Conservative: Wikis

  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Conservative

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Conservatism article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political attitude that advocates institutions and traditional practices that have developed organically,[2][3] thus emphasizing stability and continuity.[3] The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution.[4] The term has since been used to describe a variety of politicians with a wide range of views.

In Western politics, the term conservatism often refers to the school of thought started by Edmund Burke and similar thinkers.[5] Scholar R. J. White wrote: "To put conservatism in a bottle with a label is like trying to liquify the atmosphere […] The difficulty arises from the nature of the thing. For conservatism is less a political doctrine than a habit of mind, a mode of feeling, a way of living."[6] Russell Kirk considered conservatism "the negation of ideology".[7]

Conservative political parties have diverse views; the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, the Republican Party in the United States, the Conservative Party in Britain, the Liberal Party of Australia, and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India are all considered major conservative parties with varying positions.

Contents

Development of Western conservatism

Edmund Burke (1729–1797)

From the beginning, some political thought could be labeled "conservative" but it was not until the Age of Enlightenment, and the reaction to events surrounding the French Revolution of 1789, that conservatism rose as a distinct political attitude or train of thought. Many point to the rise of a conservative disposition in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, specifically to the works of influential Anglican theologian, Richard Hooker, emphasizing moderation in the political balancing of interests towards the goals of social harmony and common good. Edmund Burke’s polemic Reflections on the Revolution in France helped conservatism gain prominence.

Edmund Burke supported the American Revolution, but opposed the French Revolution, which he saw as violent and chaotic. He pressed for parliamentary control of royal patronage and expenditure.[8]

His classical conservative position insisted that conservatism has no ideology, in the sense of a utopian program, with some form of master plan. Burke developed his ideas in response to the enlightened idea of a society guided by abstract reason. He anticipated the critique of modernism, a term used at the end of the 19th century by the Dutch religious conservative Abraham Kuyper. Burke did not seek "to give praise or blame to any thing which relates to human actions, and human concerns, on a simple view of the object in all the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction".[9]

Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821)

Burke said some people had less reason than others, and thus some people will make better governments than others if they rely upon reason. The proper formulation of government came not from abstractions such as reason, but from time-honoured development of the state, piecemeal progress through experience and the continuation of other important societal institutions such as the family and the Church. He argued that tradition draws on the wisdom of many generations and the tests of time, while reason may be a mask for the preferences of one man, and at best represents only the untested wisdom of one generation. However, Burke wrote, "A state without the means of change is without the means of its conservation." Burke insisted further change be organic rather than revolutionary. An attempt to modify the complex web of human interactions that form human society, for the sake of some doctrine or theory, runs the risk of running afoul of the iron law of unintended consequences.

Western Conservatism has also been influenced by the Counter-Enlightenment works of Joseph de Maistre. Maistre argued for the restoration of hereditary monarchy, which he regarded as a divinely sanctioned institution, and for the indirect authority of the Pope over temporal matters. He also defended the principle of hierarchical authority, which the Revolution sought to destroy. Maistre published in 1819 his masterpiece Du Pape ("On the Pope"). The work is divided into four parts. In the first he argues that, in the Church, the pope is sovereign, and that it is an essential characteristic of all sovereign power that its decisions should be subject to no appeal. Consequently, the pope is infallible in his teaching, since it is by his teaching that he exercises his sovereignty. In the remaining divisions the author examines the relations of the pope and the temporal powers, civilization and the welfare of nations, and the schismatic Churches. He argues that nations require protection against abuses of power by a sovereignty superior to all others, and that this sovereignty should be that of the papacy, the historical saviour and maker of European civilization.

Conservatives strongly support the right of property, and Carl B. Cone, in Burke and the Nature of Politics, pointed out that this view, expressed as philosophy, also served the interests of the people involved.[10] Conservatives are usually economic liberals, diverging from classical liberalism in the tradition of Adam Smith.[11] Some conservatives look to a modified free market order, such as the American System, ordoliberalism, or Friedrich List's National System. The latter view differs from strict laissez-faire, in that the state's role is to promote competition while maintaining the national interest, community and identity.

Most conservatives strongly support the sovereign nation (although that was not so in the 19th century), and patriotically identify with their own nation. Nationalist separatist movements may be both radical and conservative.

Forms of conservatism

Liberal conservatism

Liberal conservatism is a variant of conservatism that combines conservative values and policies with liberal stances. As these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism also has a wide variety of meanings. Historically, the term often referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values. It contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres.

Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments, and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism. This is also the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition, such as the United States, and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous. The liberal conservative tradition in the United States combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism (which has also become part of the American conservative tradition, such as in the writings of Russell Kirk).

A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe is a combination of more modern conservative (less traditionalist) views with those of social liberalism. This has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism. Often this involves stressing what are now conservative views of free-market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights, environmentalism and support for a limited welfare state. This philosophy is that of Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. In continental Europe, this is sometimes also translated into English as social conservatism.

Conservative liberalism

Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, the right wing of the liberal movement.[12][13][14] The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism. Until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy. Conservative liberalism is a more positive and less radical version of classical liberalism.[15] The events such as World War I occurring after 1917 brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative (i.e. more moderate) type of liberalism.[16]

Libertarian conservatism

Libertarian conservatism describes certain political ideologies within the United States and Canada which combines libertarian economic issues with aspects of conservatism. Its five main branches are Constitutionalism, paleolibertarianism, neolibertarianism, small government conservatism and Christian libertarianism. They generally differ from paleoconservatives, in that they are in favor of more personal and economic freedom.[17]

Agorists such as Samuel Edward Konkin III labeled libertarian conservatism right-libertarianism.[18][19]

In contrast to paleoconservatives, libertarian conservatives support strict laissez-faire policies such as free trade, opposition to the Federal Reserve and opposition to business regulations. They are vehemently opposed to environmental regulations, corporate welfare, subsidies, and other areas of economic intervention. Many of them have views in accord to Ludwig von Mises.[citation needed] However, many of them oppose abortion, as they see it as a positive liberty and violates the non-aggression principle because abortion is aggression towards the fetus.[20]

Fiscal conservatism

Fiscal conservatism is the economic philosophy of prudence in government spending and debt. Edmund Burke, in his 'Reflections on the Revolution in France', articulated its principles:

...[I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied...[T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.

In other words, a government does not have the right to run up large debts and then throw the burden on the taxpayer; the taxpayers' right not to be taxed oppressively takes precedence even over paying back debts a government may have imprudently undertaken.

Green conservatism

Green conservatism is a term used to refer to conservatives who have incorporated green concerns into their ideology. The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom under David Cameron has embraced a green agenda that includes proposals designed to impose a tax on workplace car parking spaces, a halt to airport growth, a tax on 4x4 vehicles and restrictions on car advertising.[citation needed]

Cultural conservatism

Cultural conservatism is a philosophy that supports preservation of the heritage of a nation or culture. The culture in question may be as large as Western culture or Chinese civilization or as small as that of Tibet. Cultural conservatives try to adapt norms handed down from the past. The norms may be romantic, like the anti-metric movement that demands the retention of avoirdupois weights and measures in Britain and opposes their replacement with the metric system. They may be institutional: in the West this has included chivalry and feudalism, as well as capitalism, laicité and the rule of law.

In the subset social conservatism, the norms may also be what is viewed as a question of morality. In some cultures, practices such as homosexuality are seen as immoral. In others, it is considered immoral for a woman to reveal too much of her body.

Cultural conservatives often argue that old institutions have adapted to a particular place or culture and therefore ought to be preserved. Others argue that a people have a right to their cultural norms, their own language and traditions.

Religious conservatism

Religious conservatives seek to apply the teachings of particular ideologies to politics, sometimes by proclaiming the value of those teachings, at other times seeking to have those teachings influence laws. Religious conservatism may support, or be supported by, secular customs. In other places or at other times, religious conservatism may find itself at odds with the culture in which the believers reside. In some cultures, there is conflict between two or more different groups of religious conservatives, each claiming both that their view is correct, and that opposing views are wrong.

Because many religions preserve a founding text, or at least a set of well-established traditions, the possibility of radical religious conservatism arises. These are radical both in the sense of abolishing the status quo and of a perceived return to the radix or root of a belief. They are ante conservative in their claim to be preserving the belief in its original or pristine form. Radical religious conservatism generally sees the status quo as corrupted by abuses, corruption, or heresy. One example of such a movement was the Radical Reformation within the Protestant Reformation and the later Restorationists of the 1800s. Similar phenomena have arisen in practically all the world's religions, in many cases triggered by the violent cultural collision between the traditional society in question and the modern Western society that has developed throughout the world over the past 500 years.

Conservatism in different countries

Australia

Tony Abbott is the current leader of the Liberal Party of Australia. Conservatism in Australia is related to British and American conservatism in many respects, but has a distinct political tradition. One scholar argues that Australian conservatism is traditionally composed of diverse groups and interests that are united more by opposition to certain political developments than by a distinct shared ideology.[21] In terms of partisan politics, conservatism has often been defined as opposition to the Australian Labor Party. Australian groups that have historically been grouped on the conservative side include social conservatives, British Empire nationalists, organizations supporting rural interests, anti-socialist Catholics, fundamentalist Christians and free-market liberals."[21]

Historically, for the first 70 years after the Federation of Australia, the non-Labor (and hence implicitly conservative) side of Australian politics was associated with policies of moderate protectionism in trade, and of support for the welfare state, coupled with maintenance of Australia's ties to the British Empire. Many scholars have seen the government of Robert Menzies as exemplifying this trend.[21] However, from the 1980s, free-market economic policies were increasingly associated with conservatism in Australian politics, following the same trend as the United States under Ronald Reagan and the United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher.[21] In contemporary Australian politics, the Liberal Party of Australia is seen as the main conservative party.

Canada

Canadian conservatism has always been rooted in a preference for the traditional and established ways of doing things, even as it has shifted in economic, foreign and social policy. Like Burke, they rejected the sense of both ideology and revolution, preferring pragmatism and evolution. It is for that reason that unlike conservatives in the United States, Canadian conservatives are generally not republicans, preferring the monarchy and Westminster system of government. (The United States is a federal republic, while Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a distinction resulting from the American Revolution and its aftermath.)

People's Republic of China

In the People's Republic of China, New Conservatism (新保守主义), sometimes translated as "Neoconservatism", was a movement which first arose in the early 1990s and argued that progress was best accomplished through gradual reform of society, eschewing revolution and sudden overthrow of the governmental system. This movement was based heavily on the ideas of Edmund Burke and was described in the West by the scholar Joseph Fewsmith. Other than the name, the movement had no connection with neoconservatism in the United States (the US movement is instead referred to as Niukang in Chinese), though, from the standpoint of philosophy, it can be identified as a form of conservative thought, albeit ideologically different from "old conservatism" (旧保守主义).

The new conservatism movement in China was in general supportive of the current government, while at the same time being opposed to aspects of the government which advocated the notion of revolution. Unlike the official ideology, however, Chinese new conservatism was neutral on the validity of Marxism and skeptical toward Mao Zedong, founder and long-time leader of the People's Republic of China. Chinese new conservatism had significant support from the Shanghai Clique in the Politburo.

Seen from a Chinese new-conservative perspective, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Protests of 1989 were all in error in that they attempted to change society through revolutionary means.

Republic of China

In the Republic of China, the conservative Kuomintang (KMT) (the most popular party) generally supports Chinese nationalism and Chinese reunification.

Germany

Angela Merkel, the first female chancellor of Germany.

In Germany, conservatism has often been represented by Christian Democratic parties. They form the bulk of the European People's Party faction in the European Parliament. The origin of these parties is usually in Catholic parties of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Catholic social teaching was their original inspiration. Over the years, conservatism gradually became their main ideological inspiration, and they generally became less Catholic. The German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Dutch Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) are Protestant-Catholic parties.

India

Conservatism in India is represented by Hindu nationalist parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)[22]. BJP advocates conservative social policies, self reliance, robust economic growth, foreign policy driven by a nationalist agenda, and strong national defense. Hindutva has a special place in its ideology and the party believes that ancient Hindu culture and values will make India a more enlightened society. BJP falls more correctly in the Centre-right definition.

Iran

In Iran, conservatism is represented by parties such as the Combatant Clergy Association (CCA), which includes the nation’s foremost politicized clerics (including the current Supreme Leader) [23] and is considered to be part of the "Islamic right".[24] The CCA was the majority party in the fourth and fifth parliaments after the Islamic revolution.[25] It was founded in 1977 by a group of clerics with intentions to use cultural approaches to overthrow the Shah.[26] Some conservative Iranian political parties and organizations are part of the powerful Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran.

Israel

In Israel, Likud is the major centre-right political party. Founded in 1973 as an alliance of several right-wing and liberal parties, Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history.[27] Likud supports free market capitalism and liberalism. Likud, under the guidance of Finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu, pushed through legislation to reduce value added tax (VAT), income and corporate taxes, as well as customs duty. The party has instituted free trade (especially with the European Union and the United States) and has dismantled certain monopolies (e.g. Bezeq and the sea ports). It has privatized numerous government-owned companies (e.g. El Al and Bank Leumi).

Likud has in the past espoused hawkish policies towards the Palestinians, including opposition to Palestinian statehood and support of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, it has also been the party which carried out the first peace agreements with Arab states. For instance, in 1979, Likud Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, signed the Camp David Accords with Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, which returned the Sinai Peninsula (occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967) to Egypt in return for peace between the two countries. Yitzhak Shamir also granted some legitimacy to the Palestinians by meeting them at the ill-fated Madrid Conference following the Persian Gulf War in 1991. However, Shamir refused to concede the idea of a Palestinian state, and as a result was blamed by some (including U.S. Secretary of State James Baker) for the failure of the summit. Later, as Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu restated Likud's position of opposing Palestinian statehood, which after the Oslo Accords was largely accepted by the opposition Labor Party, even though the shape of any such state was not clear.

The Likud emphasize such nationalist themes as the flag and the victory in Israel's 1948 war with neighbouring Arab states. The Likud advocates teaching values in childhood education. The Likud endorses press freedom and promotion of private-sector media, which has grown markedly under governments Likud has led. A Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon, however, closed the popular right-wing pirate radio station Arutz 7 ("Channel 7). Arutz 7 was popular with the settlement movement and often criticised the government from a right-wing perspective. However, the Likud is inclined towards the Torah and expresses support for it within the context of civil Judaism, as a result of its Irgun past, which aligned itself according to the word of the Tanakh.

Japan

Junichiro Koizumi, a leader of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who won the largest party majority ever in modern Japanese history.

Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party - which has dominated elections for half a century - traditionally identified itself with a number of general goals such as rapid, export-based economic growth and close cooperation with the United States in foreign and defense policies, as well as several newer issues, such as administrative reform. Administrative reform encompassed several themes: simplification and streamlining of government bureaucracy; privatization of stateowned enterprises; and adoption of measures, including tax reform, needed to prepare for the strain on the economy posed by an aging society.

Other priorities in the early 1990s included promoting a more active and positive role for Japan in the rapidly developing Asia-Pacific region, internationalizing Japan's economy by liberalizing and promoting domestic demand, creating a hightechnology information society, and promoting scientific research.

Nepal

The Nepali politics can be viewed as a very interesting clash of left wing parties, liberal democratic parties, conservative democratic parties and the ultra-conservatism practiced by the now-abolished Monarchy. Because of the decade long Maoist insurgency and the movements of other parties, people of Nepal seem to be rejecting the idea of extreme conservatism, and consequently the Nepalese monarchy has now been abolished. However, an intense debate still exists between intellectuals and political activists regarding the degree of conservatism in Nepali politics. While the Unified CPN (Maoist) propose a progressive ideology, rejecting all the conservative ideas; The CPN-UML, a democratic party with communist background, seems to be supporting progressive ideas blended with some conservatism. The right wing party of Nepali Congress, is considered to be more conservative than others because of their history of supporting the idea of the now abolished Hindu State as well as the idea of Ceremonial Monarchy. However, Nepali Congress too has adopted a Republican set up after the 2006 democracy movement in Nepal.

Historians view the inter party clash in this small nation as a melting pot of all the ideologies of the political spectrum and the intense discussions continues to intrigue many political analysts.

Netherlands

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a writer and a former MEP from the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy.

The Dutch conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy advocates lower taxes, legal cannabis and legal euthanasia. The Party for Freedom is a newly formed conservative party, advocating strict restriction on immigration from Muslim countries, free-market capitalism, and a return to humanist and Christian traditions. It is led by Geert Wilders.

New Zealand

John Key, Current Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The New Zealand National Party ("National" or "the Nats") currently currently forms the largest (in terms of parliamentary seats) political party in the next New Zealand Parliament, and thus function as the core of a governing coalition. For many decades "National" has been the largest liberal-conservative political party in New Zealand.

The National Party currently advocates policies of reducing taxes, reducing social welfare payments, promoting free trade, restoring or maintaining New Zealand's defence alliances, and promoting one standard of citizenship for all New Zealanders ("One law for all").

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been under the influence of conservative clerics who uphold a strict interpretation of Islamic law, and the monarchy supports conservative social polices.[28] Women are required to dress modestly, and all sexual activity outside of a traditional heterosexual marriage is illegal. Dancing, playing music or showing movies in public are forbidden.[29]

Scandinavian countries

In Scandinavian countries, conservatism has been represented in liberal conservative parties such as the National Coalition party in Finland, the Moderate Party in Sweden, Høyre in Norway and the Conservative People's Party in Denmark. Domestically, these parties generally support market-oriented policies. Denmark's conservative-liberal Venstre has been characterized as a classical liberal party. Their former leader (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) wrote the book Fra Socialstat til Minimalstat (English: From Social State to Minimal State), which advocated an extensive reform along classical liberal lines.

South Korea

In the 2008 parliamentary elections, the conservative Grand National Party won 37% of the vote in South Korea, compared with 25% for the liberal United Democratic Party[30]. After decades of free market policies, free trade, and low taxation, South Korea is a major economic power and one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. It had one of the world's fastest growing economies since the 1960s, now highly developed[31] and the fourth largest[32] in Asia and 13th largest[33] in the world. Forming the G20 industrial nations and the world's top ten exporters, it is an APEC and OECD member, defined as a High Income Nation by the World Bank and an Advanced Economy by the IMF and CIA. The Asian Tiger is leading the Next Eleven nations and is still among the world's fastest growing developed countries.[31] Today, its success story is known as the "Miracle on the Han River", a role model for many developing countries.[34]

United Kingdom

Conservatism in the United Kingdom is related to its counterparts in other Western nations, but has a distinct tradition. Edmund Burke is often considered the father of conservatism in the English-speaking world. Burke was a Whig, while the term Tory is given to the later Conservative Party. One Australian scholar argues, "For Edmund Burke and Australians of a like mind, the essence of conservatism lies not in a body of theory, but in the disposition to maintain those institutions seen as central to the beliefs and practices of society."[21]

Margaret Thatcher, a radical reformer of Britain.

The old established form of English, and after the Act of Union, British conservatism, was the Tory Party. It reflected the attitudes of a rural land owning class, and championed the institutions of the monarchy, the Anglican Church, the family, and property as the best defence of the social order. In the early stages of the industrial revolution, it seemed to be totally opposed to a process that seemed to undermine some of these bulwarks. The new industrial elite were seen by many as enemies to the social order. Robert Peel was able to reconcile the new industrial class to the Tory landed class by persuading the latter to accept the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. He created a new political group that sought to preserve the old status quo while accepting the basics of laissez-faire and free trade. The new coalition of traditional landowners and sympathetic industrialists constituted the new Conservative Party.

Benjamin Disraeli gave the new party a political ideology. As a young man, he was influenced by the romantic movement and medievalism, and developed a devastating critique of industrialism. In his novels, he outlined an England divided into two nations, each living in perfect ignorance of each other. He foresaw, like Karl Marx, the phenomenon of an alienated industrial proletariat. His solution involved a return to an idealised view of a corporate or organic society, in which everyone had duties and responsibilities towards other people or groups. This "one nation" conservatism is still a significant tradition in British politics. It has animated a great deal of social reform undertaken by successive Conservative governments.

Although nominally a Conservative, Disraeli was sympathetic to some of the demands of the Chartists and argued for an alliance between the landed aristocracy and the working class against the increasing power of the middle class, helping to found the Young England group in 1842 to promote the view that the rich should use their power to protect the poor from exploitation by the middle class. The conversion of the Conservative Party into a modern mass organisation was accelerated by the concept of Tory Democracy attributed to Lord Randolph Churchill.

A Liberal-Conservative coalition during World War I, coupled with the ascent of the Labour Party, hastened the collapse of the Liberals in the 1920s. After World War II, the Conservative Party made concessions to the socialist policies of the Left. This compromise was a pragmatic measure to regain power, but also the result of the early successes of central planning and state ownership forming a cross-party consensus. This was known as Butskellism, after the almost identical Keynesian policies of Rab Butler on behalf of the Conservatives, and Hugh Gaitskell for Labour.

However, in the 1980s, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and the influence of Keith Joseph, there was a dramatic shift in the ideological direction of British conservatism, with a movement towards free-market economic policies. As one commentator explains, "The privatization of state owned industries, unthinkable before, became commonplace [during Thatcher's government] and has now been imitated all over the world."[35] Some commentators have questioned whether Thatcherism was consistent with the traditional concept of conservatism in the United Kingdom, and saw her views as more consistent with radical classical liberalism. Thatcher was described as "a radical in a conservative party"[35], and her ideology has been seen as confronting "established institutions" and the "accepted beliefs of the elite"[35], both concepts incompatible with the traditional conception of conservatism as signifying support for the established order and existing social convention.

United States

Conservatism in the United States includes a variety of political ideologies including fiscal conservatism, supply-side economics, social conservatism, libertarian conservatism, bioconservatism and religious conservatism,[36] as well as support for a strong military. Modern American conservatism was largely born out of alliance between classical liberals and social conservatives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[37]

Contemporary American conservatism traces its heritage back to Irish political philosopher Edmund Burke, who developed his views in response to the French Revolution.[38] US President Abraham Lincoln wrote, that conservatism is "the adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried."[39] US president Ronald Reagan, who was a self-declared conservative, is widely seen as a symbol of American conservatism.[40] In an interview, he said "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."[41] Organizations in the US committed to promoting conservative ideology include the American Conservative Union, Eagle Forum, Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution. US-based media outlets that are conservative include Human Events, National Review, The American Conservative, Policy Review, and The Weekly Standard.

In the US, social conservatives emphasize traditional views of social units such as the family, church, or locale. Social conservatism may entail defining marriage as relationships between one man and one woman (thereby prohibiting same-sex marriage and polygamy) and laws placing restrictions on the practice of abortion. While many religious conservatives believe that government should have a role in defending moral values, libertarian conservatives such as Barry Goldwater advocated a hands-off government where social values were concerned.

Psychology

A meta-analysis of research literature by Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, and Sulloway in 2003 found that many factors, such as intolerance of ambiguity and need for cognitive closure, contribute to the degree of one's political conservatism.[42] A study by Kathleen Maclay stated these traits "might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty." The research also suggested that both liberals and conservatives are resistant to change; liberals simply have a higher tolerance.[43]

According to psychologist Robert Altemeyer, individuals who are politically conservative tend to rank high in Right-Wing Authoritarianism on his RWA scale. [44] This finding was echoed by Theodor Adorno. A study done on Israeli and Palestinian students in Israel found that RWA scores of right-wing party supporters were significantly higher than those of left-wing party supporters.[45] However, a 2005 study by H. Michael Crowson and colleagues suggested a moderate gap between RWA and other conservative positions. "The results indicated that conservatism is not synonymous with RWA." [46]

Psychologist Felicia Pratto and her colleagues have found evidence to support the idea that a high Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) is strongly correlated with conservative political views, and opposition to social engineering to promote equality, though Pratto's findings have been highly controversial.[47] Pratto and her colleagues found that high SDO scores were highly correlated with measures of prejudice. They were refuted in this claim by David J. Schneider, who wrote that "correlations between prejudice and political conservative are reduced virtually to zero when controls for SDO are instituted" [48] and by Kenneth Minogue who wrote "It is characteristic of the conservative temperament to value established identities, to praise habit and to respect prejudice, not because it is irrational, but because such things anchor the darting impusles of human beings in solidities of custom which we do not often begin to value until we are already losing them. Radicalism often generates youth movements, while conservatism is a condition found among the mature, who have discovered what it is in life they most value." [49]

Another study stated that opposition is not based on racism or sexism, but on a "principled conservatism,"[50] a perspective based on "concern for equity, color-blindness, and genuine conservative values." Furthermore, the study suggested that racism and conservatism are independent, and weakly correlated among the highly educated. In an effort to examine the relationship between education, SDO, and racism, Sidanius and his colleagues conducted a survey in which subjects were asked about their political and social attitudes.[50] Results indicated partial support for the principled-conservatism position. However, contrary to predictions, correlations among SDO, political conservatism, and racism were strongest among the most well educated, and weakest among the least well educated.[50]

References

  1. ^ [1] Freedom and Consumerism: A Critique of Zygmunt Bauman's Sociology By Mark Davis, Zygmunt Bauman Edition: revised Published by Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 ISBN 0754672719, 9780754672715 189 pages page 114
  2. ^ Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan, "Conservatism", Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, Third Edition, "Sometimes it (conservatism) has been outright opposition, based on an existing model of society that is considered right for all time. It can take a 'reactionary' form, harking back to, and attempting to reconstruct, forms of society which existed in an earlier period.", Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN 978019205165.
  3. ^ a b "Conservatism (political philosophy)". Britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/133435/conservatism.  Retrieved on 1 November 2009.
  4. ^ The Scary Echo of the Intolerance of the French Revolution in America Today
  5. ^ BBC: Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
  6. ^ As part of introduction to The Conservative Tradition, ed. R.J. White (London: Nicholas Kaye, 1950)
  7. ^ "10 Conservative Principles"
  8. ^ BBC: Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
  9. ^ RRF, Langford 1981-, Volume VIII, 58
  10. ^ Carl B. Cone, Burke and the Nature of Politics, University of Kentucky Press, 1957 OCLC 399586
  11. ^ American Chronicle | Liberal / Conservative (Part 1) Economics
  12. ^ http://www.ipolitique.fr/liberalisme-conservateur.htm
  13. ^ http://www.parties-and-elections.de/contents.html
  14. ^ M. Gallagher, M. Laver and P. Mair, Representative Government in Europe, p. 221.
  15. ^ Allen R.T., Beyond Liberalism, p. 2.
  16. ^ Allen R.T., Beyond Liberalism, p. 13.
  17. ^ "Paleoconservatives - Definition on Worddiq". http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Paleoconservatives. 
  18. ^ "New Libertarian Manifesto". http://agorism.info/NewLibertarianManifesto.pdf. 
  19. ^ "Interview With Samuel Edward Konkin III". http://www.spaz.org/~dan/individualist-anarchist/software/konkin-interview.html. 
  20. ^ Vance, Laurence (January 29, 2008). "Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?" (in English). LewRockwell.com. http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance133.html. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  21. ^ a b c d e Worthington, Glen, Conservatism in Australian National Politics, Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library, 19 February 2002
  22. ^ Thomas Blom Hansen, The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India, Princeton University Press, 2001, ISBN 140080342X, 9781400803422
  23. ^ http://www.s2online.org/news/country/Iraq/IRANpol.htm
  24. ^ Elections Summaries for POLS 168 -- Middle East Politics (Fall 2007)
  25. ^ akhbare-rooz (iranian political Bulletin)
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ Israel at the Polls, 1992 By Daniel Judah Elazar, Shmuel Sandler
  28. ^ Oxford Islamic Studies Online Saudi Arabia
  29. ^ Saudi Arabia Country Specific Information
  30. ^ http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/k/korea/korea2008.txt
  31. ^ a b Korea, Republic of
  32. ^ IMF (2007). World Economic Outlook Database, October 2007. 2007. IMF. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2008&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=56&pr1.y=12&c=512%2C941%2C914%2C446%2C612%2C666%2C614%2C668%2C311%2C672%2C213%2C946%2C911%2C137%2C193%2C962%2C122%2C674%2C912%2C676%2C313%2C548%2C419%2C556%2C513%2C678%2C316%2C181%2C913%2C682%2C124%2C684%2C339%2C273%2C638%2C921%2C514%2C948%2C218%2C686%2C963%2C688%2C616%2C518%2C223%2C728%2C516%2C558%2C918%2C138%2C748%2C196%2C618%2C278%2C522%2C692%2C622%2C694%2C156%2C142%2C624%2C449%2C626%2C564%2C628%2C283%2C228%2C853%2C924%2C288%2C233%2C293%2C632%2C566%2C636%2C964%2C634%2C182%2C238%2C453%2C662%2C968%2C960%2C922%2C423%2C714%2C935%2C862%2C128%2C716%2C611%2C456%2C321%2C722%2C243%2C942%2C248%2C718%2C469%2C724%2C253%2C576%2C642%2C936%2C643%2C961%2C939%2C813%2C644%2C199%2C819%2C184%2C172%2C524%2C132%2C361%2C646%2C362%2C648%2C364%2C915%2C732%2C134%2C366%2C652%2C734%2C174%2C144%2C328%2C146%2C258%2C463%2C656%2C528%2C654%2C923%2C336%2C738%2C263%2C578%2C268%2C537%2C532%2C742%2C944%2C866%2C176%2C369%2C534%2C744%2C536%2C186%2C429%2C925%2C178%2C746%2C436%2C926%2C136%2C466%2C343%2C112%2C158%2C111%2C439%2C298%2C916%2C927%2C664%2C846%2C826%2C299%2C542%2C582%2C443%2C474%2C917%2C754%2C544%2C698&s=PPPGDP&grp=0&a=. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  33. ^ IMF. October 2007 World Economic Outlook Database, October 2007. 2007. IMF. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=56&pr.y=6&sy=2007&ey=2007&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=512%2C941%2C914%2C446%2C612%2C666%2C614%2C668%2C311%2C672%2C213%2C946%2C911%2C137%2C193%2C962%2C122%2C674%2C912%2C676%2C313%2C548%2C419%2C556%2C513%2C678%2C316%2C181%2C913%2C682%2C124%2C684%2C339%2C273%2C638%2C921%2C514%2C948%2C218%2C686%2C963%2C688%2C616%2C518%2C223%2C728%2C516%2C558%2C918%2C138%2C748%2C196%2C618%2C278%2C522%2C692%2C622%2C694%2C156%2C142%2C624%2C449%2C626%2C564%2C628%2C283%2C228%2C853%2C924%2C288%2C233%2C293%2C632%2C566%2C636%2C964%2C634%2C182%2C238%2C453%2C662%2C968%2C960%2C922%2C423%2C714%2C935%2C862%2C128%2C716%2C611%2C456%2C321%2C722%2C243%2C942%2C248%2C718%2C469%2C724%2C253%2C576%2C642%2C936%2C643%2C961%2C939%2C813%2C644%2C199%2C819%2C184%2C172%2C524%2C132%2C361%2C646%2C362%2C648%2C364%2C915%2C732%2C134%2C366%2C652%2C734%2C174%2C144%2C328%2C146%2C258%2C463%2C656%2C528%2C654%2C923%2C336%2C738%2C263%2C578%2C268%2C537%2C532%2C742%2C944%2C866%2C176%2C369%2C534%2C744%2C536%2C186%2C429%2C925%2C178%2C746%2C436%2C926%2C136%2C466%2C343%2C112%2C158%2C111%2C439%2C298%2C916%2C927%2C664%2C846%2C826%2C299%2C542%2C582%2C443%2C474%2C917%2C754%2C544%2C698&s=PPPGDP&grp=0&a= October 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  34. ^ Seoul's Green Revolution - TIME
  35. ^ a b c Davies, Stephen, Margaret Thatcher and the Rebirth of Conservatism, Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs, July 1993
  36. ^ About atheism
  37. ^ Clark, B. (1998). Political economy: A comparative approach. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  38. ^ Kirk, Russell, The Conservative Mind, p. 6.
  39. ^ Kirk, Russell, The Conservative Mind, p. 8.
  40. ^ "conservatism". The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). 2008. http://www.bartleby.com/65/co/conservatsm.html. 
  41. ^ Inside Ronald Reagan, a Reason magazine Interview with Ronald Reagan, July 1975.
  42. ^ Jost, J.J, Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A.A., & Sulloway, F.J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129(3), 339-375.
  43. ^ http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml
  44. ^ Altemeyer, B. (1981). Right-wing authoritarianism. Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.
  45. ^ Rubinstein, G. (1996). Two peoples in one land: A validation study of Altemeyer's Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale in the Palestinian and Jewish societies in Israel. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27, 216-230.
  46. ^ Crowson, H. Michael, Stephen J. Thoma, and Nita Hestevold. "Is political conservatism synonymous with authoritarianism?." The Journal of Social Psychology 145.5 (Oct 2005): 571(22). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale. Remote Access. 20 May 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/itx/start.do?prodId=EAIM>.
  47. ^ Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L.M., & Malle, B.F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(4), 741-763.
  48. ^ The psychology of stereotyping, David J. Schneider, Guilford Press, 2005 ISBN 1593851936, 9781593851934 704 pages page 275
  49. ^ The Social science encyclopedia, Jessica Kuper, Taylor & Francis, 1985 ISBN 0710200080, 9780710200082 916 pages pp 155-6
  50. ^ a b c Sidanius, J., Pratto, F., & Bobo, L. (1996). Racism, conservatism, affirmative action, and intellectual sophistication: A matter of principled conservatism or group dominance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70(3), 476-490.

Further reading

  • RightWingersGuide.com
  • Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses / Theodore Dalrymple (2005) ISBN 1566636434
  • Fascists and conservatives : the radical right and the establishment in twentieth-century Europe / Martin Blinkhorn., 1990
  • Edmund Burke. Reflections on the Revolution in France, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. October 1997: ISBN 0-87220-020-5 (paper).
  • Crunden, Robert, The Superfluous Men: Critics of American Culture, 1900–1945, 1999. ISBN 1-882926-30-7
  • Recent conservative political thought : American perspectives / Russell G Fryer., 1979
  • Paul E. Gottfried, The Conservative Movement, 1993. ISBN 0-8057-9749-1
  • The British Right : Conservative and right wing politics in Britain / Neill Nugent., 1977
  • America alone : the neo-conservatives and the global order / Stefan A Halper., 2004
  • Ted Honderich Conservatism
  • Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind, 7th Ed., 2001. ISBN 0-89526-171-5
  • Russell Kirk, The Politics of Prudence, 1993. ISBN 1-882926-01-3
  • The conservative press in twentieth-century America / Ronald Lora., 1999
  • From the New Deal to the New Right: race and the southern origins of modern conservatism / Joseph E Lowndes., 2008
  • Jerry Z. Muller Conservatism
  • Right-wing women : from conservatives to extremists around the world / P Bacchetta., 2002
  • Unmaking law : the Conservative campaign to roll back the common law / Jay M Feinman., 2004
  • Radicals or conservatives? The contemporary American right / James McEvoy., 1971
  • Robert Nisbet Conservatism: Dream and Reality, 2001. ISBN 0-7658-0862-5
  • James Page, 'Ought the Neo-Cons Be Considered Conservatives? A Philosophical Response'.AQ: Journal of Contemporary Analysis. 75(6):32-33/40. 2003; available on-line at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/archive/00003599/
  • Conservatism in America since 1930 : a reader / Gregory L Schneider., 2003
  • Noel O'Sullivan Conservatism
  • The new racism : conservatives and the ideology of the tribe / Martin Barker., 1982
  • A time for choosing : the rise of modern American conservatism / Jonathan M Schoenwald., 2001
  • Roger Scruton The Meaning of Conservatism
  • Facing fascism : the Conservative party and the European dictators, 1935–1940 / N J Crowson., 1997
  • Alexander Lee and Timothy Stanley The End of Politics: Triangulation, Realignment and the Battle for the Centre Ground (Politico's Publishing, 17 July 2006): ISBN 1-84275-174-3 (hardcover)
  • James Fitzjames Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Conservatism article)

From Wikiquote

Conservatism is a philosophy defined by Edmund Burke as "a disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve". The term derives from conserve; from Latin conservare, to keep, guard, observe. Classical conservatism does not readily avail itself to the ideology of objectives. It is a philosophy primarily concerned with means over ends. To a conservative, the goal of change is less important than the insistence that change be effected with a respect for the rule of law and traditions of society.

For

  • "I am a conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few."
  • The conservative hates all action against the order, the constitution, the laws, the moral, the liberty, the equality, the tolerance, the property, the security and the civilization.
    • Jose Eusebio Caro
  • A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation
  • [I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied...[T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.
    • Edmund Burke on fiscal conservatism, Reflections on the Revolution in France [1790] (London: Penguin Classics, 1986), pp. 207-8.
  • The perils of change are so great, the promise of the most hopeful theories is so often deceptive, that it is frequently the wiser part to uphold the existing state of things, if it can be done, even though, in point of argument, it should be utterly indefensible.
    • Lord Salisbury, c. 1890. Quoted in Peter Clarke, A Question of Leadership (Penguin, 1991).
  • The use of Conservatism was to delay changes 'til they became harmless.
  • A radical generally meant a man who thought he could somehow pull up the root without affecting the flower. A conservative generally meant a man who wanted to conserve everything except his own reason for conserving anything.
  • A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
  • Conservatives do not believe that political struggle is the most important thing in life...The simplest among them prefer fox-hunting—the wisest religion.
    • Quintin Hogg, The Case for Conservatism (Penguin, 1947), p. 10.
  • To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss. Familiar relationships and loyalties will be preferred to the allure of more profitable attachments; to acquire and to enlarge will be less important than to keep, to cultivate and to enjoy; the grief of loss will be more acute than the excitement of novelty or promise. It is to be equal to one's own fortune, to live at the level of one's own means, to be content with the want of greater perfection which belongs alike to oneself and one's circumstances.
    • Michael Oakeshott, On Being Conservative (1962).
  • But you say you are conservative - eminently conservative - while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by 'our fathers who framed the Government under which we live;' while you with one accord reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. True, you disagree among yourselves as to what that substitute shall be. You are divided on new propositions and plans, but you are unanimous in rejecting and denouncing the old policy of the fathers.

Against

  • There's a tremendous irony in the way conservatives have adopted their position on evolution. After all, the right has been complaining about relativism—the idea that there is no absolute truth—for years. Now, challenging the conclusions of science in the name of cultural tolerance, conservatives have created their own version of radical deconstructionism. Aping the French academicians they once excoriated, they're undermining the very idea of empirical reality, dismissing inconvenient facts as the product of an oppressive ideology.
    • Michelle Goldberg in 2006. Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. 1st ed. W. W. Norton. p. 102
  • I do not know which makes a man more conservative — to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.
  • Conservative ideology...may be defined as a philosophy of imperfection, committed to...the defence of a limited style of politics.
    • Noël O'Sullivan, Conservatism (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976), pp. 11-12.
  • I never meant to say that the conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
  • By 'radical,' I understand one who goes too far; by 'conservative,' one who does not go far enough; by 'reactionary,' one who won't go at all.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wiktionary-logo-en.png
Look up conservatism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

What is Conservative Judaism?

In general, unlike Orthodox Judaism, the Conservative branch of the Jewish religion is based in the Conservative movement. The movement is not centralized, and hence force it is divided into local branches (For example, Israel and England's movement's are called “Masorti”, which means traditional in Hebrew), that can hold different halachic opinions.

Essentially, the conservative movement differs from orthodox Judaism by believing in changing halacha to suite the modern world, even at the cost of making drastic changes that do not take after most rabbis over the ages. On the other hand, it differs from Reform Judaism by accepting halacha as the structure of the religion, and working within it's framework.


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Conservative article)

From Wikisource

The Conservative
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man's bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities.

Such an irreconcilable antagonism, of course, must have a correspondent depth of seat in the human constitution. It is the opposition of Past and Future, of Memory and Hope, of the Understanding and the Reason. It is the primal antagonism, the appearance in trifles of the two poles of nature.

There is a fragment of old fable which seems somehow to have been dropped from the current mythologies, which may deserve attention, as it appears to relate to this subject.

Saturn grew weary of sitting alone, or with none but the great Uranus or Heaven beholding him, and he created an oyster. Then he would act again, but he made nothing more, but went on creating the race of oysters. Then Uranus cried, 'a new work, O Saturn! the old is not good again.'

Saturn replied. 'I fear. There is not only the alternative of making and not making, but also of unmaking. Seest thou the great sea, how it ebbs and flows? so is it with me; my power ebbs; and if I put forth my hands, I shall not do, but undo. Therefore I do what I have done; I hold what I have got; and so I resist Night and Chaos.'

'O Saturn,' replied Uranus, 'thou canst not hold thine own, but by making more. Thy oysters are barnacles and cockles, and with the next flowing of the tide, they will be pebbles and sea-foam.'

'I see,' rejoins Saturn, 'thou art in league with Night, thou art become an evil eye; thou spakest from love; now thy words smite me with hatred. I appeal to Fate, must there not be rest?' — 'I appeal to Fate also,' said Uranus, 'must there not be motion?' — But Saturn was silent, and went on making oysters for a thousand years.

After that, the word of Uranus came into his mind like a ray of the sun, and he made Jupiter; and then he feared again; and nature froze, the things that were made went backward, and, to save the world, Jupiter slew his father Saturn.

This may stand for the earliest account of a conversation on politics between a Conservative and a Radical, which has come down to us. It is ever thus. It is the counteraction of the centripetal and the centrifugal forces. Innovation is the salient energy; Conservatism the pause on the last movement. 'That which is was made by God,' saith Conservatism. 'He is leaving that, he is entering this other;' rejoins Innovation.

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact. It affirms because it holds. Its fingers clutch the fact, and it will not open its eyes to see a better fact. The castle, which conservatism is set to defend, is the actual state of things, good and bad. The project of innovation is the best possible state of things. Of course, conservatism always has the worst of the argument, is always apologizing, pleading a necessity, pleading that to change would be to deteriorate; it must saddle itself with the mountainous load of the violence and vice of society, must deny the possibility of good, deny ideas, and suspect and stone the prophet; whilst innovation is always in the right, triumphant, attacking, and sure of final success. Conservatism stands on man's confessed limitations; reform on his indisputable infinitude; conservatism on circumstance; liberalism on power; one goes to make an adroit member of the social frame; the other to postpone all things to the man himself; conservatism is debonnair and social; reform is individual and imperious. We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter, we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night. Reform is affirmative, conservatism negative; conservatism goes for comfort, reform for truth. Conservatism is more candid to behold another's worth; reform more disposed to maintain and increase its own. Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory. Reform has no gratitude, no prudence, no husbandry. It makes a great difference to your figure and to your thought, whether your foot is advancing or receding. Conservatism never puts the foot forward; in the hour when it does that, it is not establishment, but reform. Conservatism tends to universal seeming and treachery, believes in a negative fate; believes that men's temper governs them; that for me, it avails not to trust in principles; they will fail me; I must bend a little; it distrusts nature; it thinks there is a general law without a particular application, — law for all that does not include any one. Reform in its antagonism inclines to asinine resistance, to kick with hoofs; it runs to egotism and bloated self-conceit; it runs to a bodiless pretension, to unnatural refining and elevation, which ends in hypocrisy and sensual reaction.

And so whilst we do not go beyond general statements, it may be safely affirmed of these two metaphysical antagonists, that each is a good half, but an impossible whole. Each exposes the abuses of the other, but in a true society, in a true man, both must combine. Nature does not give the crown of its approbation, namely, beauty, to any action or emblem or actor, but to one which combines both these elements; not to the rock which resists the waves from age to age, nor to the wave which lashes incessantly the rock, but the superior beauty is with the oak which stands with its hundred arms against the storms of a century, and grows every year like a sapling; or the river which ever flowing, yet is found in the same bed from age to age; or, greatest of all, the man who has subsisted for years amid the changes of nature, yet has distanced himself, so that when you remember what he was, and see what he is, you say, what strides! what a disparity is here!

Throughout nature the past combines in every creature with the present. Each of the convolutions of the sea-shell, each node and spine marks one year of the fish's life, what was the mouth of the shell for one season, with the addition of new matter by the growth of the animal, becoming an ornamental node. The leaves and a shell of soft wood are all that the vegetation of this summer has made, but the solid columnar stem, which lifts that bank of foliage into the air to draw the eye and to cool us with its shade, is the gift and legacy of dead and buried years.

In nature, each of these elements being always present, each theory has a natural support. As we take our stand on Necessity, or on Ethics, shall we go for the conservative, or for the reformer. If we read the world historically, we shall say, Of all the ages, the present hour and circumstance is the cumulative result; this is the best throw of the dice of nature that has yet been, or that is yet possible. If we see it from the side of Will, or the Moral Sentiment, we shall accuse the Past and the Present, and require the impossible of the Future.

But although this bifold fact lies thus united in real nature, and so united that no man can continue to exist in whom both these elements do not work, yet men are not philosophers, but are rather very foolish children, who, by reason of their partiality, see everything in the most absurd manner, and are the victims at all times of the nearest object. There is even no philosopher who is a philosopher at all times. Our experience, our perception is conditioned by the need to acquire in parts and in succession, that is, with every truth a certain falsehood. As this is the invariable method of our training, we must give it allowance, and suffer men to learn as they have done for six millenniums, a word at a time, to pair off into insane parties, and learn the amount of truth each knows, by the denial of an equal amount of truth. For the present, then, to come at what sum is attainable to us, we must even hear the parties plead as parties.

That which is best about conservatism, that which, though it cannot be expressed in detail, inspires reverence in all, is the Inevitable. There is the question not only, what the conservative says for himself? but, why must he say it? What insurmountable fact binds him to that side? Here is the fact which men call Fate, and fate in dread degrees, fate behind fate, not to be disposed of by the consideration that the Conscience commands this or that, but necessitating the question, whether the faculties of man will play him true in resisting the facts of universal experience? For although the commands of the Conscience are essentially absolute, they are historically limitary. Wisdom does not seek a literal rectitude, but an useful, that is, a conditioned one, such a one as the faculties of man and the constitution of things will warrant. The reformer, the partisan loses himself in driving to the utmost some specialty of right conduct, until his own nature and all nature resist him; but Wisdom attempts nothing enormous and disproportioned to its powers, nothing which it cannot perform or nearly perform. We have all a certain intellection or presentiment of reform existing in the mind, which does not yet descend into the character, and those who throw themselves blindly on this lose themselves. Whatever they attempt in that direction, fails, and reacts suicidally on the actor himself. This is the penalty of having transcended nature. For the existing world is not a dream, and cannot with impunity be treated as a dream; neither is it a disease; but it is the ground on which you stand, it is the mother of whom you were born. Reform converses with possibilities, perchance with impossibilities; but here is sacred fact. This also was true, or it could not be: it had life in it, or it could not have existed; it has life in it, or it could not continue. Your schemes may be feasible, or may not be, but this has the endorsement of nature and a long friendship and cohabitation with the powers of nature. This will stand until a better cast of the dice is made. The contest between the Future and the Past is one between Divinity entering, and Divinity departing. You are welcome to try your experiments, and, if you can, to displace the actual order by that ideal republic you announce, for nothing but God will expel God. But plainly the burden of proof must lie with the projector. We hold to this, until you can demonstrate something better.

The system of property and law goes back for its origin to barbarous and sacred times; it is the fruit of the same mysterious cause as the mineral or animal world. There is a natural sentiment and prepossession in favor of age, of ancestors, of barbarous and aboriginal usages, which is a homage to the element of necessity and divinity which is in them. The respect for the old names of places, of mountains, and streams, is universal. The Indian and barbarous name can never be supplanted without loss. The ancients tell us that the gods loved the Ethiopians for their stable customs; and the Egyptians and Chaldeans, whose origin could not be explored, passed among the junior tribes of Greece and Italy for sacred nations.

Moreover, so deep is the foundation of the existing social system, that it leaves no one out of it. We may be partial, but Fate is not. All men have their root in it. You who quarrel with the arrangements of society, and are willing to embroil all, and risk the indisputable good that exists, for the chance of better, live, move, and have your being in this, and your deeds contradict your words every day. For as you cannot jump from the ground without using the resistance of the ground, nor put out the boat to sea, without shoving from the shore, nor attain liberty without rejecting obligation, so you are under the necessity of using the Actual order of things, in order to disuse it; to live by it, whilst you wish to take away its life. The past has baked your loaf, and in the strength of its bread you would break up the oven. But you are betrayed by your own nature. You also are conservatives. However men please to style themselves, I see no other than a conservative party. You are not only identical with us in your needs, but also in your methods and aims. You quarrel with my conservatism, but it is to build up one of your own; it will have a new beginning, but the same course and end, the same trials, the same passions; among the lovers of the new I observe that there is a jealousy of the newest, and that the seceder from the seceder is as damnable as the pope himself.

On these and the like grounds of general statement, conservatism plants itself without danger of being displaced. Especially before this personal appeal, the innovator must confess his weakness, must confess that no man is to be found good enough to be entitled to stand champion for the principle. But when this great tendency comes to practical encounters, and is challenged by young men, to whom it is no abstraction, but a fact of hunger, distress, and exclusion from opportunities, it must needs seem injurious. The youth, of course, is an innovator by the fact of his birth. There he stands, newly born on the planet, a universal beggar, with all the reason of things, one would say, on his side. In his first consideration how to feed, clothe, and warm himself, he is met by warnings on every hand, that this thing and that thing have owners, and he must go elsewhere. Then he says; If I am born into the earth, where is my part? have the goodness, gentlemen of this world, to show me my wood-lot, where I may fell my wood, my field where to plant my corn, my pleasant ground where to build my cabin.

'Touch any wood, or field, or house-lot, on your peril,' cry all the gentlemen of this world; 'but you may come and work in ours, for us, and we will give you a piece of bread.'

And what is that peril?

Knives and muskets, if we meet you in the act; imprisonment, if we find you afterward.

And by what authority, kind gentlemen?

By our law.

And your law, — is it just?

As just for you as it was for us. We wrought for others under this law, and got our lands so.

I repeat the question, Is your law just?

Not quite just, but necessary. Moreover, it is juster now than it was when we were born; we have made it milder and more equal.

I will none of your law, returns the youth; it encumbers me. I cannot understand, or so much as spare time to read that needless library of your laws. Nature has sufficiently provided me with rewards and sharp penalties, to bind me not to transgress. Like the Persian noble of old, I ask "that I may neither command nor obey." I do not wish to enter into your complex social system. I shall serve those whom I can, and they who can will serve me. I shall seek those whom I love, and shun those whom I love not, and what more can all your laws render me?

With equal earnestness and good faith, replies to this plaintiff an upholder of the establishment, a man of many virtues:

Your opposition is feather-brained and overfine. Young man, I have no skill to talk with you, but look at me; I have risen early and sat late, and toiled honestly, and painfully for very many years. I never dreamed about methods; I laid my bones to, and drudged for the good I possess; it was not got by fraud, nor by luck, but by work, and you must show me a warrant like these stubborn facts in your own fidelity and labor, before I suffer you, on the faith of a few fine words, to ride into my estate, and claim to scatter it as your own.

Now you touch the heart of the matter, replies the reformer. To that fidelity and labor, I pay homage. I am unworthy to arraign your manner of living, until I too have been tried. But I should be more unworthy, if I did not tell you why I cannot walk in your steps. I find this vast network, which you call property, extended over the whole planet. I cannot occupy the bleakest crag of the White Hills or the Alleghany Range, but some man or corporation steps up to me to show me that it is his. Now, though I am very peaceable, and on my private account could well enough die, since it appears there was some mistake in my creation, and that I have been missent to this earth, where all the seats were already taken, — yet I feel called upon in behalf of rational nature, which I represent, to declare to you my opinion, that, if the Earth is yours, so also is it mine. All your aggregate existences are less to me a fact than is my own; as I am born to the earth, so the Earth is given to me, what I want of it to till and to plant; nor could I, without pusillanimity, omit to claim so much. I must not only have a name to live, I must live. My genius leads me to build a different manner of life from any of yours. I cannot then spare you the whole world. I love you better. I must tell you the truth practically; and take that which you call yours. It is God's world and mine; yours as much as you want, mine as much as I want. Besides, I know your ways; I know the symptoms of the disease. To the end of your power, you will serve this lie which cheats you. Your want is a gulf which the possession of the broad earth would not fill. Yonder sun in heaven you would pluck down from shining on the universe, and make him a property and privacy, if you could; and the moon and the north star you would quickly have occasion for in your closet and bed-chamber. What you do not want for use, you crave for ornament, and what your convenience could spare, your pride cannot.

On the other hand, precisely the defence which was set up for the British Constitution, namely, that with all its admitted defects, rotten boroughs and monopolies, it worked well, and substantial justice was somehow done; the wisdom and the worth did get into parliament, and every interest did by right, or might, or sleight, get represented; — the same defence is set up for the existing institutions. They are not the best; they are not just; and in respect to you, personally, O brave young man! they cannot be justified. They have, it is most true, left you no acre for your own, and no law but our law, to the ordaining of which, you were no party. But they do answer the end, they are really friendly to the good; unfriendly to the bad; they second the industrious, and the kind; they foster genius. They really have so much flexibility as to afford your talent and character, on the whole, the same chance of demonstration and success which they might have, if there was no law and no property.

It is trivial and merely superstitious to say that nothing is given you, no outfit, no exhibition; for in this institution of credit, which is as universal as honesty and promise in the human countenance, always some neighbor stands ready to be bread and land and tools and stock to the young adventurer. And if in any one respect they have come short, see what ample retribution of good they have made. They have lost no time and spared no expense to collect libraries, museums, galleries, colleges, palaces, hospitals, observatories, cities. The ages have not been idle, nor kings slack, nor the rich niggardly. Have we not atoned for this small offence (which we could not help) of leaving you no right in the soil, by this splendid indemnity of ancestral and national wealth? Would you have been born like a gipsy in a hedge, and preferred your freedom on a heath, and the range of a planet which had no shed or boscage to cover you from sun and wind, — to this towered and citied world? to this world of Rome, and Memphis, and Constantinople, and Vienna, and Paris, and London, and New York? For thee Naples, Florence, and Venice, for thee the fair Mediterranean, the sunny Adriatic; for thee both Indies smile; for thee the hospitable North opens its heated palaces under the polar circle; for thee roads have been cut in every direction across the land, and fleets of floating palaces with every security for strength, and provision for luxury, swim by sail and by steam through all the waters of this world. Every island for thee has a town; every town a hotel. Though thou wast born landless, yet to thy industry and thrift and small condescension to the established usage, — scores of servants are swarming in every strange place with cap and knee to thy command, scores, nay hundreds and thousands, for thy wardrobe, thy table, thy chamber, thy library, thy leisure; and every whim is anticipated and served by the best ability of the whole population of each country. The king on the throne governs for thee, and the judge judges; the barrister pleads, the farmer tills, the joiner hammers, the postman rides. Is it not exaggerating a trifle to insist on a formal acknowledgment of your claims, when these substantial advantages have been secured to you? Now can your children be educated, your labor turned to their advantage, and its fruits secured to them after your death. It is frivolous to say, you have no acre, because you have not a mathematically measured piece of land. Providence takes care that you shall have a place, that you are waited for, and come accredited; and, as soon as you put your gift to use, you shall have acre or acre's worth according to your exhibition of desert, — acre, if you need land; — acre's worth, if you prefer to draw, or carve, or make shoes, or wheels, to the tilling of the soil.

Besides, it might temper your indignation at the supposed wrong which society has done you, to keep the question before you, how society got into this predicament? Who put things on this false basis? No single man, but all men. No man voluntarily and knowingly; but it is the result of that degree of culture there is in the planet. The order of things is as good as the character of the population permits. Consider it as the work of a great and beneficent and progressive necessity, which, from the first pulsation of the first animal life, up to the present high culture of the best nations, has advanced thus far. Thank the rude fostermother though she has taught you a better wisdom than her own, and has set hopes in your heart which shall be history in the next ages. You are yourself the result of this manner of living, this foul compromise, this vituperated Sodom. It nourished you with care and love on its breast, as it had nourished many a lover of the right, and many a poet, and prophet, and teacher of men. Is it so irremediably bad? Then again, if the mitigations are considered, do not all the mischiefs virtually vanish? The form is bad, but see you not how every personal character reacts on the form, and makes it new? A strong person makes the law and custom null before his own will. Then the principle of love and truth reappears in the strictest courts of fashion and property. Under the richest robes, in the darlings of the selectest circles of European or American aristocracy, the strong heart will beat with love of mankind, with impatience of accidental distinctions, with the desire to achieve its own fate, and make every ornament it wears authentic and real.

Moreover, as we have already shown that there is no pure reformer, so it is to be considered that there is no pure conservative, no man who from the beginning to the end of his life maintains the defective institutions; but he who sets his face like a flint against every novelty, when approached in the confidence of conversation, in the presence of friendly and generous persons, has also his gracious and relenting motions, and espouses for the time the cause of man; and even if this be a shortlived emotion, yet the remembrance of it in private hours mitigates his selfishness and compliance with custom.

The Friar Bernard lamented in his cell on Mount Cenis the crimes of mankind, and rising one morning before day from his bed of moss and dry leaves, he gnawed his roots and berries, drank of the spring, and set forth to go to Rome to reform the corruption of mankind. On his way he encountered many travellers who greeted him courteously; and the cabins of the peasants and the castles of the lords supplied his few wants. When he came at last to Rome, his piety and good will easily introduced him to many families of the rich, and on the first day he saw and talked with gentle mothers with their babes at their breasts, who told him how much love they bore their children, and how they were perplexed in their daily walk lest they should fail in their duty to them. 'What!' he said, 'and this on rich embroidered carpets, on marble floors, with cunning sculpture, and carved wood, and rich pictures, and piles of books about you?' — 'Look at our pictures and books,' they said, 'and we will tell you, good Father, how we spent the last evening. These are stories of godly children and holy families and romantic sacrifices made in old or in recent times by great and not mean persons; and last evening, our family was collected, and our husbands and brothers discoursed sadly on what we could save and give in the hard times.' Then came in the men, and they said, 'What cheer, brother? Does thy convent want gifts?' Then the friar Bernard went home swiftly with other thoughts than he brought, saying, 'This way of life is wrong, yet these Romans, whom I prayed God to destroy, are lovers, they are lovers; what can I do?'

The reformer concedes that these mitigations exist, and that, if he proposed comfort, he should take sides with the establishment. Your words are excellent, but they do not tell the whole. Conservatism is affluent and openhanded, but there is a cunning juggle in riches. I observe that they take somewhat for everything they give. I look bigger, but am less; I have more clothes, but am not so warm; more armor, but less courage; more books, but less wit. What you say of your planted, builded and decorated world, is true enough, and I gladly avail myself of its convenience; yet I have remarked that what holds in particular, holds in general, that the plant Man does not require for his most glorious flowering this pomp of preparation and convenience, but the thoughts of some beggarly Homer who strolled, God knows when, in the infancy and barbarism of the old world; the gravity and sense of some slave Moses who leads away his fellow slaves from their masters; the contemplation of some Scythian Anacharsis; the erect, formidable valor of some Dorian townsmen in the town of Sparta; the vigor of Clovis the Frank, and Alfred the Saxon, and Alaric the Goth, and Mahomet, Ali, and Omar the Arabians, Saladin the Curd, and Othman the Turk, sufficed to build what you call society, on the spot and in the instant when the sound mind in a sound body appeared. Rich and fine is your dress, O conservatism! your horses are of the best blood; your roads are well cut and well paved; your pantry is full of meats and your cellar of wines, and a very good state and condition are you for gentlemen and ladies to live under; but every one of these goods steals away a drop of my blood. I want the necessity of supplying my own wants. All this costly culture of yours is not necessary. Greatness does not need it. Yonder peasant, who sits neglected there in a corner, carries a whole revolution of man and nature in his head, which shall be a sacred history to some future ages. For man is the end of nature; nothing so easily organizes itself in every part of the universe as he; no moss, no lichen is so easily born; and he takes along with him and puts out from himself the whole apparatus of society and condition extempore, as an army encamps in a desert, and where all was just now blowing sand, creates a white city in an hour, a government, a market, a place for feasting, for conversation, and for love.

These considerations, urged by those whose characters and whose fortunes are yet to be formed, must needs command the sympathy of all reasonable persons. But beside that charity which should make all adult persons interested for the youth, and engage them to see that he has a free field and fair play on his entrance into life, we are bound to see that the society, of which we compose a part, does not permit the formation or continuance of views and practices injurious to the honor and welfare of mankind. The objection to conservatism, when embodied in a party, is, that in its love of acts, it hates principles; it lives in the senses, not in truth; it sacrifices to despair; it goes for availableness in its candidate, not for worth; and for expediency in its measures, and not for the right. Under pretence of allowing for friction, it makes so many additions and supplements to the machine of society, that it will play smoothly and softly, but will no longer grind any grist.

The conservative party in the universe concedes that the radical would talk sufficiently to the purpose, if we were still in the garden of Eden; he legislates for man as he ought to be; his theory is right, but he makes no allowance for friction; and this omission makes his whole doctrine false. The idealist retorts, that the conservative falls into a far more noxious error in the other extreme. The conservative assumes sickness as a necessity, and his social frame is a hospital, his total legislation is for the present distress, a universe in slippers and flannels, with bib and papspoon, swallowing pills and herb-tea. Sickness gets organized as well as health, the vice as well as the virtue. Now that a vicious system of trade has existed so long, it has stereotyped itself in the human generation, and misers are born. And now that sickness has got such a foot-hold, leprosy has grown cunning, has got into the ballot-box; the lepers outvote the clean; society has resolved itself into a Hospital Committee, and all its laws are quarantine. If any man resist, and set up a foolish hope he has entertained as good against the general despair, society frowns on him, shuts him out of her opportunities, her granaries, her refectories, her water and bread, and will serve him a sexton's turn. Conservatism takes as low a view of every part of human action and passion. Its religion is just as bad; a lozenge for the sick; a dolorous tune to beguile the distemper; mitigations of pain by pillows and anodynes; always mitigations, never remedies; pardons for sin, funeral honors, — never self-help, renovation, and virtue. Its social and political action has no better aim; to keep out wind and weather, to bring the day and year about, and make the world last our day; not to sit on the world and steer it; not to sink the memory of the past in the glory of a new and more excellent creation; a timid cobbler and patcher, it degrades whatever it touches. The cause of education is urged in this country with the utmost earnestness, — on what ground? why on this, that the people have the power, and if they are not instructed to sympathize with the intelligent, reading, trading, and governing class, inspired with a taste for the same competitions and prizes, they will upset the fair pageant of Judicature, and perhaps lay a hand on the sacred muniments of wealth itself, and new distribute the land. Religion is taught in the same spirit. The contractors who were building a road out of Baltimore, some years ago, found the Irish laborers quarrelsome and refractory, to a degree that embarrassed the agents, and seriously interrupted the progress of the work. The corporation were advised to call off the police, and build a Catholic chapel; which they did; the priest presently restored order, and the work went on prosperously. Such hints, be sure, are too valuable to be lost. If you do not value the Sabbath, or other religious institutions, give yourself no concern about maintaining them. They have already acquired a market value as conservators of property; and if priest and church-member should fail, the chambers of commerce and the presidents of the Banks, the very innholders and landlords of the county would muster with fury to their support.

Of course, religion in such hands loses its essence. Instead of that reliance, which the soul suggests on the eternity of truth and duty, men are misled into a reliance on institutions, which, the moment they cease to be the instantaneous creations of the devout sentiment, are worthless. Religion among the low becomes low. As it loses its truth, it loses credit with the sagacious. They detect the falsehood of the preaching, but when they say so, all good citizens cry, Hush; do not weaken the state, do not take off the strait jacket from dangerous persons. Every honest fellow must keep up the hoax the best he can; must patronize providence and piety, and wherever he sees anything that will keep men amused, schools or churches or poetry, or picture-galleries or music, or what not, he must cry "Hist-a-boy," and urge the game on. What a compliment we pay to the good SPIRIT with our superserviceable zeal!

But not to balance reasons for and against the establishment any longer, and if it still be asked in this necessity of partial organization, which party on the whole has the highest claims on our sympathy? I bring it home to the private heart, where all such questions must have their final arbitrement. How will every strong and generous mind choose its ground, — with the defenders of the old? or with the seekers of the new? Which is that state which promises to edify a great, brave, and beneficent man; to throw him on his resources, and tax the strength of his character? On which part will each of us find himself in the hour of health and of aspiration?

I understand well the respect of mankind for war, because that breaks up the Chinese stagnation of society, and demonstrates the personal merits of all men. A state of war or anarchy, in which law has little force, is so far valuable, that it puts every man on trial. The man of principle is known as such, and even in the fury of faction is respected. In the civil wars of France, Montaigne alone, among all the French gentry, kept his castle gates unbarred, and made his personal integrity as good at least as a regiment. The man of courage and resources is shown, and the effeminate and base person. Those who rise above war, and those who fall below it, it easily discriminates, as well as those, who, accepting its rude conditions, keep their own head by their own sword.

But in peace and a commercial state we depend, not as we ought, on our knowledge and all men's knowledge that we are honest men, but we cowardly lean on the virtue of others. For it is always at last the virtue of some men in the society, which keeps the law in any reverence and power. Is there not something shameful that I should owe my peaceful occupancy of my house and field, not to the knowledge of my countrymen that I am useful, but to their respect for sundry other reputable persons, I know not whom, whose joint virtues still keep the law in good odor?

It will never make any difference to a hero what the laws are. His greatness will shine and accomplish itself unto the end, whether they second him or not. If he have earned his bread by drudgery, and in the narrow and crooked ways which were all an evil law had left him, he will make it at least honorable by his expenditure. Of the past he will take no heed; for its wrongs he will not hold himself responsible: he will say, all the meanness of my progenitors shall not bereave me of the power to make this hour and company fair and fortunate. Whatsoever streams of power and commodity flow to me, shall of me acquire healing virtue, and become fountains of safety. Cannot I too descend a Redeemer into nature? Whosoever hereafter shall name my name, shall not record a malefactor, but a benefactor in the earth. If there be power in good intention, in fidelity, and in toil, the north wind shall be purer, the stars in heaven shall glow with a kindlier beam, that I have lived. I am primarily engaged to myself to be a public servant of all the gods, to demonstrate to all men that there is intelligence and good will at the heart of things, and ever higher and yet higher leadings. These are my engagements; how can your law further or hinder me in what I shall do to men? On the other hand, these dispositions establish their relations to me. Wherever there is worth, I shall be greeted. Wherever there are men, are the objects of my study and love. Sooner or later all men will be my friends, and will testify in all methods the energy of their regard. I cannot thank your law for my protection. I protect it. It is not in its power to protect me. It is my business to make myself revered. I depend on my honor, my labor, and my dispositions, for my place in the affections of mankind, and not on any conventions or parchments of yours.

But if I allow myself in derelictions, and become idle and dissolute, I quickly come to love the protection of a strong law, because I feel no title in myself to my advantages. To the intemperate and covetous person no love flows; to him mankind would pay no rent, no dividend, if force were once relaxed; nay, if they could give their verdict, they would say, that his self-indulgence and his oppression deserved punishment from society, and not that rich board and lodging he now enjoys. The law acts then as a screen of his unworthiness, and makes him worse the longer it protects him.

In conclusion, to return from this alternation of partial views, to the high platform of universal and necessary history, it is a happiness for mankind that innovation has got on so far, and has so free a field before it. The boldness of the hope men entertain transcends all former experience. It calms and cheers them with the picture of a simple and equal life of truth and piety. And this hope flowered on what tree? It was not imported from the stock of some celestial plant, but grew here on the wild crab of conservatism. It is much that this old and vituperated system of things has borne so fair a child. It predicts that amidst a planet peopled with conservatives, one Reformer may yet be born.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also conservative

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Conservative

Plural
Conservatives

Conservative (plural Conservatives)

  1. Conservative Party
  2. (politics) A member of a political party incorporating the word "Conservative" in its name.
  3. (British, politics) A member of the Conservative party.
  4. (Canadian, politics) A member or supporter of the Conservative Party of Canada, or its predecessors, or provincial equivalents, or their predecessors

Synonyms

Derived terms

See also

Translations


Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

There are many things called Conservative. Some of these are:








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message