Monday, August 2, 2010

What's is Conservatism and what's wrong with it?

Great piece.

"Life under aristocratic domination is horrible. The United States is blessed to have little notion of what this horror is like. Europe, for example, staggered under the weight of its aristocracies for thousands of years. European aristocracies are in decline, and Europe certainly has its democratic heroes and its own dawning varieties of civilized life, and yet the psychology and institutions that the aristocracies left behind continue to make European societies rigid and blunt Europeans' minds with layers of internalized oppression. People come to America to get away from all of that. Conservatism is as alien here as it could possibly be. Only through the most comprehensive campaign of deception in human history has it managed to establish its very tentative control of the country's major political institutions. Conservatism until very recently was quite open about the fact that it is incompatible with the modern world. That is right. The modern world is a good place, and it will win."

Read full article here.


Ugh said...

Sorry, that was just garbage. Either it was just too "high minded" for me or none of my so-called conservative friends and associates are conservatives at all. (We sure as hell aren't liberals). No one I know thinks like that. If anything it is my liberal friends who feel that sort of entitlement toward getting and retaining a social hierarchy they can cement into the upper middle class.

Tom Hickey said...

Michael Hudson explains how financial capitalism, which parasitically extractes economic rent, has supplanted productive capitalism here and here. This is the new aristocracy in the age of globalization.

mike norman said...


I have been a Republican (Conservative) all my adult life. (Though I feel my values shifting, recently.) But, seriously, you do not agree with anything this author has said? If so you are being an ideologue.

Unknown said...

Tom's second link is most interesting. The concern over usurious debt obligations would be a more fruitful area to discuss than conservative/liberal politics.

I have to agree with StaticNoise in that most conservatives that I know would not agree with this article's definition of conservatism. In the US, most people who identify themselves as conservatives are interested in "conserving" the constitution and its ideals of protecting individual rights - no matter who the individual is. Our gov't (whether run by Democrats or Republicans), has been grossly negligent in enforcing existing regulations on banks and other favored wealthy groups.

No one that I know who would consider themselves conservative advocates a return to a ruling aristocracy. Many of them are also very frustrated by the Republican party for this reason. And I have yet to see anything from Democrats to suggest that they are any different, if not worse.

mike norman said...

Yes, Tom, great link! I posted it on the blog, thanks.

Matt Franko said...

I still consider myself "Conservative" and with the GOP....

But lately Id have to call myself a:
Lincolnesque Emancipating, Greenback spending;
T Rooseveltesque Cartel Crushing;
Eisenhoweresque Public Infrastructure building;
Nixonian Gold Standard repudiating;
Reaganesque Tax cutting, Fiscal Deficit maximizing......


(Bush family left out on purpose!)


googleheim said...


That all makes you into a
hind-sight corrected FDR objectivist

Ugh said...

Yes, of course there is truth in the Agre piece, but is there not one redeeming value of conservatism? If he was holding a mirror up for conservatives to see themselves then it was a fun house mirror that makes every one of us look like Thurston Howell III.