Define Conservative
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corey michael
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:53 am    Post subject: Define Conservative Reply with quote
What does conservative mean to you?

In your explanation, please clarify whether you consider yourself conservative or not.

I'm just wondering because I know throughout history and in different countries, the people's definitions of conservativism has changed.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:04 am    Post subject: Re: Define Conservative Reply with quote
corey michael wrote:
What does conservative mean to you?

In your explanation, please clarify whether you consider yourself conservative or not.

I'm just wondering because I know throughout history and in different countries, the people's definitions of conservativism has changed.


Conservatives fight for a small federal government, more states' rights, against most Socialist ideals (Conservatives like things like the military, police force, etc.), Conservatives want Capitalism, traditional values, and a strong national defense, including a tight border control. I am a Conservative that leans a bit toward the Libertarian side.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Conservatism was first given ideological rigor by the Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who railed against what he saw as the excesses of the French Revolution. It is quite difficult to say precisely what it is, but there are some general features that one could call unique. Primary among these is the fact that conservatism respects the wisdom and experience of past generations, meaning it is somewhat reluctant to agree to abrupt and sudden change. This does not mean that conservatism is opposed to change, as is often erroneously thought, but only that it is more skeptical of the future than of the collective and shared values of the past. Other than that, I'm afraid one would have to define conservatism in its relation to other ideologies. In the past two centuries, conservative ideology has been mostly reactive and negativistic. It has not really offered any positive arguments to what it is and what it envisions the world as being; it has mostly just analyzed events and offered its take on them, but always in the context of events.

Obviously I think Mike's definition is a little (nevermind...VERY) inappropriate, as that applies more to classical liberalism rather than conservatism, but I realize that Mike was speaking in an American context. And as I said in another post, I am a liberal, so hopefully this post wasn't too biased.
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corey michael
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
Conservatism was first given ideological rigor by the Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who railed against what he saw as the excesses of the French Revolution. It is quite difficult to say precisely what it is, but there are some general features that one could call unique. Primary among these is the fact that conservatism respects the wisdom and experience of past generations, meaning it is somewhat reluctant to agree to abrupt and sudden change. This does not mean that conservatism is opposed to change, as is often erroneously thought, but only that it is more skeptical of the future than of the collective and shared values of the past. Other than that, I'm afraid one would have to define conservatism in its relation to other ideologies. In the past two centuries, conservative ideology has been mostly reactive and negativistic. It has not really offered any positive arguments to what it is and what it envisions the world as being; it has mostly just analyzed events and offered its take on them, but always in the context of events.

Obviously I think Mike's definition is a little (nevermind...VERY) inappropriate, as that applies more to classical liberalism rather than conservatism, but I realize that Mike was speaking in an American context. And as I said in another post, I am a liberal, so hopefully this post wasn't too biased.


lol
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
Conservatism was first given ideological rigor by the Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who railed against what he saw as the excesses of the French Revolution. It is quite difficult to say precisely what it is, but there are some general features that one could call unique. Primary among these is the fact that conservatism respects the wisdom and experience of past generations, meaning it is somewhat reluctant to agree to abrupt and sudden change. This does not mean that conservatism is opposed to change, as is often erroneously thought, but only that it is more skeptical of the future than of the collective and shared values of the past. Other than that, I'm afraid one would have to define conservatism in its relation to other ideologies. In the past two centuries, conservative ideology has been mostly reactive and negativistic. It has not really offered any positive arguments to what it is and what it envisions the world as being; it has mostly just analyzed events and offered its take on them, but always in the context of events.

Obviously I think Mike's definition is a little (nevermind...VERY) inappropriate, as that applies more to classical liberalism rather than conservatism, but I realize that Mike was speaking in an American context. And as I said in another post, I am a liberal, so hopefully this post wasn't too biased.


I was merely answering the question "What does Conservatism mean to ME?" I'm sorry if you don't follow the same belief as I do, but not everyone has the same beliefs. Also, it seems a majority of your reply focuses on the Conservative resistance to change, and I addressed that in my definition, so I don't know where you're getting anything "very inappropriate" in my definition. Also, my beliefs are not the beliefs of every Conservative, this is just my political understanding. Everyone has a different perception of Socialism, Libertarianism, Facism, and Liberalism as well.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well I don't really want a confrontation, and it's perfectly fine to answer the question on your own terms, but your statements were a little presumptuous in and of themselves. This, "Conservatives fight for a small federal government, more states' rights, against most Socialist ideals (Conservatives like things like the military, police force, etc.), Conservatives want Capitalism, traditional values, and a strong national defense, including a tight border control" is an American-influenced reply. The thing is that liberals also fight for those things, and have fought for them longer than anyone really knew what a conservative even was. One of the thing that always troubles me is when conservatives tend to take credit for things that were liberal creations, like....that governments should be small, that societies should be organized around free markets, and so on. I have no problem if you are a conservative, whatever that means to you, but there is something of a problem when you say "conservative this," because what's more likely the case is "liberal this," "liberal realized it wasn't working perfectly," "liberal forsaked it," and "conservative took it over," now saying it belongs to it.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
Well I don't really want a confrontation, and it's perfectly fine to answer the question on your own terms, but your statements were a little presumptuous in and of themselves. This, "Conservatives fight for a small federal government, more states' rights, against most Socialist ideals (Conservatives like things like the military, police force, etc.), Conservatives want Capitalism, traditional values, and a strong national defense, including a tight border control" is an American-influenced reply. The thing is that liberals also fight for those things, and have fought for them longer than anyone really knew what a conservative even was. One of the thing that always troubles me is when conservatives tend to take credit for things that were liberal creations, like....that governments should be small, that societies should be organized around free markets, and so on. I have no problem if you are a conservative, whatever that means to you, but there is something of a problem when you say "conservative this," because what's more likely the case is "liberal this," "liberal realized it wasn't working perfectly," "liberal forsaked it," and "conservative took it over," now saying it belongs to it.


lol, sorry, I didn't mean to sound aggressive or anything, I guess that's just me. I guess I was just talking about modern Conservatism, rather than early Conservatism, and I am well aware that Classic Liberals (like FDR) may very well be considered Conservative in this day and age. This is, in my opinion, the result of our country moving farther and farther left. Even the Republican party has forsaken true right-wingers.
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JesusLopezViejo
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
corey michael wrote:
CryxicKiller wrote:
Conservatism was first given ideological rigor by the Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who railed against what he saw as the excesses of the French Revolution. It is quite difficult to say precisely what it is, but there are some general features that one could call unique. Primary among these is the fact that conservatism respects the wisdom and experience of past generations, meaning it is somewhat reluctant to agree to abrupt and sudden change. This does not mean that conservatism is opposed to change, as is often erroneously thought, but only that it is more skeptical of the future than of the collective and shared values of the past. Other than that, I'm afraid one would have to define conservatism in its relation to other ideologies. In the past two centuries, conservative ideology has been mostly reactive and negativistic. It has not really offered any positive arguments to what it is and what it envisions the world as being; it has mostly just analyzed events and offered its take on them, but always in the context of events.

Obviously I think Mike's definition is a little (nevermind...VERY) inappropriate, as that applies more to classical liberalism rather than conservatism, but I realize that Mike was speaking in an American context. And as I said in another post, I am a liberal, so hopefully this post wasn't too biased.


lol


double lol?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
Well I don't really want a confrontation


Hahaha... riiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt...
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well Mike...FDR was no classical liberal. The latter would have been, and were, very disappointed in FDR because of his economic policies that incited government intervention. Classical liberals largely believed in a purely free-market economy. But on the larger point: you are speaking about the issue more in American terms, whereas I'm trying to give a quasi-global definition of the conservative movement in recent human history. I suppose there is nothing wrong either way, but only as long as we realize what specific area we are talking about. There is something wrong with throwing terms around with little care.
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exton
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've always considered conservative to be equal to its original meaning - promoting the status quo.

It's been perverted these last few decades, obviously.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Define Conservative Reply with quote
corey michael wrote:
What does conservative mean to you?

In your explanation, please clarify whether you consider yourself conservative or not.

I'm just wondering because I know throughout history and in different countries, the people's definitions of conservativism has changed.


Historically, lets begin in the origin of left and right wing.

The French Revolution. It was seating conservatives on the Right, and liberals(radicals) on the left.( similar views they sat together, you can still see this in Congress)Conservative, back then was simpley more moderate to people who wanted to be more conserving of the way the gov was run. Little change, while liberals(radicals) wanted rapid and massive change quickly. I am not sure how this ended up into american politics. As this is not nessicarily the political standings of modern Conservatives and Liberals.

The views today are conducted by the "general" republican party or liberal party. So in my opionon most "representitives" of these parties just revoice an objective of the "general" party. Nothing, outside of the "general" view, or they are disclaimed from that group with, slander and all this other crap I hear on TV and such.
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Joshua1978
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
My definition of a conservative is one who believes in three basic principles. Individual freedom, Absolute free market, and of course state soveriegnty. Living freely is not liberal it is conseravtive. When you are preserving your own beliefs and lifestyle against unwanted radical change you are making your own status quo. So to live freely is to be conservative.
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PeaceLoveandRockNRoll
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Joshua1978 wrote:
My definition of a conservative is one who believes in three basic principles. Individual freedom, Absolute free market, and of course state soveriegnty. Living freely is not liberal it is conseravtive. When you are preserving your own beliefs and lifestyle against unwanted radical change you are making your own status quo. So to live freely is to be conservative.
That's an interesting thought... so, terrorists and flagrant anti-war protesters are acting conservatively by aggressively defending their own belief systems? And by state sovereignty, are you looking for a small government in which the people work on their own to defend their beliefs against competing movements and trends? Because to me, the logical extension of that philosophy would be that the government would legislate minimally, and only in cases in which someone has clearly been directly wronged and is unable to defend him/herself, and defense of the peoples' private and collective values otherwise falls to individuals. Am I correct here?
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Joshua1978 wrote:
My definition of a conservative is one who believes in three basic principles. Individual freedom, Absolute free market, and of course state soveriegnty. Living freely is not liberal it is conseravtive. When you are preserving your own beliefs and lifestyle against unwanted radical change you are making your own status quo. So to live freely is to be conservative.


No....I appreciate the attempt at ingenuity, but this post is horribly misguided. I can also surmise that it is mostly your opinion and is not compatible with three or so centuries of literature on the subject. The very conceptions of freedom and liberty that you espouse have liberal origins; that's why we speak of 'negative liberty' or 'positive liberty.' The former states, to oversimplify a little, that liberty/freedom is experienced in the absence of coercion whereas the latter states that liberty/freedom can be asserted by individuals on their own terms. Those are very much liberal concepts; for example, one of the greatest liberal philosophers of all time, Isaiah Berlin, argued for negative liberty.

"Radical change" is a difficult term to define, but even using our intuitive understanding, liberalism does not always mean radical change. After all, if liberalism achieved all of its objectives, it wouldn't seek any more changes! Liberals don't ask for change for the sake of asking for change; they believe there are things in the world that need to be improved. If those things are improved, then that issue dies out and no more change is called for. A long time ago, for example, slavery was on the minds of many liberals, but it's now an issue that's been decisively settled in human affairs (for the good, might I add). The very idea that our world can get better is also a liberal notion dating from the Enlightenment period. Before then, people generally did not think that their lives would improve; they mostly expected to live as their predecessors had done.

" Individual freedom, Absolute free market, and of course state soveriegnty"

Every single one of those is a liberal principle. Literally....every single one. This is like re-inventing the wheel. You've just basically highlighted some of the main tenets of classical liberalism. I suggest you take a good look at this site (the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on liberalism):

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberalism/

You'll find that your definition, though valiant, is tautologous.
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