Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Conservatism and The Establishment

A "conservative," by definition, is a person who prefers the established over the innovative.

It's puzzling to watch conservative commentators make hay about a supposed conflict between conservatives and the establishment.

This conflict, of course, is due to the inherent duplicity of conservatism.

Modern Conservatism is a partisan ideology that uses freedom rhetoric to gain power. Once in power conservatives use their power to reward friends, punish enemies and promote economic centralization at the cost of the general welfare.

The base ideology of conservatism is an ugly thing that traces to Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel, Leo Strauss, etc. If you are looking for a good read on the foundations of Conservatism, you might like Machiavelli's Virtue by the esteemed conservative scholar Harvey Mansfield.

(BTW, if you prefer writers such as Hayek, Adam Smith, the US Founders, ..., you aren't a conservative, you are actually a classical liberal).

Machiavelli taught the prince that he must strive to appear religious without actually being religious.

Translated into modern times, a conservative must appear to be for free market reform while actually being for economic and political centralization.

Since conservatism is duplicitous by nature, pundits in the conservative movement must periodically come up with excuses to explain away the chasm between what conservatives say to get office and what they actually do once in office.

In some ways, I believe that this current talk about a civil war between conservatives and the establishment is just such an excuse.

Come on guys! A conservative, by the very definition of conservative, favors the consolidation of power into the hands of an elite establishment. Claiming that there is a conflict between conservatism and ultimate desires of conservatism is absurd.

There is a huge conflict between what many people believe conservatism to be and what conservatism really is.

Since conservatism is inherently duplicitous there is no way to resolve this conflict.

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