You want to REALLY understand conservatism?
Agree with all of them. I know someone is a conservative when their actions demonstrate: "Leave me alone. I will take care of myself and personally bear the consequences of my decisions."
No one has a right to anything that imposes a burden on someone else. Best definition of a right I've ever seen and brilliant in it's simplicity and clarity.
Good list, Mr. Hawkins, I shared it with my lad. Your quotes touch on something that I often try to describe to people, that morality is essential to liberty. Any system, be it political a republic, a monarchy, or an economic system... will degenerate to oppression when personal morality is abandoned or eroded. On an economic level, that is why I value free markets, but heavily distrust large corporations. They tend to have their hands in the government's pocket, and vice versa, and thus are no longer free market, but mercantilist in nature. (Corporate Socialism, if you will.) Adam Smith rightly saw the role of Government was to act only as a referee, to ensure the rules were being obeyed.
The only exception I really take is to Mr. Boortz's statement that everyone, barring calamity or disease, is in a position solely based upon their own choices. The exception I take is one of the primary reasons why I am conservative in outlook. Government overreach or incompetence has a habit of ruining lives, and livelihoods. We do not exist in a vacuum, and choices others make can indeed affect us. Think of when those in authority wish to make life miserable for a target, or send a "message". I have seen rare (for Warren-Youngstown area) good cops railroaded by their department when they tried to expose corruption. I have seen businesses and entrepreneurs driven away or destroyed by taxes or regulations that some bureaucrat put into place with no regard to the effect it would have on others.
Some additional pertinent quotes I think:
“Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class - whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.”
“A top-heavy bureaucracy the electorate cannot touch always expands to the system’s limits of energy. Steal it from the aged, from the retired, from anyone. Especially from those we once called middle class because that’s where most of the energy originates.”
"Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible. This is the danger of entrenched bureaucracy to its subject population. Even spoils systems are preferable because levels of tolerance are lower and the corrupt can be thrown out periodically. Entrenched bureaucracy seldom can be touched short of violence. Beware when Civil Service and Military join hands!"
-Frank Herbert (1920-1986)
But there’s the straw man possibility.
I think there’s a widespread nominalism fallacy. Who is more conservative, Mitch McConnell or the President of the Russian Federation? More progressive Angela Merkel or Olaf Scholz? Better at keeping peace in the world Jens Stoltenberg or Zhang Ming?
Rhetorical questions imo.
A lot has changed. ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are brand names now. Which one cleans dirty laundry in private more effectively.
What do the words conservative and liberal even mean now as opposed to their historical etymology? Not much.