posted on Nov, 24 2011 @ 04:02 AM
For some time now I have considered myself a Conservative, it was foolish of me to assume that the modern conservative movement was anything better
than a joke. The ramblings of Michele Malkin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh should be enough to convince everyone that there is something mentally
wrong with that crowd; the same crowd I had assumed was where I belonged. Fortunately there was still something not right to me, I did not fit in with
the corporate-apologists, Christian fundamentalists, Constitutionalists (both the devout and hypocritical kind), and militarists.
Do not get me wrong there are many good people in that field whom I would never want to degrade in any way, they earned my respect through their
dedication to the ideological beliefs which they professed. But simply because they are kind people with good intentions does not free them from
attack, although the attacks will be made in a respectful manner. From them and the general idea of modern Conservatism I learned a lot, especially
what is wrong with their entire ideology.
I am not referring in this post to the Objectivists who follow Ayn Rand; there is not anything in the world that could keep me from going nuclear
spending more than ten minutes contemplating their thought. Instead I am referring to the general pragmatic conservatives, those who follow the same
people who used Edmund Burke’s pragmatism to align themselves with their former enemies (the Classical Liberals) in the 19th century.
These more pragmatic conservatives are the ones I have a serious problem with. Do not get me wrong, I despise the Left in all the manners it presents
its; Marxist, Socialist, Social-Democratic, Neoliberal, Neoconservative, Libertarian, and all those who subscribe to any form of Egalitarianism. But
for a while it seemed to me the Conservatives, those who are somewhere between Neoconservative and Libertarian, were the people who followed the same
philosophy that I had followed. This was a mistake.
Instead I sought to find something which I could truly relate to; however small the movement actually was, and try to finally find something that fit
my tastes. No, it was not meant to find comfort with likeminded individuals; rather it was to find a place from which I could draw the nectar of that
flower, which will grow my mind. After some time of reading, searching, and analyzing, I finally found something.
A great distinction within what would be called ‘Conservatism’ appeared to me. There were two types of ‘Conservatives’; the Pragmatists, as
earlier mentioned, who became allies with their former enemies, the Liberals, and the Moralists, those who concluded that modernity was evil, not just
made up of foolish men.
To understand the division you must go back 222 years to France. In it came the undoing of that era in European history; the French Revolution.
Perhaps the most prominent conservative work on the revolution was Edmund Burke’s ‘Reflection on the Revolution in France’. In it he strongly
criticized the Revolutionaries are foolish, subscribing to a radical ideology, filled with resentment, and inherently atheistic.
This school of conservatism is strange in itself as it came from a man who belonged to the most liberal party in the United Kingdom at the time, the
Whigs. These were the men who either were outspoken in their support for the American Revolution against the British Monarchy or were quietly
enthusiastic. The party which represented the urban areas and found its backing in the merchant class, to invent claim modern conservatism was created
by a man from a liberal party is rather nonsensical if you look at it factually. If a proponent of conservative ideals were truly to arise at that
time would he not come from the conservative party, the Tories?
Of course this path of conservatism would have ultimately led into a relationship of mutual aid between the merchant classes backed Liberals and the
pragmatic Burkeans. Though, would that truly be conservatism or would it not be at best a liberal conservatism? Remember that when we speak of
actual conservatism in the 18th and 19th centuries the aristocracy, nobility, peasantry, and monarchy all existed and were strong in Great Britain.
The true conservatives at the time sided with the aristocracy, nobility, and monarchy, and received support from much of the rural peasantry. Yet the
supposed conservatives, the only ones that you are taught about today, they sided with the liberalized intelligentsia, merchants, and urbanites.
As the revolutions spread across Europe the Burkeans viewed these Nationalists, Radical Liberals, Socialists, and Anarchists are foolish, those who
would only inflict the problems onto themselves due to their own naivety. Meanwhile they turned their backs as the industrialists grew in power and
influence, along with that grew the mass poverty of the urban workers who abandoned the farms which were losing wealth as industrialism became more of
the center attention.
It was in 1853 England that the author John Ruskin penned ‘The Stones of Venice’ in which he wrote of the urban centers and mass industry:
“… and the great cry that rises from our manufacturing cities, louder than their furnace blast, is all in very deed for this, — that we
manufacture everything there except men; we blanch cotton, and strengthen steel, and refine sugar, and shape pottery; but to brighten, to strengthen,
to refine, or to form a single living spirit, never enters into our estimate of advantages. And all the evil to which that cry is urging our myriads
can be met only in one way: not by teaching nor preaching, for to teach them is but to show them their misery, and to preach at them, if we do nothing
more than preach, is to mock at it. It can only be met by a right understanding, on the part of all classes, of what kinds of labour are good for men,
raising them, and making them happy; by a determined sacrifice of such convenience or beauty, or cheapness as is to be got only by the degradation of
the workman; and by equally determined demand for the products and results of healthy and ennobling labour.”
The problem of near savage businessmen, unsanitary cramped living conditions, long work hours, mass debt, and the dehumanization of the city itself
that finally broke man’s spirit. It ruined him, demoralized him, and from that the peddlers of ideology arose. They fanned the resentment, class
envy, and hatred that arose from the worker’s squalor, lifeless conditions. It was on this total destruction of man that a reaction to this horror
arose, it was called Socialism. Essentially a cosmopolitan ideology, Socialism sought to unite all the disgruntled, poor masses that lived without any
property to call their own. They are called to reject their national identity as the entire notion of it was an intentional oppression of the
proletariat by the bourgeois; it was the great call to arms in the name, once again, of egalitarianism.
The same people whom Burkeans had intended to protect they dismissed as their relationship with the new middle class grew stronger. Rather than call
for the unity of classes, cleaning up of living conditions, better treatment of the workers, and a return to the countryside, they sat on their hands.
Due to having no one represent them, the Tories were busy defending the nobility and focusing on the peasantry and the Whigs were siding with the new
middle class and merchants, they turned to Socialism.