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Old 12-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
renard_ruse
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What is conservatism?

I frequently see liberals on the internet try to deflect from their own hypocrisy by claiming that "conservatism" is "hypocritical" (they always put "conservatism" in quotes for some reason, I guess to show an extra level of contempt for it).

Generally, they attempt to pit economic conservatism against social conservatism, usually claiming that social conservatism isn't the true conservatism and is illegitimate because in their "argument" it sometimes contradicts the laissez faire attitudes of economic conservatism.

What is the relation between economic conservatism and social conservatism? Which is the true basis of the ideology?

Keep in mind many people who try to pit the two against each other have an ulterior agenda, they are often wealthy socially liberal rich people, gays, angry young "libertarians" who don't want "anyone to tell me what to do," or are DNC activists trying to disrupt their opponents' political coalition.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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What is conservatism?

Something the other guy should practice.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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...gays...
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Both Conservatism and Liberalism are difficult to define, mostly because they are the wrong words. The literal meaning of the words have very little to do with the philosophies practiced by their adherents.

Better terms would be "Big government proponents" and "Limited government proponents." If we could switch to something like that, then we could get somewhere.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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I am not an economic conservative, therefore I don't consider myself a "conservative." I consider myself "right wing" and nationalist, not "conservative." I also don't like the way economic and foreign policy "conservatives" have hijacked the "right wing" in many western countries since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. To me, the real right wing is NOT economically laissez faire at all. It isn't socialist either. Its pragmatic and non-ideological about economic issues, whatever is best for the greater good of the national body is the right policy. Usually, however, that means capitalism because history has shown it works best. Also, as a social conservative, I believe that lazy people who don't want to work are fundamentally immoral and shouldn't get hand outs from the government. If they can pick enough cans out of the trash or get fools to give them handouts (not the government) then I support their right not to work.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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In fact, economic conservatism used to be called liberalism until socialists hijacked liberalism. Personally, I don't support liberalism in any form, either classical or contemporary.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Have you ever taken a really good, hard dump, renard?
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Have you ever taken a really good, hard dump, renard?
It could help with his sinuses...
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Read Garry Wills Nixon Agonistes, ruse.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:06 PM   #10
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Normally I would refrain but I just can't help but take a stab at conservatism.

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Originally Posted by renard_ruse View Post
I frequently see liberals on the internet try to deflect from their own hypocrisy by claiming that "conservatism" is "hypocritical" (they always put "conservatism" in quotes for some reason, I guess to show an extra level of contempt for it).
Put it in quotes b/c few of the ass clowns who claim to be actually are. They will flip flop over to die hard communism if it means getting shit on "That nigger in the white house!" 's shoes, and we have all seen/quoted most of the Lit RWCJ doing exactly that.

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Originally Posted by renard_ruse View Post
Generally, they attempt to pit economic conservatism against social conservatism, usually claiming that social conservatism isn't the true conservatism and is illegitimate because in their "argument" it sometimes contradicts the laissez faire attitudes of economic conservatism.
Exactly....you can't go claiming you're all pro freedom and then be a victim when that exact same freedom you have pushed for bites you in the ass.

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Originally Posted by renard_ruse View Post
What is the relation between economic conservatism and social conservatism? Which is the true basis of the ideology?
"Freedom for everyone!! Unless they are different, then fuck em!" about sums it up.

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Originally Posted by renard_ruse View Post
I am not an economic conservative, therefore I don't consider myself a "conservative." I consider myself "right wing" and nationalist, not "conservative." I also don't like the way economic and foreign policy "conservatives" have hijacked the "right wing" in many western countries since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. To me, the real right wing is NOT economically laissez faire at all. It isn't socialist either. Its pragmatic and non-ideological about economic issues, whatever is best for the greater good of the national body is the right policy.
Oh it's about the greater good now?? Hmmmm where have I herd that before.


Good to know that's where "conservatism" is headed...fuck individuals it's all about the greater good.

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Usually, however, that means capitalism because history has shown it works best.
Actually free market capitalism sucks ass and history has shown repeatedly that it FAILS horribly when left to it's own devices. Try reading a book sometime...or better yet go to your local CC and take a fucking class.

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Also, as a social conservative, I believe that lazy people who don't want to work are fundamentally immoral and shouldn't get hand outs from the government. If they can pick enough cans out of the trash or get fools to give them handouts (not the government) then I support their right not to work.
That's fine...you lost years ago.

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Old 12-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Conservatism is no more controversial than the conventional wisdom all use to navigate life with. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, mind your own business, take responsibility for your problems and goals, save for a rainy day, etc.

Lemme see if I can find the official list.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #12
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http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/...ve-principles/

Conservative principles.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:12 PM   #13
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Conservatism is no more controversial than the conventional wisdom all use to navigate life with. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, mind your own business, take responsibility for your problems and goals, save for a rainy day, etc.

Lemme see if I can find the official list.
Except the "Mind your own business" and "Take responsibility" are a lie...

They are all up in gay peoples business...trying to tell them their 200 bucks for a marriage licence isn't as valid as a strait persons 200 bucks. It doesn't even effect them but they have to butt in and tell the gay community they aren't worthy of the same legal protection strait people are entitled to.

Take responsibility?

How about being getting butt hurt when a company fires someone...for ANY fucking reason they want!! They don't even need a reason according to you guys.

Still baffled what the RW'ingers problem is with A&E firing the duck guy.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #14
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eatin' cornbread instead of store bought bread, drinkin' water from the tap instead of from a plastic bottle, making our own butter and soap on and on........
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #15
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eatin' cornbread instead of store bought bread, drinkin' water from the tap instead of from a plastic bottle, making our own butter and soap on and on........
I think the word you're looking for is conservationist?
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #16
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Conservativism is a political philosophy that loudly claims to value limited government, yet is willing to expand government without limit in order to impose their personal moral code upon everyone.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:22 PM   #17
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Conservativism is a political philosophy that loudly claims to value limited government, yet is willing to expand government without limit in order to impose their personal moral code upon everyone.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #18
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I would have said that conservatism is fiscal conservatism, the belief that the government should be careful with the people's money, not spending more of it than necessary, and certainly not more than it collects.

Furthermore, I would have said that conservatism is conservation- being a good caretaker to God's creation, protecting and preserving it.

Rush Limbaugh pointed out the error of my ways. He informed me that I am in fact a kook. That Conservatism is whatever he says it is, usually Reaganism.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #19
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Have you ever taken a really good, hard dump, renard?
Yes he did. And you came out.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:43 PM   #20
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Yes he did. And you came out.
That's awfully 3rd grade of you, zippy...

...good job!
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #21
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That's awfully 3rd grade of you, zippy...

...good job!
Lol, as opposed to the incredibly mature comment you made?

But it was still a good one so thanks!
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #22
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From the TVTropes UsefulNotes page on Political Ideologies:

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Conservatism

Problems immediately arise when attempting to define "conservatism" because the term does not refer to any specific single ideology. The word has been used by many different political groups in many different ways, usually peddling wildly-divergent and often flatly-contradictory political programs. Of course, this has to do with the fact that "conserving" the current state of society does mean a different thing in different countries and, more important, different times. Restoring society as it was in the past is a different thing altogether; that would be reactionary.

Historically, in British political philosophy, conservatism does have a fixed definition, although it doesn't refer so much to a political ideology as much as it refers to a skeptical attitude towards political ideologies.

Conservatism is in many ways more about knowledge than about politics. The French Revolution was philosophically motivated by very strong Rene Descartes-style rationalism (i.e. the belief that all truth can be worked out by making logical deductions from first principles). Conservatism, a product of the Counter-Enlightenment, is based on a rejection of this philosophy. Rather, conservatives tend to be very cautious about new ideas. They tend to focus on practical matters and "what has worked before" rather than what would necessarily be the "best" thing to do. Conservatism is very suspicious of ideologies that claim to have all the answers. In short, conservatism is skeptical and cautious about novelty, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies.

This translates into a reverence for tradition. Tradition is seen as something that has survived a very long time because it has been useful. It is also seen as vital to the maintenance of order and social stability. It is order and social stability that are the key values of British-style conservatism; this is a great contrast to liberalism's prioritization of human freedom above all else. Edmund Burke has often been called the father of conservatism (although he has not always been classified as a conservative and there is still some dissension about whether he qualifies as one). While maintaining liberal goals, he was very concerned with maintaining social stability. Traditions and social institutions should not be summarily cast aside, according to Burke, as they prevent society from descending into chaos. A society is a partnership between the living, the dead, and the unborn, and they must all be considered when dealing with national policy. It may surprise many that Burke was actually a Whig (the liberal party in Britain at the time), but he was a staunch supporter of British liberties because they were ancient national traditions, rather than universal rights of any sort.

Another British philosopher that exhibited this attitude is Michael Oakeshott. His work is much more obviously conservative (in the British sense) than even Burke (Burke, for one, can be read as a liberal and arguably had significant influence on the very classically liberal economist Friedrich von Hayek; perhaps even more surprisingly to modern readers, he has been an influence on the proto-anarchist William Godwin and on Marxists such as Harold Laski and C. B. Macpherson). Arguably, Oakeshott is the Trope Codifier for British conservatism; he was anti-rationalist, staunchly empiricist to the point of outright skepticism, and as a result argued that our traditions were the only things we had in order to guide our social organizations.

Besides British conservative thought, there was also a notable Continental trend, known as French or Latin conservatism and developed by the other father of conservatism, Joseph de Maistre. Both varieties put an emphasis on tradition and are skeptical of 18th-Century rationalism. The difference, however, is in how far they are willing to go. While Burke's conservatism can roughly be boiled down to a doctrine of political skepticism, Maistre's variety is much stronger. Originally a cautious supporter of the French Revolution, Maistre grew to despise it, and after the revolutionary French army invaded his native Savoy, he began to advocate a strictly counter-revolutionary doctrine of hierarchic order, religion (specifically, Catholicism) and monarchism.

Maistre reasoned, backing himself with Biblical references, that traditional order is not just "good because it works" but it is good in itself — instead of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", he went for "if it was meant to be broken, God would do it by now". His stance on monarchy was that any attempt to derive the right to rule on rational ground leads to discussions over the legitimacy of government, and to question the government is to call for chaos. Thus, a government should be based on non-rational grounds, e.g. religion (through the Divine Right of Kings, and papal recognition — after all, you can argue what best serves the common interest, but how can you disprove "because God said so"?), which the subjects wouldn't be allowed, or even able to question.

By now, it is a good time to return to Burke: because his branch of conservatism allows for change, as long as proper caution is exercised, it is known as evolutionary. Maistre's branch, on the other hand, considers even a small change too much; it is also willing to actively fight to restore the old order where it's been removed, a thing Burke's conservatism would rarely if ever advocate. For this reason, Maistre's conservatism is called reactionary.

It is when we look at American conservatism that things get confusing. "Conservative" as used in the US is not an ideology, but rather a coalition of many different ideological groups. Many self-proclaimed conservatives are ideologically classical liberals! There are also self-proclaimed Oakeshottians in American conservatism as well, such as Andrew Sullivan.

Religious conservatism is a strong element in American conservatism, but it differs from any of the previous subgroups of conservatism (it is probably closest to Maistre's branch). Like British-style conservatives, religious conservatives argue that specific traditions are vital for social stability and thus deserve State protection. However, unlike British-style conservatives, they argue that it is adherence to a specific set of religious traditions and moral beliefs that keep society together, and they also (very much unlike British-style conservatives) are not skeptical about the possibility of knowledge. Rather, they argue faith is a means to perfect knowledge. This attitude is neither Enlightenment or Counter-Enlightenment; it is a pre-Enlightenment attitude.

Another American phenomenon is the infamous neoconservatism. Developed during the Seventies, it has been initially described as the ideology of "socialists for Nixon" or a "[US-style] liberal mugged by reality" — former leftists who have moved to the conservative camp after becoming disillusioned with their own. As such, neoconservatism shares tenets of US-style conservatism, such as democracy and free markets, with the progressive attitude and revolutionary tendencies of the Left. Thus, neoconservatives have been known for their approval of welfare and big government. In the economy, they support capitalism but endorse state interventionism. However, neoconservatism has garnered most of its criticism from its foreign policies, where these progressive tendencies resulted in doctrine of belligerency, a disdain for diplomacy, and aggressive promotion of capitalist democracy. Altogether, this might've been forgettable, but then the terrorist attack of 9/11 happened, and...

Of course, American conservatism is still fundamentally a coalition of varying ideological groups. Thus, there have been many attempts to bridge these philosophical differences. For instance, Frank Meyer of the conservative National Review magazine argued classical liberals (known as "libertarians" because in the US, "liberal" refers to an electoral coalition of social liberals and social democrats) should argue for the use of classical liberal policies as means to conservative goals. William F. Buckley Jr, also of the National Review, argued in a very Oakeshott-like manner that conservatism is fundamentally based on skepticism and caution about new ideas, and thus a preference for tradition and against ideology. However, he also argued for the incorporation of both religious conservatism and classical liberalism, primarily because they all faced the common enemy of Soviet-style communism.

In short, British-style conservatism is characterized by an aversion to rationalistic and/or ideology-based political programs and instead a preference for proven, pragmatic policies in the pursuit of maintaining social order by protecting established traditions from radical change. Latin-style conservatism is British-style taken Up to Eleven with a strong religious and optionally monarchist element. American-style conservatism is based on an unstable coalition of British-style conservatism, religious conservatism, and classical liberalism, in varying proportions depending on numerous variables.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:44 PM   #23
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From The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, by conservative British journalists John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge:

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The exceptionalism of the American Right is partly a matter of its beliefs. The first two definitions of "conservative" offered by the Concise Oxford Dictionary are "adverse to rapid change" and "moderate, avoiding extremes." Neither of these seems a particularly good description of what is going on in America at the moment. "Conservatism" -- no less than its foes "liberalism" or "communitarianism" -- has become one of those words that are now as imprecise as they are emotionally charged. Open a newspaper and you can find the word used to describe Jacques Chirac, Trent Lott, the Mullah Omar and Vladimir Putin. Since time immemorial, conservatives have insisted that their deeply pragmatic creed cannot be ideologically pigeonholed.

But, in philosophical terms at least, classical conservatism does mean something. The creed of Edmund Burke, its most eloquent proponent, might be crudely reduced to six principles: a deep suspicion of the power of the state; a preference for liberty over equality; patriotism; a belief in established institutions and hierarchies; skepticism about the idea of progress; and elitism. Winston Churchill happily accepted these principles: he was devoted to nation and empire, disinclined to trust the lower orders with anything, hostile to the welfare state, worried about the diminution of liberty and, as he once remarked ruefully, "preferred the past to the present and the present to the future."

To simplify a little, the exceptionalism of modern American conservatism lies in its exaggeration of the first three of Burke's principles and contradiction of the last three. The American Right exhibits a far deeper hostility towards the state than any other modern conservative party. . . . The American right is also more obsessed with personal liberty than any other conservative party, and prepared to tolerate an infinitely higher level of inequality. (One reason why Burke warmed to the American revolutionaries was that, unlike their dangerous French equivalents, the gentlemen rebels concentrated on freedom, not equality.) On patriotism, nobody can deny that conservatives everywhere tend to be a fairly nationalistic bunch. . . . Yet many European conservatives have accepted the idea that their nationality should be diluted in "schemes and speculations" like the European Union, and they are increasingly reconciled to dealing with national security on a multilateral basis. American conservatives clearly are not.

If the American Right was merely a more vigorous form of conservatism, then it would be a lot more predictable. In fact, the American Right takes a resolutely liberal approach to Burke's last three principles: hierarchy, pessimism and elitism. The heroes of modern American conservatism are not paternalist squires but rugged individualists who don't know their place: entrepeneurs who build mighty businesses out of nothing, settlers who move out West, and, of course, the cowboy. There is a frontier spirit to the Right -- unsurprisingly, since so much of its heartland is made up of new towns of one sort of another.

The geography of conservatism also helps to explain its optimism rather than pessimism. In the war between the Dynamo and the Virgin, as Henry Adams characterized the battle between progress and tradition, most American conservatives are on the side of the Dynamo. They think that the world offers all sorts of wonderful possibilities. And they feel that the only thing that is preventing people from attaining these possibilities is the dead liberal hand of the past. By contrast, Burke has been described flatteringly by European conservatives as a "prophet of the past." Spend any time with a group of Republicans, and their enthusiasm for the future can be positively exhausting.

As for elitism, rather than dreaming about creating an educated "clerisy" of clever rulers (as Coleridge and T.S. Eliot did), the Republicans ever since the 1960s have played the populist card. Richard Nixon saw himself as the champion of the "silent majority." In 1988 the aristocratic George H.W. Bush presented himself as a defender of all-American values against the Harvard Yard liberalism of Michael Dukakis. In 2000, George W. Bush, a president's son who was educated at Andover, Yale and Harvard Business School, played up his role as a down-to-earth Texan taking on the might of Washington. As a result, modern American conservatism has flourished not just in country clubs and boardrooms, but at the grass roots -- on talk radio and at precinct meetings, and in revolts against high taxes, the regulation of firearms and other invidious attempts by liberal do-gooders to force honest Americans into some predetermined mold.
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"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

-- Justice Louis D. Brandeis

"I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable, but the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. . . . Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right."

-- Thomas Jefferson
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #24
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From the TVTropes UsefulNotes page on Political Ideologies:
Conservatism is not an ideology. Conservatism is based on Reason, reality, knowledge, human experience, and traditions that have proven to hold the civil society together. It's centered on the individual and his free will.

Liberals believe through ideology, a ridgid set of ideas, how society ought to be organized and will continue to exercise that belief though their endeavors do not work. Marx never had any consideration for the individual, his traditions, his experience, his free will. He had a Utopian master plan to be imposed on everyone.

Obama continues to believe in Obamacare because he has a Utopian ideology that dictates a grand plan that supports organizing the national health care industry,, and society in general, around an ideology of centralized government control, Reason, knowledge, and experience, not ideology, tells conservatives this is tyranny.

To Marx and Obama the individual, his experience, his free will, his reason, his knowledge, all get in the way of their ideology, it all gets in the way of their new society; a society they want to build based on their ideology, not on reason, knowledge, experience, or free will.

Locke wrote an essay in 1690 "an essay concerning human understanding"

Locke taught us the individual has value and significance and that society should be organized around him; that knowledge comes from experience and reason, and those should determine the structure of a free society.

Marx like Obama because of their ideology cared nothing for the individual and his experience, but for the one size fits all collective, based on their reason alone.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetteman View Post
Conservatism is not an ideology. Conservatism is based on Reason, reality, knowledge, human experience, and traditions that have proven to hold the civil society together. It's centered on the individual and his free will.

Liberals believe through ideology, a ridgid set of ideas, how society ought to be organized and will continue to exercise that belief though their endeavors do not work. Marx never had any consideration for the individual, his traditions, his experience, his free will. He had a Utopian master plan to be imposed on everyone.

Obama continues to believe in Obamacare because he has a Utopian ideology that dictates a grand plan that supports organizing the national health care industry,, and society in general, around an ideology of centralized government control, Reason, knowledge, and experience, not ideology, tells conservatives this is tyranny.

To Marx and Obama the individual, his experience, his free will, his reason, his knowledge, all get in the way of their ideology, it all gets in the way of their new society; a society they want to build based on their ideology, not on reason, knowledge, experience, or free will.

Locke wrote an essay in 1690 "an essay concerning human understanding"

Locke taught us the individual has value and significance and that society should be organized around him; that knowledge comes from experience and reason, and those should determine the structure of a free society.

Marx like Obama because of their ideology cared nothing for the individual and his experience, but for the one size fits all collective, based on their reason alone.
You're totally not drunk or senile. Nope, not at all.
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