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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Conservatism:
  • Expand on the Continental Conservatism sub-section.
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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)

Universal suffrage[edit]

The following text was removed: "For many years, conservative parties fought to stop extension of voting rights to groups such as to non-Christians, non-whites and women."[1] I notice the paragraph has evolved considerably since I first added, although no new sources have been provided.[2] (It is sourced to Alan Ware, Political Parties and Party Systems, Oxford University Press, 1996.) the original wording was "As the franchise was broadened, they have had to modify their policies." Any objection to adding that back? TFD (talk) 04:11, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Likely best to leave it out unless multiple books make the same statement.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 11:44, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Multiple sources do say the same thing. It is pretty obvious anyway that the extension of the vote beyond the original 1% of the adult population forced both parties to look for other voters, but liberals were unsuccessful and have been relegated to minority parties. TFD (talk) 03:07, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

While other sources would be good, the statement is certainly true, and belongs in the article. The shift of the "solid south" from the Democratic Party, once styled "The Party of the White Man", to the Republican Party, following the passage of the Civil Rights bill is just one example. Another is the frequent assertion by conservatives that the only reason Blacks vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party is because "they" just want welfare, not because they want equal treatment under the law. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:49, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

I am not Caucasian, I know many people in the GOP who are not male and who are not Caucasian. No need to advance the myth here on Wikipedia.
We can say that there is a verified perception that the myth exist, but to state it as fact IMHO is undue.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:18, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the statement is false: "For many years, conservative parties fought to stop extension of voting rights to groups such as to non-Christians, non-whites and women." Which PARTY did that? No party in any major country "fought to stop extension women." Europe's #1 conservative in the 19th century, Bismarck, was the one who introduced universal male suffrage. There were antisemitic parties in Europe but I never heard of a party anywhere that tried that stop extension of voting rights to non-Christians more generally. Rjensen (talk) 02:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Disraeli also widened the vote. Like Bismarck he thought the working classes were more likely to vote for traditional elites than for their employers. I think the example of the Republican Party is too problematic to use. They actually did extend the vote to former slaves who then voted overwhelmingly for them. TFD (talk) 03:07, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

This article is about Conservatism, not about a particular political party. A few examples of conservatives fighting against extending voting rights: In Massachusetts, former president John Adams attempted to extend voting rights to Jews. His proposal was defeated by conservative Christians. Conservative Democrats in the American South for years refused to extend voting rights to Blacks. Conservatives both in England and the US strongly opposed extending voting rights to women. And conservatives opposed extending voting rights to those who did not own substantial property. As recently as 1956, Clinton Rossiter, in his book Conservatism in America, did not hesitate to write: "The Right of these freewheeling decades was a genuine Right: it was led by the rich and well-placed; it was skeptical of popular government; it was opposed to all parties, unions, leagues, or other movements that sought to invade its positions of power and profit; it was politically, socially, and culturally anti-radical." In is only since the 1960s that conservatives have hesitated to openly state that by Conservative government they meant government by upper-class white men. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:43, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Here is evidence that the attempts by conservatives to prevent minorities from voting is not just something that happened in the past but is something that is still happening. This is from a dissent by a conservative judge, a Reagan appointee: "The data imply that a number of conservative states make it difficult for people who are outside the main-stream, whether because of poverty or race or problems with the English language, or who are unlikely to have a driver’s license or feel comfortable dealing with officialdom, to vote, ... " p. 18, Rick Norwood (talk) 14:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I think Norwood is mixing up the problem. I argue that there is no conservative PARTY that did these things. For example the Democratic Party in the South certainly opposed voting rights for blacks but that included BOTH the liberal/New Deal wing and the conservative/ anti-New Deal wing. (In 1933-36 the pro-New Deal wing in the South was was larger). In Britain it is not true that the Conservatives opposed woman suffrage (the Liberals blocked it). Rossiter's quote is not about a party and not about suffrage.
I say again, this article is not about political parties. It is about Conservatism. I am at a loss to understand your focus on political parties, as if the title of the article were "Conservative Parties". Rick Norwood (talk) 20:46, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
This thread is about the removal of the statement "For many years, conservative parties fought to stop extension of voting rights to groups such as to non-Christians, non-whites and women." I think it's quite wrong. If we define conservatism as an upper class phenomenon, then opposition to suffrage is NOT a conservative characteristic. It was promoted by Bismarck (universal male suffrage in Germany in 1871) and the Conservative Party in Britain (woman suffrage in 1918). In the US, the Republicans were a bit more supportive of woman suffrage and much more supportive of black suffrage down to 1960 or so. Antisemitic parties were important in Europe but not the US. Those parties (esp Germany, Austria) were based on religion not class and were opposed by the upper classes in Europe. Opposition to Asians was a major theme in US history, and cut across party lines; it was primarily supported by the working class & labor unions. Rjensen (talk) 21:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I now understand your focus on "parties", but not your other comments. Bismark is certainly considered a conservative, and yet "Bismarck implemented the world's first welfare state in the 1880s." If Bismark's support for a welfare state does not make him a liberal, why does the Southern American Conservative's of the New Deal make them liberals? You credit conservatives with woman's suffrage in the UK. Actually it was liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd-George. You make the old mistake of confusing Republicans with Conservatives. When the Republicans supported rights for women and Blacks (and labor unions!) they were a liberal party. You claim anti-Semitic parties were important in Europe but not the US. The Southern Democrats were anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic as well as being racist. Rick Norwood (talk) 22:47, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
1) The term "conservative" means something different in Europe versus USA. 2) Bismarck was strengthening the old established Junker / aristocratic order. 3) In the USA "liberal" since 1930s = support for New Deal. 4) In Britain Lloyd George always suuported woman suffrage but he was overruled by prime minister Asquith and the party leaders who did not want it. Lloyd George became prime minister in a coalition government and working with the Conservatives (who had supportedwoman suffrage) it was partly enacted in 1918. In 1928 with Conservatives in full control full suffrage for all women was enacted in Britain. 5) The GOP was a conservative party after 1896--possible with TR excepted (but he was in a minority faction). GOP continued to support black rights down to 1964. 6) It is not true that the Dem Party in South was ever anti-semitic or anti-catholic, although a three or four senators did fit that bill (esp from wool-hat boys eg Tom Watson, Ben Tillman, Theodore Bilbo). The only party to emphasize antisemitism was the Populists of 1890s who railed against the Jews; they were defeated by the Southern Dems in 1894. The Know-Nothings of 1850s were anti-Catholic and the Democrats fought them and beat them in the South. Rjensen (talk) 00:44, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
We cannot use U.S. liberalism and conservatism as examples for liberalism and conservatism in the rest of the world since it is defined differently there. The fact is the Whigs put restrictions on the civil rights of Catholics, and liberals vigorously opposed the extension of voting rights to people who did not own property. We need to be careful not to confuse conservatism with right-wing liberalism on the one hand and right-wing extremism on the other. TFD (talk) 01:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
IIRC, the Federalists opposed the extension of the franchise, while Democrats supported it. But in English terms that is more like Whig versus Radical than Conservative versus Liberal. TFD (talk) 02:47, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

The basic definition of Conservative is wanting to preserve the status quo or go back to the status quo anti. So, if someone wants to expand the franchise, that belief is by definition not Conservative, however much their other beliefs are Conservative. The definition of Liberal is wanting freedom and equality. So, if someone wants to expand the franchise, that belief is by definition Liberal, however un-liberal some of their other beliefs may be. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:37, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

I disagree that in political history "basic definition of Conservative is wanting to preserve the status quo." That certainly did not apply to Bismarck or to Reagan. Rjensen (talk) 21:23, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Both Bismarck and Reagan wanted to return to the status quo ante, to a largely imaginary golden age where their people lived up to an ideal satirized in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a time when men were real men, women were real women, and little furry creatures from Arcturus were real little furry creatures from Arcturus. Bismark was for God, King, and country, even when he had to build the country with his own two hands. Reagan was for God and country. And yet both men could support liberal causes. They don't define Conservatism. What is your definition of Conservatism, and what is your source for it? Rick Norwood (talk) 00:44, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Wanting to preserve the status quo is, according to Samuel P. Huntington in "Conservatism as an Ideology" (1957), the "situational" definition of conservatism. While that definition may be worth noting, it is confusing because Reagan, Brezhnev and Khomeini were all described as conservatives. But unlike liberals and socialists, they never had meetings to discuss their common ideology, and in fact considered themselves and were considered to belong to different ideologies. Ironically, all of them were in traditions that had rebelled against kings or emperors and established religion.
I think this article suffers when we move away from the template defined by such parties as the UK and German conservatives and include anyone who might have been called conservative. Because there should be some article that describes conservatism as it was envisioned by Bismarck and the Tories, and was along with liberalism and socialism one of the dominant ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Incidentally, Bismarck's "state socialism" was never seen as a form of liberalism. It was influenced by Lassallean socialism and probably influenced the UK Liberals and Fabians and Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. It differed from social liberalism because it was paternalistic charity rather than an attempt to empower and differed from socialism because their was no intention of re-arranging the social hierarchy.
TFD (talk) 02:52, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with TFD. Bismarck did not want angry, frustrated workers flocking to Socialism. As far as Reagan, no he did not want a status quo ante (ante what?). For example he wanted to rollback and finalize Soviet Communism (and did so) -- but he in no sense wanted to return to Czarism. He promoted a very strong military in peacetime--that certainly was not a return to the 1920s or 1880s. He wanted conservative women in high office (like the UN job & the Supreme Court) and that was not a return to any past age. Rjensen (talk) 07:21, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
And your definition of Conservatism is?Rick Norwood (talk) 12:09, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
My definition is what the RS say it is-- in Europe it involves supporting the aristocracy, army, & established church & traditionalism: in US it's anti-New Deal as well as opposition to postmodernism. In both cases it refers to domestic policy not foreign policy. Rjensen (talk) 19:42, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Postmodernism! You define American conservatism as opposition to the New Deal and to an obscure theory of literary criticism? These are non-standard definitions to say the least. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:17, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

See Brendon O'Connor, A Political History of the American Welfare System, Rowman & Littlefield. (2004) p. 38. Roosevelt called his supporters liberals and his opponenets conservatives as a term of abuse. That is the origin of the modern use of the term in the U.S., although liberals adopted their description 20 years before conservatives, many of whom called themselves true liberals and the New Dealers radicals. This is relevant in discussing modern American conservatism, but does not help in discussing conservatism as a global subject. It is not helpful to portray Bismarck and Disraeli as 19th century Bobby Jindals or worse to consider Swift, Hume, Dr. Johnson or Wilberforce as forerunners of Sean Hannity. TFD (talk) 03:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
yes postmodernism. conservative intellectuals talk about it all the time in highly negative terms. It's not a literary theory--it pervades a lot of academic thinking in many fields like religion and drives conservative intellectuals up the wall. The issue is relativism versus absolute truths. for summaries see Grigsby, Ellen (2008). Analyzing Politics. p. 161.  wwho says "Postmodern perspectives contend that any ideology putting forward absolute statements as timeless truths should be viewed with profound skepticism." Kellner says, "Postmodern discourse frequently argues that all discourses and values are socially constructed and laden with interests and biases. Against postmodern and liberal relativism, cultural conservatives have argued for values of universal truth and absolutye standards of right and wrong." at Douglas Kellner (2001). Grand Theft 2000: Media Spectacle and a Stolen Election. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 140.  Rjensen (talk) 06:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Request to Revise and Expand Article and Discussions over semantics and "no true scotsman"[edit]

When it comes to this article, there has been a considerable lack of clarity on the topic. My main concern is the assertion that "conservatism" and the political right means very different things in different countries. While it may be true that conservatives in different countries in different period of time had a variety of ideas that are wide and conflicting, conservatism as a whole and in terns of principle around the world have little to no difference. People in this article have the tendency to focus on specific ideas or plank certain conservative groups have and determine rather or not that group is conservative or not. This is a folly since people can share the same idea or principle but can differ on how that principle can be realized. No one doubts the communism of Trotsky and Stalin despite being the vocal points of a major split in that ideology. No one doubts the liberalism of the politics of John Stuart Mill despite having quasi-socialist ideas in his later career. To assume that we should retain a conservatism based of the ideas of those in the late 18th century is a mistake since say for instance if conservatism was all just 'throne-and-alter', there will be no conservative parties today because republicanism and secularism are the norm. Where it come to the bare bones of the argument, the basics of conservatism and the parties of the political right changed little since its inception and current parties around the world today considered conservative and to the right share and awful lot in common. DemitreusFrontwest (talk) 05:09, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

This is interesting, but you need a source, and you need to say what this unifying principle of conservatism is.Rick Norwood (talk) 22:27, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The main view of conservatism is that it arose as a reaction to liberalism and held a specific set of values. Re your comment "there will be no conservative parties today", that is largely correct. Conservative parties have largely died out. Where they have survived, such as in the U.K., throne and altar have often also survived, although in a much weakened state and the conservative ideology has managed to absorb a great degree of liberalism. The UK party today for example has the Cornerstone Group (Faith, Flag, and Family) and the Tory Reform Group which draws on the democratic Toryism of Disraeli, but the Thatcherite group was more likely to draw on 19th century liberals than actual conservatives.
TFD (talk) 02:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Then that would be contending that political ideologies are static and can never change and adapt. By that logic, social liberalism (the liberalism held by American liberals, Canadian liberals under and since Pierre Trudeau, Danish Social Liberal Party, modern Norwegian Liberals, Japan's JDP, British liberals since 1906) is not true liberalism since it deviates from classical liberal tenets in that expanded government is needed to help citizens and that the market economy should be regulated. By the same token, Lenin is not a true Marxist since he facilitated a revolution in a nation Marx did not consider 'modern' or 'developed'. Political ideologies adapt with the times and conservatism is unique in that it does that well. The notion that Conservative parties have 'largely died out' based on the original "throne and alter" is not true since liberals have largely moved on from parliamentarianism and disestablishment. Also is it worth noting about the overstating of differences in 19th century conservatives and liberals when it comes to certain political and economic issues. After all, the Peelites were conservatives that supported free trade and Gladstone started his political career as a Tory. The conservatives in Britain held disagreements with each other when it comes to specific things in politics and economics but then Thatcherites can draw liniage between them and previous conservatives that held their views. (talk) 10:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Ideologies indeed evolve. For most Conservative parties however, they did not evolve fast enough and died out, e.g., in Germany, Chile and Quebec. The parties that you call conservative evolved too mostly out of classical liberalism and are still within the liberal tradition. While 19th century Tories indeed adopted liberal economics, they saw the entrepreneurial class as inferior to the aristocracy. Similarly, modern Communist governments also adopted liberal economics, yet we do not call them liberals or conservatives. TFD (talk) 15:39, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
What is your indication that largely did not evolve and died out? An ideology adopting certain planks of other ideologies, even rival ones, does not mean that the former ideology is the later one. Conservatism developed and matured as a philosophy than just throne and alter to be involve in other issues. You're making the mistake that conservatism is a single issue ideology and it's not. (talk) 10:58, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I just provided three examples and there are more in the article. What is your definition and where did you get it? TFD (talk) 01:35, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
There are conservative parties in Germany, Chile and Quebec. (talk) 4:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The German National People's Party (formerly the German Conservative Party), the National Party (Chile, 1966–94) (formerly the Conservative Party (Chile)) and the Union Nationale (Quebec) (formerly the Conservative Party of Quebec (historical)) are all defunct. TFD (talk) 03:37, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

All major sources on the defining characteristics of conservatism point to: support for a state religion, or at least a belief that the state should support the most popular religion; support for the upper class, either in the form a state favors to the upper class, in terms of tax breaks and various other incentives, or at least a belief that the state should get out of the way, and allow the upper class to dominate by means of its wealth and social influence; and a preference for the values of the past over against "modernism" in all its forms, or at least a belief that all change should be gradual, and that government should not support "progress". All three of these can be encapsulated in a belief that the past is better than the present, and that we need to return to the way things were in the good old days.

The majority of young people embrace modernism. I don't know much about conservatism in Germany, Chile, and Quebec, but I assume that what The Four Deuces is saying is that the conservatives in those three countries fought against modernism and lost. In the US, the conservatives compromised -- they combined with the economic liberals under the blanket name conservative. The economic liberals were willing to accept laws against abortion, bussing, assisted suicide, and in some cases contraception in exchange for the lower taxes and less regulation that was their main issue. In the US, we now have a libertarian/conservative coalition which still cannot win a national election, but is dominant in the poorer and more rural states. Is this what you mean, DemitreusFrontwest, in saying that "conservatism is not a single issue ideology"? That it has joined with libertarianism? Rick Norwood (talk) 19:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Where does the quote about the good old days come from? Just curious. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Here is the quote from the Britannica which supports the first paragraph of this article. "Conservatism is a preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal. This preference has traditionally rested on an organic conception of society—that is, on the belief that society is not merely a loose collection of individuals but a living organism comprising closely connected, interdependent members. Conservatives thus favour institutions and practices that have evolved gradually and are manifestations of continuity and stability. Government’s responsibility is to be the servant, not the master, of existing ways of life, and politicians must therefore resist the temptation to transform society and politics. This suspicion of government activism distinguishes conservatism not only from radical forms of political thought but also from liberalism, which is a modernizing, antitraditionalist movement dedicated to correcting the evils and abuses resulting from the misuse of social and political power."

This part of the lead contradicts the premise that conservatism supports an organic view of society: "There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues." It is a different definition of conservatism and should say so. TFD (talk) 17:25, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Comparison of conservatism in four countries[edit]

The section Conservatism#Comparison of conservatism in four countries, which compares modern France, Russia, the UK and the U.S. appears to be original research. First, it is not clear that all the parties listed are conservative or that the positions listed are core principles. French conservatives for example are called "strong defenders of republicanism", while U.K. conservatives "reject[] conservatism." But French conservatives only agreed on republicanism because they could not agree on which line should assume the throne and restoring the monarchy today would be absurd, while in the U.K., where the Queen still reigns, even the socialists support monarchy. Then again UKIP (which is included under UK) is the least pro-monarchy party of them all.

I suggest removing it and only have such a section if it can be sourced to a text that makes comparisons.

TFD (talk) 22:19, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

No objection here.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:28, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
we can keep it--it has been revised with new info & cites. The text does not make OR comparisons of the sort "Britain is more conservative than France." Rjensen (talk) 09:50, 8 January 2015 (UTC)