensus at all! In fact, Maggie said that "Consensus is the abscence of all leadership!"----
I might be able to offer a perspective that ties both of these together. There is *right* and *wrong*. It is nice when we can all agree on what is *right* and at that point, we have consensus. A leader of course, should do what is right.
Ronald and Maggie both sought to do what was right, and people followed. That is what made their leadership so demonstrable.
Unfortunately, what we see happening today is often not what is *right* but what is convenient.
When Bush says we can not deport 11 million illegals, he is correct, but not *right*. The *right* thing to do is enforce the law (prevent alien entry and enforce against companies that hire them and stop giving benefits to them) and then many of them will leave voluntarily.
"Ls are "liberal" with money, solutions, words.
Their solution are usually [NOT] generous with our freedoms, so they are not liberal AFAIC."
You are so right!!! (grin)
And you certainly have the proper perspective!!!
We've been infested with those on the CA threads since the historic Recall, hijacked by the RINO!!! (it's really bunging up FR as far as I'm concerned)
In theory, this is not hard for most people to answer. We all know there are a list of things that, if you agree with them, make you a social or fiscal conservative. Some of us are more one than the other and some of us feel free to label ourselves one or the other.
In practice, however, IMO it's usually a different thing. For example, we may believe that homosexuality is wrong but may be reluctant to say that to the nice gay couple down the street. We may believe that there should be no welfare but we don't want to see fellow Americans starving, especially children.
Liberalism is centered on liberty, i.e. individual freedom. In a liberal society, a person is free; he answers to no master but himself. His value to society is defined by his ability to compete in a free market. "Winners" -- those with ambition, talent, skill and luck -- are deemed to be valuable to society, and are rewarded with wealth and power. However, some people lack the ambition, talent, skill, and luck needed to amass wealth. In a liberal, these "losers" are deemed to be of little value, and are equally free -- free to survive as best they can.
The question is: which sort of society do we wish to inhabit? A liberal society, where freedom is the highest value, reason the only authority, where the fittest succeed and the unfit are nothing more than useless eaters? Or a Christian society, where love is the highest value, where God is the highest power, and where even the lazy, untalented, unskilled, and unlucky are deemed deserving of basic human dignity?
The words "conservative" and "liberal" have lost their meaning in our revolutionary world. It is time we restored those meanings. In brief: the idea that man is his own master, that freedom is the ultimate good, and that each man has no duty save to himself is the creed of the liberal. A true conservative holds to the ancient truths: that love is the ultimate good, that God is the supreme Authority, and that each man has a duty to love and care for his fellowman.
The question is not Democrat vs. Republican. It is not political. It is not even philosophical. The question is spiritual.
Liberty or love? Reason or obedience? Rights or duties? We all must decide which things we hold most dear. I know where I stand.
Social conservatives tell their children there are things that chip away at ones soul.
P.S. Europe is importing 40,000 prostitutes for the World Cup extravaganza, and I am sure the drugs will be free flowing. There are already towns in Europe for people who have these values. No need to fight with Americans anymore.
I completely agree. Analyzing people's opinions as best I can, that's what I'm trying to arrive at here.
I'm working from a hypothesis of there being 'social' and 'political' beliefs.
By that definition then, none of us are Cs.
I don't get it -- if we tell the world we are Cs, and we are fighting for changes, why would we say that C means opposed to change?
I'm looking for a definition of C that actually describes what Cs are. And it seems obvious that there are basically 2 'types' of Cs. The first step towards regaining C momentum is to accuately define *what a conservative is*. In other words, we need to define to the world what it is we believe.
Kerry's line on the war on terror was not 'careful' in the least. When someone threatens you, if you don't get ready for a fight, you're not being careful at all.
In contrast to Cs, Ls solutions are generally very 'careless', in my experience.
And to me, being careful *is* a philosophy. Calling us 'anti-liberals' is not a philosophy at all. We have to figure out what it is we stand for, what it is we all agree on so we can set our priorities for what to fight for.
I think the same way you do on this.
That's why I'm working from the theory that there are 2 different components that are important here: How a person believes life should be lived, and what a person's beliefs are about the powers of govt.
For example, there would be 3 types of folks:
My theory here is, we need to analyze what we are all 'for', and focus on fighting for those changes. We can still argue, debate, discuss the things we disagree with, but if we have consensus on some issues, I think we should move forward on those.
None of those three main currents are unimportant, or to be marginalized. The differences are mostly of degree and emphasis, but there's a strong core fusion.
Regarding the 'social conservatives'(as you put it) like myself, ..well, you'll find that fairly pronouncedly among all three currents. Regarding the homosexuality topic you raise, all three(Conservative, neo-conservative, and libertarian) generally oppose homosexuality as they would any other counterproductive behavior, to the extent that they think of it at all. Folks in all three currents usually regard homosexuality as being on a par with polygamy, consentual prostitution, and the sort of 'solitary vice'that often involves pornography. (All "lifestyle choices" to be sure, but none that we'd recommend.)
So, when does 'socially opposed' become 'politically opposed'? Mostly when 'organized perversion groups' start demanding public approval, money and licenses for their private neurotic behavior. When homosexual groups seek the preferential treatment of public funding (e.g.Massachusetts Commission for GBLTPDQFUBAR...) or legal standing to sue because others might prefer not to associate with them. Libertarians are against that pro-homosexual agenda. It's mostly pro-homosexual advocates masquerading as libertarians that favor it.
As for the 'normative value of law' applied but not much enforced traditionally against sodomy, etc. Well, don't be too quick to dismiss it as 'not a government function'. Communities make valid law by the representation and/or vote of their citizens. The alleged social harm of alleged 'private' behavior is often a matter of reasonable public policy concern. Many libertarians would disagree, but nearly all Conservatives, neo-cons, liberals, and a fair number of libertarians would not. Private establishments choosing racial segregation -- New Yorkers and Californians distributing obscenity -- Polygamy -- prostitution -- politicized sodomites.... these are all behaviors that most in the aforementioned philosophical camps would oppose by law.
Why? Likely negative impact on society. And, with the probable exception of 'freedom of association', none of those behaviors is a 'civil right' upon which public policy cannot rightly intervene.
Marriage licenses(i.e.'public recognition'), legal child adoption, even artificial child conception, are all matters of reasonable public policy, both because of the public concern about the social impact, and the public concern for the well-being of children who can't vote and have little power to defend their own interests.
Of course, I agree! But I'm afraid that Ls think *they* are the ones with common sense.
Heck, everyone thinks that about themselves. Just like everyone, even mass murderers, tend to think of themselves as "good people".
"No New Taxes", for one famous example. Reagan wasn't elected on 'social' issues, it was defense and the economy.
The problem is, the politicans running plan to spend govt money to buy themselves votes and reward their supporters. So they aren't willing to make C promises.
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