Template talk:Conservatism sidebar

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WikiProject Conservatism (Rated Template-class)
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Untitled[edit]

- Why is it that the pages for every other political doctrine, whether Liberalism or Marxism or Anarchism, include only their prominent theorists while the Conservative page is loaded with statesmen who left little to no philosophical works behind them, including goofballs like Reagan and Thatcher? Someone like Buckley was more of an organizer than a thinker -- as a "philosopher" he's a total lightweight. I'd even say the same, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent, about Russell Kirk. The other pages don't include such people, e.g. the Liberalism page doesn't include FDR, although he was obviously as influential on the political level as Reagan.

- This is a page on Conservative thought. Therefore, the page should focus mainly on Conservative thinkers and not simply famous or influential people who happened to call themselves conservative. Exceptions can be made for statesmen who left some substantial literature behind, like Disraeli and Churchill.

- Neither should Anglo-American be the sole tradition represented. People like Taine and Maurras were both *extremely* important to the French right in their time. I don't care if some undercultured schmuck has never read or heard of them. Inclusion should not be based on how well-known a certain thinker is among the rank-and-file. I don't claim that abominations like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin are influenced by Taine. I would bet money that neither have ever heard of him. I just claim that it is irrelevant for the purposes of this article. The average American liberal has probably never waded through Rawls's 'A Theory of Justice' in its entirety, and yet he's still important to liberal theory.

- The current GOP does not have a monopoly on the word "Conservatism" and in fact I'd argue many of its current stances run in stark opposition to certain core conservative principles, even after one takes into account that those principles can shift with given circumstances. E.g., the idea of "Conservatives" launching a war to "spread democracy" (!!) strikes me as ridiculous as Communists launching a war to defend private property.

- The main article contains this claim: "They have, however, been accused of selectivity in choosing writers who present a moderate and defensible view of conservatism. For example, Hooker lived before the emergence of conservatism, Halifax did not belong to any party, Hume was not involved in politics, and Burke was a Whig. In the 19th century, Conservatives rejected Burke because of his defense of Catholic emancipation, and found inspiration in Bolingbroke instead. John Reeves, who wrote a Tory response to the French Revolution, is ignored."

This is absolutely ridiculous. WHICH 19th century Conservatives rejected Burke? Because it was Burke's Reflections, not Reeve's scribblings, which were immediately translated and spread throughout continental Europe. It was Burke, not Reeves, who influenced other counter-revolutionaries like Joseph de Maistre and Friedrich von Getz. It was Burke, not Reeves, who was cited by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as his spiritual mentor, and it was Coleridge who trained an entire generation of British Conservatives. The Conservatives who claim Burke as their forefather are not engaging in revisionist history, but the author of the above piece is.

- I realize Newman might be a debatable inclusion. I think he belongs. 1) He self-identified as a Tory and attacks Liberalism in his writings. 2) He's probably the most eloquent exponent of certain important strands of conservative Catholicism, i.e., the important of dogma, papal infallibility, etc. 3) He shares the distrust of rationalism and the need for authority found in other conservatives. 4) Both Russell Kirk and Peter Viereck included Newman in their anthologies of Conservative thought, so obviously some scholars on the topic agree with me on this.

- The inclusion of Viereck over Russell Kirk might also strike others as bizarre but 1) Viereck came first. It was really Viereck and not Kirk who first articulated "Conservatism" in American even if he later faded into the background while Kirk got all the think-tank positions. Google Viereck's NY Times obituary for proof. 2) They cover many of the same thinkers in their anthologies, but Viereck is also conversant with the continental tradition whereas Kirk is not. 3) Viereck is just clearly the more learned and more sophisticated of the two, and including both would be excessive.

- For the record, I'm not a "Conservative" in the strict sense of the term and I've no sympathy for the contemporary Anglo-American Right, as should be evident from my comments above, but I still think conservative political philosophy (and yes, there is some strong philosophical content there) should be treated with the same seriousness as any other. I also think that, given the limited space, the best and most sophisticated intellectual representatives should be chosen. Thus someone with the some real philosophical heft like Roger Scruton should be included over someone like Buckley even if Scruton didn't have the same influence on a practical level. Again, I acknowledge that average-Republican-idiot-congressman is probably not referencing Scruton during floor debates. But I also doubt that the average Democratic congressman has read Keynes or Rawls or has anything beyond a cutaneous knowledge of their ideas. And anyway, if Republican politicians or pundits cite an intellectual at all, it will probably be either Hayek or Friedman, both of whom are in another section, so I don't think "is this person an important influence on actual Conservative politicians?" should be a decisive factor.

- Besides, how wonderful it would be if some soi-disant "Conservatives" stumbled upon this page and decided to educate themselves on some of these authors! It might even cause them to re-evaluate some of their beliefs and positions. Even non-Conservatives should delight at that prospect. On the other hand, if you insist on treating Conservatism as a joke, then you shouldn't be surprised when it attracts all the low hanging fruit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.65.201.194 (talk) 20:20, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

You make good points. I think the people of Wikiproject Conservative need to read this. They have labeled articles like Donald Rumsfeld and Bush Tax Cuts as of high importance and Compassionate conservatism and Reaganomics as top importance!!!!!
I hope you'll support me at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Conservatism. LittleJerry (talk) 17:40, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

See also section[edit]

I'm removing Reaganomics, Thatcherism and Tea Party movement from the "see also" section. See also sections are from general topics and not listing of conservative policies. In additon, these are not even the best examples of conservativism. There is a despite over whether the "conservatism" of Thatacher is true conservtism since she differed from the traditional conservatives, the Tories. The Tea party movement is also relatively unimportant historically and is not worthy of the see also section. Such additions are nothing more than giving undue weight to modern Anglo-American politics. LittleJerry (talk) 19:08, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Agree. None of these subjects are about conservatism. TFD (talk) 21:36, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay let me state this again, Reaganomics, Thatcherism and Tea Party movement are narrow topics and do not belong in the "see also" section. The last one in particular is an example of WP:RECENT. All three are nothing more than giving undue to modern Anglo-American politcs. LittleJerry (talk) 01:49, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no policy which excludes "narrow topics" in a nav box. The Tea Party has been around for 2 years so RECENT doesn't apply; anyway it passes WP:10YT. I'm not persuaded that these are UNDUE. – Lionel (talk) 09:21, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
BTW this is not a "See also" section so the whole starting point for your argument is unfounded.– Lionel (talk) 09:26, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Two years is still recent. What makes the Tea party movement so important that it needs to be there? Can you point to an academic book on Conservatism (not just in America) that gives imporantance to the Tea Party? The probelm is, you've seem to be pay attention more to modern American politics and current events, that you think certain movements are more important them they are. LittleJerry (talk) 15:34, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Is Tea Party appropriate under "Related topics?" Well, it is related, so the answer is yes. Your argument based on recentism and importance is not persuasive. – Lionel (talk) 06:47, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
There are plenty of topics that are relate to conservatism, positive and negative. One should then be able to put in any one of them. LittleJerry (talk) 16:25, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
One can do anything they want as long as they have consensus. However in this case, based on the edit sum you left, you have violated WP:POINT. – Lionel (talk) 17:05, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Name wrapping[edit]

The template is too long vertically. We should wrap the entries in the People group. Any objections? – Lionel (talk) 02:13, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Lionel: My objection is a practical one: Unless someone is constantly re-wrapping the names as more names are added, the list will begin to have gaps between names. Look at the People group now and you'll see what I mean. Other groups are also in need of such touch-up. - Babel41 (talk) 01:59, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I switched the template over to hlist, so it should automatically wrap. Frietjes (talk) 16:59, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Religion[edit]

Christian Right · Jewish Right
Hindu Nationalism · Islamism
Traditionalist Catholics

How did we arrive at this list? Some of them are political and some are purely theological. Two are Christian. What's the rhyme or reason for picking these five?   Will Beback  talk  01:39, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


People[edit]

It looks like there are only three politicians on the template: Benjamin Disraeli, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher. I believe all of the other entries are primarily theorists or philosophers. Are these really the three most important politicians in the history of conservatism?   Will Beback  talk  04:56, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me the people section needs an overhaul; at the moment the list is sprawling and seemingly random. Perhaps it should reflect, say, the notable people mentioned in the Conservatism article, or maybe the (more conservative) list in Template:Conservatism footer. ‑‑xensyriaT 18:18, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Imaginary flag[edit]

Somebody invented an imaginary blue flag--no reliable source is given (and no unreliable source either). Perhaps the assumption that if Reds have a red flag then conservatives should have a flag too, and maybe it ought to be blue. (In US political color imagery, as invented by the TV networks decades ago, blue stands for the Democratic Party and red for the GOP.) That is unencyclopedic imagination, of the sort that is not allows in Wikipedia. Rjensen (talk) 06:18, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

I came here wondering whether anybody would get upset enough to comment on the color of the flag image used in the template and I was not disappointed. Do some Wikipedians have too much time on their hands? Did it ever occur to you that the television networks in the United States are run mostly by people who promote the Democratic Party, whose policies in recent decades have become indistinguishable from those of the Communist Party prior to 1970? What better way to deflect scrutiny than apply the color red to their opponents, the color favoured by Communists for over 150 years? — QuicksilverT @ 17:50, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

shades of blue[edit]

the blue used on the "conservatism flag" (& apparently in the general conservatism-themed colour-sceme) is far too "turquoise"; i'd suggest a darker blue, but even a baby-sky blue would be better & more appropriate than turquoise(!) Lx 121 (talk) 02:39, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

or, how about no flag, per the section above? Frietjes (talk) 13:50, 3 June 2014 (UTC)