Talk:Conservatism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Sociology (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Politics (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Conservatism (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Conservatism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of conservatism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Conservatism:
  • Expand on the Continental Conservatism sub-section.
Priority 1 (top)

Conservatism in the US[edit]

"Ln the United States, conservatism is rooted in the American Revolution and its commitment to republicanism, sovereignty of the people, and the rights and liberties of Englishmen while expelling the king and his supporters." True.

In the United States, liberalism is rooted in the American Revolution and its commitment to republicanism, sovereignty of the people, and the rights and liberties of Englishmen while expelling the king and his supporters. Also true.

This article should say something about conservatism that distinguishes it from other political beliefs, not something it has in common with other political beliefs. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:52, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Rick is pointing out what historians call the "consensus school" -- that is all sides basically agree on core values, and disagree only on marginal issues. However conservatives today (and in last 75 years since New Deal) have spent MUCH more time emphasizing those origins-- with the Tea Party people actually dressing up in costumes from the 1770s to make their point. Rjensen (talk) 16:52, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

This says more about how propaganda is used to convince people than about the actual beliefs involved. The conservatives probably say more about mom and apple pie, but that doesn't mean liberals don't love mom and apple pie. In any case, while the Tea Party dress up more than liberals, I'm not at all sure that the liberals don't say as much about their roots in the American Revolution, sovereignty of the people, and rights and liberties. See, for example, People for the American Way.

Also, I'm not quite in the "consensus school". There are major differences, just not the ones listed. Rick Norwood (talk) 17:11, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I do not think it belongs in this section, which is the "Development of Western conservatism." U.S. conservatism is discussed later under " Modern Conservatism in different countries." I think though that there should be an explanation about why it is conservative. The lede sentence says conservatism "promotes retaining traditional social institutions." While it's clear that European conservatism does this by defending pre-liberal institutions, it is not clear what it means in the U.S. TFD (talk) 18:56, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

The "traditional social institutions" that American conservatives wish to protect are, primarily, the rights of White Christian men to dominate business and society. One good example is the country club, which until recently was the bastion of White Christian men, and where local business and politics was largely carried out. Ohter examples are the fight against "affirmative action", so that corporations can restrict their upper administration to White Christian males without government interference, and "voter ID laws", so that poor people have their right to vote taken away, by a mechanism not all that different from the "literacy test" imposed when I was growing up (as a White Christian male whose grandparents were members of the country club). Rick Norwood (talk) 11:48, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Why does supporting those traditional social institutions make one a conservative, while supporting other traditional institutions does not? In Europe, the distinction is whether or not the institutions are pre-liberal. And since the section is the "Development of Western conservatism", how did conservatism develop? When did the challenge arise? TFD (talk) 20:23, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I think this article makes clear that the traditions that make one conservative are the traditions of the society in which one lives. Thus, in Arabia, a man who refuses to let a woman drive a car is conservative. That would have nothing to do with American conservatism. Conversely, an American conservative would fight to keep a Jew from joining his country club, while that would be nonsense to a conservative in Isreal. Conservatism is always relative to a society. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:48, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

That is the one of the three definitions provided by Samuel P. Huntington in "Conservatism as an Ideology." So people in liberal, theocratic or even communist states who defend those ideologies are conservatives. But then what do you call people in Europe who opposed liberalism and all subsequent ideologies? It also creates problems for the "development" section of how to determine when conservatism developed. In Europe it emerged when pre-liberal traditions were challenged by liberalism. When did it emerge in America? In any case we need sources that explain this. TFD (talk) 22:06, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

We need to, and I think to a large extent do, distinguish between conservative and Conservative. There have always been conservative people, and always will be. But the Conservative movement in the US did not really exist until the 1960s, with William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, and Russell Kirk. In part, I think that was before the 1960s, the conservatives were on top, and didn't need a movement. But with Civil Rights and the Great Society, the Liberals began to make major gains, so the conservatives became Conservatives to fight back. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:49, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be best just to say briefly that the term came into common usage in the mid-twentieth century and some U.S. writers contributed to conservative theory. TFD (talk) 03:49, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Liberals were on top after 1933. Historians such as Schneider have done a good job tracing the history back to the Am. Revolution. The Conservative MOVEMENT typified by Buckley & Goldwater was a lagte effort that began about 1950 with the goal of forming a united PARTISAN front by combining the many different factions that all considered themselves conservatives (or, like Hayek, classical liberals). Rjensen (talk) 03:55, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

The followers of Keynes generally had more influence than the follows of Hayek after 1933, but as you note they were not, at the time, considered Conservative in the US, though they were in Britain. In the US, the capital C Conservatives were primarily the Dixicrats, and they remained on top in what are now called Red States until the 1960s. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:35, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Rjensen, could you tell me where Schneider writes about that. The Dixiecrats allied themselves from the 1930s with some Northern republicans in a "conservative coalition." But that term was not coined until the 1960s. TFD (talk) 20:03, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

What happened to the external references?[edit]

The 'External references' section seems to be missing all entries today. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 04:30, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Hume claimed as conservative[edit]

I was surprised to find Hume listed. From a quick scan of the Hume page, it seems he was not so much conservative as anti-revolutionary. These aren't the same thing. One might summarize my inexpert reading by saying he was liberal in his ends, yet conservative in his means. Either way, the statement ought to be sourced. — MaxEnt 10:48, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry for the belated reply. The article does not say that Hume was a conservative, but that conservatives claim he was. The article points out that he was apolitical. I see no need to delve further into whether he was a liberal or conservative in this article. I take your point though. His epistemology and metaphysics are more consistent with a liberal view, as is the entire empirical tradition in British philosophy, from Locke to logical positivism. TFD (talk) 19:04, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Lots of scholars (starting with Thomas Jefferson) have called Hume a leader of conservatism in terms of historiography and political theory. He was anti-utopian. he opposed the rationalism of the sort Burke denounced re France; See the emphasis on him in Jerry Z., Muller, ed. Conservatism: an anthology of social and political thought from David Hume to the present (Princeton University Press, 1997); historian of political theory George Sabine in 1961 grouped Hume with Edmund Burke as an opponent of eighteenth-century rationalism; see also Mossner, Ernest Campbell. "Was Hume a Tory Historian? Facts and Reconsiderations." Journal of the History of Ideas (1941): 225-236; . Sheldon Wolin, 'Hume and Conservatism', American Political Science Review, 48 (1954),

999-1016. Rjensen (talk) 21:33, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Falongen's edit[edit]

Falongen has written four paragraphs, none of them referenced. They seem to state the beliefs of modern American Conservatives. It is less clear that they apply to conservatives outside the US, and they certainly do not apply to the way the word "conservative" was used before the 21st century.

He has inserted these paragraphs, verbatim, twice in this article and once in the Conservatism in the United States article.

It seems to me that the repetition is unnecessary, that the paragraphs, if retained, should be referenced, and that the particular modern brand of conservatism described should be specified.

Comments? Rick Norwood (talk) 12:58, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. I left a message on that editor's talk page asking him/her to reference the four new paragraphs. If that doesn't happen, the four paragraphs should be deleted, because they really do sound like well-informed personal opinion. Magnolia677 (talk) 13:03, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Unsourced edits should not be added to the article. I question whether the material is accurate, since it does seem descriptive of U.,S. politics more than Europe. TFD (talk) 15:55, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

I note that the four paragraphs were deleted from the introduction, but not from the body of the article, and not from the article Conservatism in the United States. Even if accurate, they should be referenced. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:14, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Left/Right comparison of GOP vs. other countries' main conservative parties[edit]

[copy ex Talk:Republican Party (United States)

How and where should information regarding the fact that the GOP is much further to the right than similarly situated center-right parties in other industrialized countries, such as the UK's Conservative Party or Germany's Christian Democratic Union, be put? Should there be a new section?Skberry889 (talk) 21:31, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

. The comparisons don't help much. the UK's main conservative party is UKIP. The problem is that the term "conservative" has a very different meaning in Europe than in the US. In Europe it recalls the established church/aristocracy that does not exist in USA. In the GOP there is a major libertarian element that in Europe is called "liberal" or "neoliberal" and the GOP also has a very large religious right component that is missing in secularize Europe. Rjensen (talk) 21:44, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
It's relative to country. Rightists in Europe support monarchy and value tradition above all (even if that tradition involves government). Rightists in China are social democrats and social liberals. Rightists in America are neoliberal, with vastly varying views of social conservatism and neoconservatism. The definition of 'right' varies so much by country that it is difficult to compare. Toa Nidhiki05 22:15, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

An assertion that the Republicans are "much further to the right" than other centre-right parties is not necessarily valid (In fact, it is very invalid).. The definition of "right" and "left" is not uniform from place to place nor from time to time, and the US tradition is that both main parties are centrist within that definition in the US. Prior discussions onthis talk page going back years affirms the problems with facile definitions of "left and "right". Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:32, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I also don't know how it would fit in this article, but certainly the Republicans have moved much further right in the past ten years, so much so that views of William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, and even Ronald Reagan would seem practically communist to the Tea Party. On the other hand, recent primary elections suggest the Republicans may be moving back toward the center. Rick Norwood (talk) 00:03, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
In comparison with Europe, the GOP is much more supportive of ethnic minorities who are in the country legally (as compared to almost all of western Europe, and add Japan). Major raging debates in Europe about the EU have no counterpart in the US. Secession from the USA is a dead issue. But the Europeans seriously consider secession from the EU. Sectionalism inside many European countries is very nasty-- as in the mini-civil-war in Ukraine, & without violence also Spain, Belgium and Italy. (and I might add Canada too). In UK, permanent secession by Scotland comes up for a vote next month. Issues of royalty have long split left and right in Europe (eg in Italy, Greece, Belgium in late 1940s; in Spain it is underway right now. also in Australia in recent years. Rjensen (talk) 00:40, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a separate article about conservatism in the United States, which is where such a discussion belongs. As Rjensen says, conservatism has a different meaning in Europe, which is pointed out in the article. They are not generally the most right-wing parties where they still exist. And the German Christian Democratic Party is actually the successor of the Center Party, not the German Conservative Party. They were called "Center" because they were seated between the conservatives and the liberals. TFD (talk) 00:57, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the GOP's corrollary in the UK is the UKIP, which is, from what I understand, a fringe-right wing group. I was specifically referring to parties like the UK Conservative Party and the CDU/CSU in Germany.Skberry889 (talk) 03:02, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
In context of UK politics UKIP is conservative, not fringe right. It's main appeal is to anti-EU voters, anti-immigration voters, as well as traditional Tories that dislike the fairly moderate Cameron ministry. Keep in mind, the Conservative Party has shifted quite a bit to the left to try and match Labour's rightward shift under Tony Blair, and is now locked into an alliance with the Liberal Democrats, who by most standards are a center-left party. But basically there's where we run into the problem - different nations have different political systems. Throwing a political party from one country into another is not a good measure as to how left or right one is, as left or right are defined on a country-by-country basis. It's basically comparing apples to oranges. Toa Nidhiki05 03:28, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Do you mean "in the context of U.S. politics?" And while Cameron has distanced himself from Thatcher, he says that he is returning to Conservative tradition. But then that's more rhetoric than anything he has actually done. TFD (talk) 11:22, 9 August 2014 (UTC)