What do conservatives conserve? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Traditional 'common sense' values and duty to the state.
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#14940934
Drlee wrote:You misunderstand me. I absolutely DO NOT categorize the founders as conservatives. I classify those who embrace their ideas for constitutional government as conservatives. At least when I was younger they were. The conservatives of my youth, Goldwater, Buckley et all did not want to reunite with the crown. They wanted to embrace the principles of our early constitutional government; specifically, small government, the supremacy of individual rights, states rights and a balanced federal government.

The term conservative has become so distorted these days that it is almost useless. Can a conservative believe in a woman's right to choose? Can a conservative believe that the second amendment refers to militias? Can a conservative believe in higher taxes to balance the federal budget concurrent with reducing the size of government because both are necessary to reach the conservative goal of a balanced budget? Nowadays it would be said they could not. That if they did embrace these things they would be "liberals". Well the founders....were liberals AND revolutionaries.

So when I claim to be a conservative (as I said, if you had read what I said carefully) that I was a conservative I embrace those principles that the founder embraced. I believe in smaller government. This does not mean that I believe that the states may not act in place of what the federal government does now. For example several of the states had welfare like programs from the start. As a conservative I simply believe that it ought not be a function of the federal government except when absolutely necessary. I believe that the second amendment refers to the notion of regulating state militias as a check on vast central power. I also believe this is a notion that has lost its usefulness over time. I believe in the supremacy of individual franchise so that is why I oppose corporate money in politics. (The founders made it a felony.)

Simply put I believe that a REAL conservative attempts to conserve the broad principles on which our country was founded and improved through the amendment process. I believe that were Jefferson or Madison alive today they would be disgusted in the size of government and its intrusiveness into our daily lives. I believe their first comment might be, "where the hell are the states?.

In my opinion, these problems are all derived from the central contradiction of American conservatism - it is trying to conserve a revolution. Revolutions, by their nature, cannot be conserved; any attempt to do so ultimately leads nowhere except historical LARPing - endlessly recapitulating the issues and struggles of one particular arbitrary historical epoch. For example, states rights meant something back in the late 18th century, whereas nowadays states rights have no real meaning or substance. The states are no longer sovereign and no longer have any meaningful militias. Yet people still keep talking about "states rights" as though it fucking matters in the modern world.
#14940944
Hong Wu wrote:Early conservatism was about conserving traditions


Drlee wrote:Simply put I believe that a REAL conservative attempts to conserve the broad principles on which our country was founded and improved through the amendment process. I believe that were Jefferson or Madison alive today they would be disgusted in the size of government and its intrusiveness into our daily lives. I believe their first comment might be, "where the hell are the states?.


Potemkin wrote:In my opinion, these problems are all derived from the central contradiction of American conservatism - it is trying to conserve a revolution. Revolutions, by their nature, cannot be conserved; any attempt to do so ultimately leads nowhere except historical LARPing - endlessly recapitulating the issues and struggles of one particular arbitrary historical epoch. For example, states rights meant something back in the late 18th century, whereas nowadays states rights have no real meaning or substance. The states are no longer sovereign and no longer have any meaningful militias. Yet people still keep talking about "states rights" as though it fucking matters in the modern world.


These three responses encapsulate the three perspectives that in some ways need to be simultaneously addressed in my opinion. Hong Wu represents the Far-Right, the julius evola esque reaction against the modern world and traditionalism, Dr. Lee represents a robust Americanism, a believer in the Constitution, and Potemkin is a Stalinist.

Hong Wu is right to point out that the essence of "conservatism" and the "right" is traditionalism, the right like the left is more or less theoretically ambivalent towards the state in theory, but generally supports the need of such to achieve its ends.

natural heirarchy, the family, ethno-nationalism, etc, etc., are something to be preserved for group-identity and there is something morally repugnant to the extinction of such in exchange for leftist egalitarian social programs or capitalist consumerism and strip malls.

Dr. Lee takes conservativism as preserving the american revolution's end goals of establishing a constitutional federal republic designed to protect the rights given to man from God, and while he acknowledges that this move was essentially liberal (classic liberalism), its achievements in many ways are regarded by him, and many Americans, as the pinnacle of enlightened political thought and therefore progress beyond this must be mitigated in regards to their core accomplishments. This is not the conservatism of Hong Wu, but it is definitely a belief that classical liberalism embodies the end of political history in a real theoretical sense. I have no doubt, as Dr. Lee expressed, that the founding fathers would have this view of their own thought and would likely express themselves as Dr. Lee predicted.

Potemkin has rightly criticized the paradox of American conservatism as a movement of attempting to conserve a revolution, but America is young and its identity is not in a historic ethno-religious cultural tradition that is 1,000 years old, its in a document penned in the late 18th century. Only recently has America begun to develop a real identitarian strain of any seriousness, thanks to Trump.

This is a great article on this BTW:




The fundamental flaw in this conversation is the understanding of the conflict between whiggery (liberalism) and conservatism (toryism). One that was rather profound in the 18th century, but in reality is not so great.

The reason someone like Potemkin will see the Far-Right and traditionalists as reactionary, and rightfully so, is because they always attempt to co-op the means of the state to reassert those values and turn-back-the-clock against the progress demanded by the dialectic of history. Fascism for Potemkin is as futile as it is misplaced. In some ways, Hong Wu might even agree with this in his pessimism, but Traditionalists always see the fights as worth the blood even if failure is inevitable.

Dr. Lee likely doesn't give a hoot about traditionalism v, progressivism as regards personal values so long as liberty and equal justice under the law are afforded as constitutionally defined. Dr. Lee sees government as the problem in some ways (to a point) and as long as it stays out of the way to some degree people can live traditionally or progressively and its no matter which they choose so long as they are permitted to make the choice.

My response to all of these perspectives is simple:

Unlike the Far-Right, I do not think traditional or natural values can ever be truly restored by the state. Caesar's attempt to reinstitute traditional values in Rome may have been admirable, but it was ultimately futile. It was reactionary, just as Hitler and Mussolini's attempts.

Likewise, contra Potemkin and even Dr. Lee, I do not regard whiggery, even as manifested in the American revolution as ipso facto liberal. Indeed, this notion is misplaced as it fails to take into account the conditions by which traditionalism and the natural order is best preserved.

Nothing could be more accommodating to the end-goals of a toryism or traditionalism than whiggery in its most extreme form.

Indeed, the greatest error of the American founders was forming a Republic at all.

Yes, I am going to speak of Anarcho-Capitalism, but let me say this.

I left the Alt. Right, a reactionary movement, not merely because I became a sort of libertarian, but because I realized that traditionalism cannot be "conserved" by the state, it must be propogated by people who will praxeologically and rationally gravitate to those values in a state of nature.

The state creates the problem of decadence and all social contracts will eventually lead to Marxism, including America's social contract. Its inevitable given human nature, and any attempt to co-opt the state to restore natural values is appropriately called reactionary by the communists. Its an attempt to take the means of progressivism (the state) and force it to go against progressivism. That would be like showing your hatred of an automobile by changing its driver. The problem is not who runs government and what their motives are, its the government itself.

Thus, the idea of life, liberty, and property is not liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) as many have supposed.

This is because those ideals (shared between American classical liberals and AnCaps alike) are indeed the very conditions of traditionalism and natural order (Far-Right values) itself. In a state of nature, all those things fascists and nationalists long for assert themselves out of necessity and a true rational desire. That this is superior to being forced into such roles by a dictator should be obvious. This difference is a great as eating an actual banana and an artificially flavored banana candy. Fascism artificially institutes and mimics what nature does better and voluntarily.

Perhaps that strain of classical liberalism that arose in France (liberty, equality, and fraternity) could better be described as true liberalism tending towards the inevitable, but the American conception stemming from the English natural law tradition cannot help but be conservative if followed consistently to its ends.

The problem is, it never has since times long past in Christendom.

Perhaps that may change some day, but as it stands, all social contracts will lead to Leftism eventually and all attempts to co-opt these regimes to artificially reinstate traditional values will be reactions that can only fail.

Conservatism's real enemy is not progressivism, but the statism upon which it relies.

Life, Liberty, and Property is the natural soil in which conservatism grows.

The state is a pestilence upon mankind.
#14940962
Potemkin wrote:In my opinion, these problems are all derived from the central contradiction of American conservatism - it is trying to conserve a revolution. Revolutions, by their nature, cannot be conserved; any attempt to do so ultimately leads nowhere except historical LARPing - endlessly recapitulating the issues and struggles of one particular arbitrary historical epoch. For example, states rights meant something back in the late 18th century, whereas nowadays states rights have no real meaning or substance. The states are no longer sovereign and no longer have any meaningful militias. Yet people still keep talking about "states rights" as though it fucking matters in the modern world.


Anyone who is allied with a winning team will want that winning team to continue winning. Anyone who is allied with a losing team will want that losing team to change its fortunes and start winning. Whether one is a revolutionary or counter revolutionary depends on whether one is currently winning or not. The bolsheviks were revolutionaries in 1917 but they were counter-revolutionaries by 1991... In this light there is no more contradiction in an American constitutionalist trying to conserve his revolution than there is a fan of QE2 trying to conserve the dynasty which gained the benefit of the Glorious Revolution 1688 or a politburo hack trying to conserve the regime that followed from the 1917 coup d'etat in Russia.

We are all conservatives when we have what we want and progressives when we don't.

Is that not so?
#14940974
@SolarCross,

That seems to be colloquial and pragmatic definition and I don't think that is what the far-right would consider to be conservative.

I mean, lets say you live in a formerly SJW ruled nation that came under control of Christian theocrats, would the SJW dissenting minority that longed for the "good ol' days" of transgender bathrooms and income redistribution be conservatives?

That is the paradoxical thinking in such an argument. When most people think of conservatism, they think of right-wing politics, which at base, encompasses some sort of traditionalism, even in the American Right this is true which is arguably the most libertarian and classically liberal of any "explicitly" conservative political party in the world. (just compare the U.S. Republican Party with the Tories and the difference becomes obvious, in spite of the similarities on more traditional values). [though this changing under Trump]

This issue that I am addressing is the question as to whether or not traditionalism is inconsistent with extreme whiggery (life, liberty, and property). I am arguing that they are not only compatible, but that the latter is the very condition of the former.

Thus, I am critiquing the idea that Americans are ipso facto wrong for being Traditionalist and supporting some variant of classical liberalism at the same time. The contradiction is manufactured based on a european perspective, but at the same time, I wanted to clarify that classical liberalism did not go far enough and sewed the roots of its own destruction.

The answer is the abolition of the state altogether, that is the only way traditionalism and the natural order of mankind can truly return.
#14940978
@Victoribus Spolia
I don't really know who is "far-right" because people usually mean Nazis and KKK when they talk about the "far-right" but to me they look like collectivists, not as extreme as communists maybe but more than halfway there, so to me they look like the centre left. Certainly they are far to the left of myself...

I don't really know what is meant by "Tradition" with a capital T either. Everybody with a culture or creed has a tradition, some of us even have multiple traditions (I could with perfect honesty call myself a Buddhist, a scientific atheist or a Germanic heathen or perhaps some other things too). Communists, crazy little spawns of Satan that they are, have their own traditions too, their own myths and icons. I don't think there is a Tradition with a capital T but instead there is a mosaic of little t traditions as numerous as there are human minds but then I am an individualist not a collectivist.
Last edited by SolarCross on 20 Aug 2018 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
#14940981
SolarCross wrote:I don't really know who is "far-right" because people usually mean Nazis and KKK when they talk about the "far-right". But to me they look like collectivists, not as extreme as communists maybe but more than halfway there, so to me they look like the centre left. Certainly they are far to the left of myself...


I gave examples and they would include National Socialists and Fascists. At my darkest moment in the Far-Right I was a closet National-Socialist. I share your critique of them.

SolarCross wrote:I don't really know what is meant by "Tradition" with a capital T either. Everybody with a culture or creed has a tradition, some us even have multiple traditions (I could with perfect honesty call myself a buddhist, a scientific atheist or a germanic heathen or perhaps some other things too). Communists, crazy little spawns of satan that they are, have their own traditions too, their own myths and icons. I don't there is a Tradition with a capital T but instead there is a mosaic of little t traditions as numerous as there are human minds but then I am a individualist not a collectivist.


Once again, traditionalism is not merely the status-quo or previous action. That is not how i am using the term. I am referring to traditional (natural) roles of women, fecundity, religiosity, hierarchy, ethno-chauvenism, et al. This is something very specific.

Typically parties that have supported these values have been what the commies like to refer to as "reactionary" (fascists, etc). and historically were parties like the Tories (as when they opposed the whigs back in the day, for example). This sort of view has been contrasted in this thread with the more "American" notion of preserving the American Constitution and "way of life" Which is essentially whiggery (life, liberty, and property).

Several on here have juxtaposed these two ideas "Traditionalism" on one hand and "Life-Liberty-Property" on the other.

I am saying that these two are not only not opposed, but contrary to what the Far-Right might think, the latter is actually the grounds of the former; wheras the Far-Right believes that the former can only be "restored" against progressivism through the mechanism of the state (like a fash takeover resulting in laws protecting religion and subsidizing child-birth, etc).

I am contending that this is very wrong-headed, as the state is the necessary condition of progressivism (leading to Marxism) in the first place and that statism can only ever lead to progressivism and egalitarianism.

Thus, for traditionalists (a.k.a conservatives) the answer is not fascism, but the abolition of the state.

If you want natural heirarchies and roles, you need to remove the mechanism that has allowed for the unnatural egalitarians roles we see in the modern world. That mechanism is the state. There is no egalitarianism is nature. None.
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