What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

This is one of the better essays on conservationism I have seen and certainly not a view you are likely to have encountered  before. Warning, it is very long, but offers an insight into the motivations, practices, and goals of conservatives past and present and how defeat them.  This scholarly article by Philip E. Agre, a former UCLA professor provides an insight you are unlike to get anywhere else. The article has been around for a while, probably written during George W. Bush’s Presidency, but still very relevant today.

Even if you find that you can’t accept the author’s explanation of the roots of conservationism  skip to the end of the essay where he offers useful suggestions as to how defeat conservatives and their philosophy.

Below are the opening paragraphs and the link:

Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

Q: What is conservatism?
A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves “conservatives” have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

//1 The Main Arguments of Conservatism

From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.

http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

Leave a Reply