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thinkinginpictures
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25 May 2021, 11:40 am

Conservatism - the very word means "to conserve" meaning to preserve existing traditions.
It should mean a lot of different things as every culture has its own traditions.

Usually we say reality is more complex than what's already said, but in the case of Conservatism the opposite is true:

The reality is far more simple than this, as is evident across the globe in every nation which has its conservatives.

Conservatism comes i degrees of a spectrum, but a common denominator for every Conservative on the whole planet is this:

A strong emphasis on coercion, enforced by law through a strong government.

Let's have some examples from history and present day:

In Europe - in every nation across Europe in the 19th century - it was the Conservatives who wanted a limit on free speech (or ban it altogether).

It was the Conservatives who wanted to limit the right to vote to the rich elite, if voting should take place at all.

In present day Conservative governments are found in:

Hungary, Poland and Turkey. They've all banned or limited free speech, especially criticism against the government.

A Free Press no longer exists in Hungary, and in Poland the judges are political, there exists no division of the state powers (as, say, in Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany etc.)

In Iran, the Conservative party is the one closest to the regime, with the liberals wanting more civil rights.

In Saudi Arabia, the entire dictatorship is run by a Conservative interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism.
- Meaning torture and death penalty for just voicing your criticism against the regime.

U.S. Conservatives (Republican Party as well as Conservative Democrats) are no different, as they all support torture and are against basic civil rights like abortion or criticism against religion. Every Conservative in the U.S. wants to ban teaching of Evolution in schools.

We're beginning to see a pattern here: Conservatism always equals Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is only a stronger version of Conservatism. The more conservative you are, the less likely you are to believe in liberty.



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25 May 2021, 12:24 pm

I started to notice a pattern in conservatives after I met my ex and every time I ran into other people online with similar attitudes, they were all conservative. I started to think after a while this was no coincidence.


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25 May 2021, 12:47 pm

If anyone wants a real understanding of Conservatism, they should start with the works of Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) -- an 18th-century philosopher, statesmen, and political theorist.  He is best known for being a founding thinker in modern Conservatism.  He attacked the French Revolution for trying to build an entire society a purely ideological basic, disregarding the tried and true foundations that have kept society running for hundreds of years (i.e., he believed in slow reform rather than revolution).  A lot of what he warned against ended up coming true in the case of the French Revolution, which turned in to a bit of a disaster.  He defended a lot of institutions that the later Socialists (such as Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil) were trying to dismantle, such as the classes, private property, and the aristocracy.

No, I am not defending Conservatism; I am simply directing people toward the source of modern Conservatism.


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thinkinginpictures
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25 May 2021, 1:00 pm

I'm well aware of the works of Edmund Burke, but I don't think it changes anything.

While his predictions came true, there is a correlation between theory and prediction, but the causation does not exist (that fast reforms results in Robespierre's Reign of Terror). Correlation does NOT imply Causation!

Conservatives often fails to understand such basic knowledge.

The fact is that there is nothing inherently wrong in fast reforms like immediately providing Universal Suffrage right away, the right to vote for the poor as well as middle class citizens. Why should the poor be denied the right to vote, if the middle class is allowed the right to vote?

It's exactly such things that defines Conservatism: Bias, censorship, lies and complete ignorance of the difference between correlation and causation.

In addition, there is no reason to defend Aristocracy. Why aristocracy at all? What's the point of having someone born into position of more wealth, privileges and political influence than anyone else, which has got NOTHING what-so-ever to do with things like personal qualifications, hard work, education etc. but based purely on rights from birth?



Last edited by thinkinginpictures on 25 May 2021, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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25 May 2021, 1:09 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
I'm well aware of the works of Edmund Burke, but I don't think it changes anything...
Change?  Who said anything about change?  I presented Burke as the foundational philosopher of modern Conservatism -- nothing more.

But if all you want is for this thread to be your own personal echo-chamber, then have at it.  Go ahead and present your opinions as if they were the Alpha and Omega of all things related to Conservatism.

I will sit back, sip my tea, and have a few good chuckles at your expense.


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thinkinginpictures
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25 May 2021, 1:13 pm

Fnord wrote:
thinkinginpictures wrote:
I'm well aware of the works of Edmund Burke, but I don't think it changes anything...
Change?  Who said anything about change?  I presented Burke as the foundational philosopher of modern Conservatism -- nothing more.

But if all you want is for this thread to be your own personal echo-chamber, then have at it.  Go ahead and present your opinions as if they were the Alpha and Omega of all things related to Conservatism.

I will sit back, sip my tea, and have a few good chuckles at your expense.


I wrote a lot more lines as a reply to the Burke-theory, and you completely ignore all of it.



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25 May 2021, 1:27 pm

I have a pet theory that conservatism, and really all of right-wing politics, is just a reaction to left-wing politics, and all left-wing politics is is any attempt to change society in a way that would ostensibly make it more equal. The left sees some hierarchy that they feel is unjust and wants to do something about it, and the right wants to stop that change for whatever reason. Maybe they don't believe there is inequality or there was but now everything's fine and the left is exaggerating or going too far, maybe they agree about the inequality but think the cure is worse than the disease, or that it's inevitable/natural and not worth it or foolish to try and fix, or in the worst case scenario maybe they like the inequality and benefit from it, think it's a good thing, etc. I'm sure traditionalism and fear of change is wrapped up in this somehow but it seems like "preserving hierarchies" is a common theme.

I'm not a fan of conservatism but I don't think it always equals authoritarianism, I feel like done right it could be a healthy social skepticism (not ALL change is good), and I think it should be obvious left-wing politics can lead to authoritarianism too, in a road to hell is paved with good intentions kind of way.



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25 May 2021, 2:25 pm

usagibryan wrote:
I have a pet theory that conservatism, and really all of right-wing politics, is just a reaction to left-wing politics, and all left-wing politics is is any attempt to change society in a way that would ostensibly make it more equal. The left sees some hierarchy that they feel is unjust and wants to do something about it, and the right wants to stop that change for whatever reason. Maybe they don't believe there is inequality or there was but now everything's fine and the left is exaggerating or going too far, maybe they agree about the inequality but think the cure is worse than the disease, or that it's inevitable/natural and not worth it or foolish to try and fix, or in the worst case scenario maybe they like the inequality and benefit from it, think it's a good thing, etc. I'm sure traditionalism and fear of change is wrapped up in this somehow but it seems like "preserving hierarchies" is a common theme.


I consider myself on the extreme left when viewed in the context of all politics from a historical perspective all the way up to present day.

But I do not believe in equality, but in equal opportunities. I do believe in reforming the welfare benefits, the "government handouts" that is, like the various forms of unemployment benefits, sick relief, disability benefits etc. and only have UBI (Unconditional Basic Income). This will create true liberty for everybody, and some will be rich, some poor and some middle class. But it all doesn't matter, because the poor are not forced to live on the streets nor are they forced to do dangerous or boring work just get food on the table or a roof over their head.

Essentially, I believe in an UBI which allows for a basic income without the requirement of work, but which is gradually levelled with respect to additional income. Say 30 % reduction of UBI for every additional non-UBI income above a certain limit.

Also if you're disabled/cannot work, you get an additional UBI on top of the Basic UBI, but that's it.

Then if you work enough to provide for yourself, even if your UBI becomes 0, you start to earn a lot more money very fast because then you only pay taxes, no more reduction in income.

This whole UBI idea ensures incentive to work, yet provide the freedom to say no to work.

With wage slavery abolished, there's no need for socialism, conservatism or liberalism. We can all get along with our lives and don't waste too much time on stupid politicians.



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25 May 2021, 2:41 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
I'm well aware of the works of Edmund Burke, but I don't think it changes anything.

While his predictions came true, there is a correlation between theory and prediction, but the causation does not exist (that fast reforms results in Robespierre's Reign of Terror). Correlation does NOT imply Causation!

Conservatives often fails to understand such basic knowledge.

The fact is that there is nothing inherently wrong in fast reforms like immediately providing Universal Suffrage right away, the right to vote for the poor as well as middle class citizens. Why should the poor be denied the right to vote, if the middle class is allowed the right to vote?

It's exactly such things that defines Conservatism: Bias, censorship, lies and complete ignorance of the difference between correlation and causation.

In addition, there is no reason to defend Aristocracy. Why aristocracy at all? What's the point of having someone born into position of more wealth, privileges and political influence than anyone else, which has got NOTHING what-so-ever to do with things like personal qualifications, hard work, education etc. but based purely on rights from birth?


Are you stating what conservatism was like in the past or what it is at present?



usagibryan
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25 May 2021, 2:42 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
usagibryan wrote:
I have a pet theory that conservatism, and really all of right-wing politics, is just a reaction to left-wing politics, and all left-wing politics is is any attempt to change society in a way that would ostensibly make it more equal. The left sees some hierarchy that they feel is unjust and wants to do something about it, and the right wants to stop that change for whatever reason. Maybe they don't believe there is inequality or there was but now everything's fine and the left is exaggerating or going too far, maybe they agree about the inequality but think the cure is worse than the disease, or that it's inevitable/natural and not worth it or foolish to try and fix, or in the worst case scenario maybe they like the inequality and benefit from it, think it's a good thing, etc. I'm sure traditionalism and fear of change is wrapped up in this somehow but it seems like "preserving hierarchies" is a common theme.


I consider myself on the extreme left when viewed in the context of all politics from a historical perspective all the way up to present day.

But I do not believe in equality, but in equal opportunities. I do believe in reforming the welfare benefits, the "government handouts" that is, like the various forms of unemployment benefits, sick relief, disability benefits etc. and only have UBI (Unconditional Basic Income). This will create true liberty for everybody, and some will be rich, some poor and some middle class. But it all doesn't matter, because the poor are not forced to live on the streets nor are they forced to do dangerous or boring work just get food on the table or a roof over their head.

Essentially, I believe in an UBI which allows for a basic income without the requirement of work, but which is gradually levelled with respect to additional income. Say 30 % reduction of UBI for every additional non-UBI income above a certain limit.

Also if you're disabled/cannot work, you get an additional UBI on top of the Basic UBI, but that's it.

Then if you work enough to provide for yourself, even if your UBI becomes 0, you start to earn a lot more money very fast because then you only pay taxes, no more reduction in income.

This whole UBI idea ensures incentive to work, yet provide the freedom to say no to work.

With wage slavery abolished, there's no need for socialism, conservatism or liberalism. We can all get along with our lives and don't waste too much time on stupid politicians.


I think the equality of outcome vs opportunity was always a bit of a strawman. To me it comes down to a couple things, first there's the argument about freedom and how you define freedom. I don't think the "freedom to starve" or the freedom to choose between a handful of sh***y options is really freedom. Freedom is being able to self-actualize. I think the right likes to focus on the dichotomy between positive and negative freedom but I think this is a false dichotomy, lack of access to something is a legitimate obstacle. Standards for quality of life change over time too, I think for example everyone should have access to the internet. Even though the internet is an incredibly new thing in history I feel like it should be considered a public good rather than a luxury. It's something that can provide opportunity (for say, school children in poor countries, etc).

I agree with the idea of UBI (idk if it works but I like the idea of it) and that providing opportunity, standards of living, safety nets, etc, so that people can focus on bettering themselves vs where their next meal is is a way to provide liberty.

There's also this idea, really popular on the left now, of the zero-sum game, that if there are billionaires then someone is getting the short end of the stick. I agree no one necessarily NEEDS 12 yachts and if feeding 1000 people means a billionaire giving up a yacht then f**k his yacht, but I honestly don't know if it's that simple.



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25 May 2021, 2:50 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:

Essentially, I believe in an UBI which allows for a basic income without the requirement of work, but which is gradually levelled with respect to additional income. Say 30 % reduction of UBI for every additional non-UBI income above a certain limit.

Also if you're disabled/cannot work, you get an additional UBI on top of the Basic UBI, but that's it.

Then if you work enough to provide for yourself, even if your UBI becomes 0, you start to earn a lot more money very fast because then you only pay taxes, no more reduction in income.

This whole UBI idea ensures incentive to work, yet provide the freedom to say no to work.

With wage slavery abolished, there's no need for socialism, conservatism or liberalism. We can all get along with our lives and don't waste too much time on stupid politicians.


That goes against the whole point of universal basic income. It supposed to be universal. Why should someone who works 60 hour weeks in a factory not be entitled to any because his/her income is too high?

It's unfair to tax someone working 60 hours a week while someone else who chooses not to work gets a mandatory salary for doing nothing. I think the benefits system in the UK at least is very generous and generally does a good job of catching people who are in trouble. I never seen the need for universal basic incomes.



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25 May 2021, 3:01 pm

Nades wrote:
It's unfair to tax someone working 60 hours a week while someone else who chooses not to work gets a mandatory salary for doing nothing. I think the benefits system in the UK at least is very generous and generally does a good job of catching people who are in trouble. I never seen the need for universal basic incomes.


Those who choose not to work are paid less than those who choose to work. The point of the UBI idea is to make work a true voluntary decision, not something you do out of neccessity or even worse - fear of punishment.

You work, because it's always nice to have more money. But it's not a requirement for making a living.

On the UK benefits system, do I have to remind you of the Atos Death Toll?

Genuinly disabled and sick people were sent to work assessments which only damage their health further, and thousands have died because of this.

It was a Conservative idea to kill the disabled people in the UK using this method.

Please do a search on "Atos Death Toll".

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... wp-figures



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25 May 2021, 3:13 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
Nades wrote:
It's unfair to tax someone working 60 hours a week while someone else who chooses not to work gets a mandatory salary for doing nothing. I think the benefits system in the UK at least is very generous and generally does a good job of catching people who are in trouble. I never seen the need for universal basic incomes.


Those who choose not to work are paid less than those who choose to work. The point of the UBI idea is to make work a true voluntary decision, not something you do out of neccessity or even worse - fear of punishment.

You work, because it's always nice to have more money. But it's not a requirement for making a living.


Yeah but not working or working 60 hour weeks and on 100k a year, they should get the same UBI. Making more money is only worthwhile if it's proportional. Even in conservative countries, people who work usually pay increasingly higher bands of tax and people who don't get benefits varying from crap to extremely generous depending on circumstances. Getting 20k a year UBI for no work while someone who makes 60k a year for 60 hours a week paying 20k tax is only twice as much money in the bank for what I see as considerably more than twice as much "work". It's just hypothetical but you see where I'm coming from.

Money aside. The conservative party here is not doing anything particularly bad. I think the taxes and benefits are fair, social issues are mostly fair and people are left to their own devices.

I've heard of ATOS too. I think they were somewhat oblivious as to what was going on behind the scenes and the change in benefits system was incompetently implemented.