If you Google “what is conservatism?” this is the definition you will receive:
“Commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation.”
This is but one more illustration of the lack of objectivity wherever the Left is in control.
The idea that conservatism means, by definition, “opposition to change or innovation” is nothing more than how liberals and leftists see conservatism. Why? Because the farther left you go, the greater the commitment to change and innovation. “Change” and “Innovation” are left-wing gods. That is why, for example, the mantra of the Barack Obama campaign and presidency was “hope and change.”
Because the Left is so committed to change (for its own sake), people on the Left assume that anyone who opposes leftism opposes all “change and innovation.”
Unfortunately, the Left’s misapprehension of conservatism is almost equaled by conservatives’ inability to define the term. For that reason, just as I recently defined another widely used term — “Judeo-Christian values” — I think it important to do the same for conservatism.
If you want a good definition of conservatism, don’t Google “conservatism.” Google “conserve.” You will then find this definition: “To protect from loss or harm; preserve.”
The first and most important characteristic of conservatism is that it conserves what is best from the past.
Conservatives have no issue with change or innovation — when warranted or harmless. The American Revolution, which conservatives seek to preserve, ushered in a radically innovative blueprint for liberty and self-government. Our problem is with jettisoning past greatness and replacing it with mediocrity — which is precisely what has been done for at least a century.
What could be more noble, uplifting, beneficial or altruistic than giving every generation the best that humans have ever created? A generation that deprives the next generation of Beethoven, Shakespeare and Da Vinci is committing a combination of child neglect and civilizational suicide.
Why, then, isn’t everyone — at least as regards conserving the best of the past — a conservative?
Here is why:
Since so few people in any generation can equal, let alone excel, the greatest of the past, conserving the past does not allow almost anyone living at the present time to shine.
Therefore, if I can’t compose great tonal music, I won’t even bother trying. I might shine, however, if I write “atonal” music.
If I can’t paint like a great classical artist, I will jettison all rules of art. I’ll throw paint onto a canvas or place a crucifix in a jar of my urine and call such things “art” — and demand that you, too, jettison all standards.
If I can’t hope to match Shakespeare, I will dismiss Shakespeare as just another Dead White Male and replace him with living nonwhite females who possess exponentially less talent.
The same holds true for teachers. Many of them are bored at the thought of teaching Shakespeare every year. So, they, too, opt for “change” and “innovation” over excellence — but thereby deprive their students of the best.
Likewise in the moral sphere. Why would I teach the moral roots of our society — the Bible, the Ten Commandments, Aristotle, the American Constitution, the Founders? That would mean I have nothing particularly important to say regarding morality and society. Again, I won’t shine. So, I will ignore or even reject those moral codes and devise a new moral system.
That’s what Karl Marx did, quite consciously — which is why he hated Christianity and Judaism. Only if he could overthrow Bible- and God-based morality could his new morality be taken seriously. So, he replaced God with man, and he replaced good and evil with rich and poor, oppressor and oppressed. Today we are witnessing another rejection of God- and Bible-based morality, replacing the moral categories of good and evil with racial categories — white and black.
And talk about innovation. What could be more innovative than “men give birth”? While conservatives are boringly conserving the fact that men are men, women are women, and one cannot become the other, the believers in change and innovation insist that sex/gender is completely subjective.
A couple of weeks ago, Time Magazine inadvertently gave the game away.
In the introduction to its hundredth anniversary edition, the CEO and editor of Time described the purpose of the magazine.
You probably think they would write something like, “to report the news as truthfully as possible.” But you would be completely wrong.
Here is what the CEO and editor wrote: “As we begin our second century, that spirit of innovation and disruption inspires us every day.”
“Innovation and disruption.” There you have it.
Reporting news as truthfully as possible is not just boring. It is worse than that. It is conservative.
Mo de Profit says
Let’s transform the world and scrap all those things that those bad white people created.
Savages replace civilised communities.
Oh, and we won’t know what is happening beyond our village.
Conservatives oppose stupidity. Every time I hear someone say “reimagine” or “reinvent” I know they are stupid.
THX 1138 says
An article filled with contradictions. Aristotle’s philosophy is essentially secular, he does not concern himself with the supernatural, or an afterlife, or a supernatural God that man must serve and obey. Aristotle’s philosophy concerns itself with discovering this natural, logical, scientific, world and how to live in this world successfully, achieving personal happiness for the sake of personal happiness and flourishing on earth as biological and mortal creatures.
Aristotle does not view man as born a fallen and depraved creature because of Original Sin. Aristotle views man as being born “tabula rasa”, a clean slate of innocence and ignorance. According to Aristotle man is born innocent of good or evil, he is born with no knowledge of what is good or evil, he must acquire the knowledge of what is good or evil.
Aristotle is the champion of reason and logic. He rejects any other means of knowledge such as faith and revelation as invalid. According to Aristotle you can not simply say, “Jehovah, Allah, the Bible, or the Koran, told me this is true, therefore it IS true!” Whatever your claim is, if it does not stand the test of reason and logic, corresponding to the facts of demonstrable reality, you can not claim it is real and therefore true.
Your point? You do realize of course, that there are atheists, agnostics and various other religions, filled with individuals, that call themselves Conservative.
THX 1138 says
My point is that “conservatism” is an umbrella term so wide that it is practically meaningless, ineffective, and futile because it is filled with all kinds of contradictory ideas. Different kinds of conservative are trying to conserve a divergent array of conflicting ideas, values, religions, etc.
“Conservatism: An Obituary” by Ayn Rand
Mo de Profit says
Atheism is destroying the western world from within, they call it socialism, communism, Marxism, and all other isms but they are all atheist every last one.
Cleanse The Temple says
“The truth is whatever promotes and enhances the Democrat Communistic state. The idea of objective truth available to all men is absurd”. GOD BLESS.
Music, architecture, literature, religion,… exactly….
And inasmuch as a kind of boredom or restriction reflex is part of the human condition in all of us, we need a greater culture of consciously addressing this fact, and relatively neutralizing its personal and intergenerational effects–otherwise, even as we decry the rootless adolescent iconclasm of the left, we ourselves become psychologically inured to it, and ineffective at sustaining a genuine personal and societal life of consistent tradition….