Talk:Conservatism/Archive 6

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South Korea

Bobisbob2 has removed everything about South Korea from the article. The question seems to be whether or not the Wikipedia article on the subject is correct in its assertion that the current government of South Korea is conservative. In this case "conservative" seems to mean capitalist, pro-US, and anti-communist. I don't know enough about Korea to know if this is actually an example of a conservative party, but I don't see any reason to doubt it. I do note that the "low" tax rate in South Korea is roughly the same as the tax rate in the US. Is there any good reason for this article not to include information about conservatism in South Korea? Please discuss this before going on to remove other countries from the list. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:23, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Sure, it just has to actually discuss the philosophy behind Korean conservativism rather than the achievements of the country. Bobisbob2 (talk) 16:43, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The problem I see with listing conservative parties is that the term itself is ambiguous. There are historical conservative parties that survived the Second World War, notably the UK Conservative Party but most parties called conservative in the article actually derived from liberal or centrist parties, do not see themselves in the tradition of Burke or De Maistre and do not call themselves conservatives. There are two organizations that they may belong to: the International Democrat Union or the Centrist Democrat International or both. I think the nations section should describe the historic conservative parties (e.g., the German Conservative Party, not the Centre Party (Germany). If readers want further information on modern conservatism by country they can read the articles about conservative internationals. The Four Deuces (talk) 18:59, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Bad article

This article has recently been flagged as needing a complete rewrite. Similar attempts in the past have led to edit wars. Is it possible to do such a rewrite now? Rick Norwood (talk) 14:21, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

The problem may be that the term has been used to mean different things and editors have argued over what was the true conservatism. It might be helpful to separate out the different meanings. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:48, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with the definition. It's just that the article is not detailed enough. Compare this article to the ones on liberalism, socialism or anarchism and it's in bad shape. (talk) 18:13, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
You must be specific. The Four Deuces (talk) 22:57, 22 February 2010 (UTC)


I have started a discussion thread at the RSN noticeboard about whether Wikipolitique, used in this article, is a reliable source.[1] Since the text in this article sourced to Wikipolitique is multi-sourced, it would have no effect on the text in this article. The Four Deuces (talk) 00:28, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


The section on Burke is really bad. It contradicts itself. I've done a little work on it, mostly for style, but work on the substance needs to be carried out, preferably by a scholar in the subject. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:07, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

It seems to emphasize what modern conservatives draw from him, which is important, but it should have a more complete description of his views and role in the develop of English Conservatism. I found a source for this, "Edmund Burke: the Contradictions of Liberal Conservatism", and will try to expand the section. Some of the history in the United Kingdom section should be moved here as well. The Four Deuces (talk) 12:00, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

I've done some work on the lede. I'll gladly step back and leave the next section to you. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:23, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

The material you posted on my talk pages seems to be exactly what this article needs. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:39, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I put it in. The Four Deuces (talk) 15:43, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


This article has gotten much worse, to the point of trying to say everything and saying nothing. I'm going to do some work on it today, but it needs the attention of experts. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:53, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Here's a good place to start for information. [2] Bobisbob2 (talk) 15:48, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Here is another source: English Conservatism since the Restoration: An Introduction and Anthology (1990), Robert Eccleshall. I will add something following Burke to explain how English conservatism developed. The Four Deuces (talk) 17:13, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I notice that article Bobisbob2 discusses historical conservatism in the UK, France and Germany, while the section about Germany in the WP article discusses Christian Democracy. I think the article would be improved by restricting the article to historic conservative parties. While many of these (e.g., in Germany and Japan) have disappeared, many countries retain historic conservative parties, notably the UK. The Four Deuces (talk) 16:21, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

And now, thanks to The Four Deuces and Bobisbob2, the article has gotten much better. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

So can the tags be removed, are the issues resolved? (talk) 20:47, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

"avoid radical change" ...

... appears to be the definition. Current text has this including both preservation of the status quo and reactionary tendencies as well as presumably "conservative change" whatever that might be. The reactionary stands in clear opposition to the progressive as antithetical partners. Is conservatism unipolar opposing both, does it stand on the side of reaction as a limit of the advance of the progressive or is it in polar opposition to radicalism of either the right or left? The Lede should clarify this and I'm sure the relevant support from Burke or however can be dredged up. (talk) 21:23, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

It can be either reactionary or progressive, but is united in its claim to conserve social harmony. The Four Deuces (talk) 21:29, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
o i c, Harmonious society. (talk) 22:58, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Which was inspired by Confucius who arguably was a conservative. The Four Deuces (talk) 23:32, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
More than arguably, but also subtly different from modern Western conserativism in the essential matter of allowing that there is a time for radical change and in the nature of the limitations to place on same. (talk) 00:37, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

"In the Republic of China, the conservative Kuomintang (KMT) (the most popular party) generally supports Chinese nationalism and Chinese reunification."

That statement isn't true. If you look at their policy statements they generally prefer the status quo. They do like greater economic ties with the Peoples republic of china- but they do not want reunification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:43, 30 April 2010

The KMT originally planned to re-unite China under their leadership and they were recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Do you have any sources that they have given up this claim? TFD (talk) 15:43, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Rush Limbaugh

I find it interesting there is no mention of Rush Limbaugh anywhere. After giving his speech to CPAC a little while ago, it would seem he would be a leader in the modern conservative movement in the United States. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:13, 2 May 2010

This article is about Conservatism, not Conservatism in the United States. TFD (talk) 16:19, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

I have problems with the psychology section

Newsflash: some academics from the social sciences find that people who identify as conservatives are racist authoritarians. Okay, great, let's put it into the Wikipedia article on conservatism. However, I just checked the liberalism article and there's nothing on psychology there! It's at

I am therefore removing that unencyclopedic section unless it can be justified in a NPOV way. Hanxu9 (talk) 12:36, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

The section has been discuess numerous times. Personally, I feel that it overstates its case a bit and that the people involved represent a small minority. But overall it belongs. Soxwon (talk) 13:42, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
The research is generally accepted, and if you can point to research that shows a relation between liberalism and personality then put it in. TFD (talk) 15:16, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, will do. I will add a section to the liberalism page. For example, a study in the 1970s found that the more committed a liberal activist is, the more they have an external locus of psychological control. I expect this to be swiftly deleted; I also will expect you to have just as powerful an objection when it does as you would here. Hanxu9 (talk) 17:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
So, here it is: This is what it says:
"Psychologists Hanna Levenson and Jim Miller found evidence to support the idea that increases in an external Locus of Control were positively associated with increases in activism in liberal political causes. [150]"
It should be interesting to see how swiftly that gets deleted, along with what (if any) justification gets used. I shall then use the same justification to delete the "psychology" section here, since, as we all know, Wikipedia is NPOV. Hanxu9 (talk) 17:24, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Since that study was limited to American college students, it belongs in Modern liberalism in the United States. I've moved it there. Really, such claims should be backed up with repeated studies, as are the claims in this article. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Error in conservatism - Netherlands

"The Dutch conservative-liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy advocates lower taxes, legal cannabis and legal euthanasia. The Party for Freedom is a newly formed conservative party, advocating strict restriction on immigration from Muslim countries, free-market capitalism, and a return to humanist and Christian traditions. It is led by Geert Wilders."

This is not true. Geert Wilders is not the leader of the VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) and has never been the leader of it, although he has been a member. Nowadays he is the leader of the PVV (Party for Freedom).

It would be great if this could be changed! (talk) 23:27, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed the party because it is not a conservative party. TFD (talk) 10:08, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Political parties

I have removed political parties that are not normally considered conservative according to Von Beyme's categorization of political parties, including radical right, liberal, Christian Democratic, agrarian, nationalist and unclassified parties, and adding in omitted conservative parties. I have retained Canada or the US, although US parties are not normally categorized as conservative and political scientists disagree over the categorization of Canada's conservative parties. TFD (talk) 10:05, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Forms of conservatism

Most of this section is unsourced, its accuracy is dubious, and it is American-centric. These topics are already well-covered in Conservatism in the United States. If there are no objections, I will remove this section. TFD (talk) 07:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Alas - wrong. It is true that almost every article relating to politics is "American-centric" but that is part of the basic nature of WP, and is not aided by such an act. So - there is an aobjection, thank you. Collect (talk) 11:48, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What about the first two issues: most of this section is unsourced, its accuracy is dubious. TFD (talk) 20:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Place tags where no cite has been furnished -- WP looks to WP:V and not to anything else on this sort of stuff. Collect (talk) 11:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Certainly, the section is much too long, and splits hairs. I can think of three major forms of conservatism: first, God, King, and Country conservatism; second, suspicion of foreigners; and third, support for big business and the rich. Are there others? You know much more than I do about conservatism outside the US, TFD. Are there any other countries where support for small government and free trade is called "conservative"? Rick Norwood (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

The development section mentions De Maistre's conservatism and also the "tension [in English conservatism] between traditional aristocratic conservatism and proponents of laissez-faire". We could also discuss the various meanings of conservatism in the US under the US section. While some conservatives support "small government and free trade" I do not think it is a core belief. In Britain the two types of conservatives are called "Wets and dries" or traditional conservatives and neoliberals , in Canada they are called and "Red Tories" and "Blue tories". TFD (talk) 05:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Collect has found a few sources and added them to the text. As expected, they all refer to conservatism in the US. I will therefore move them to the US section. This section should be trimmed because there is already an article on Conservatism in the United States. TFD (talk) 02:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
The section is still much too long. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:02, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The section can be improved, but some of the Variants subsections mention countries other than the United States, so it should not be a subsection of the US section.Spylab (talk) 12:36, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Spylab, Even if the various types of conservative thought may be found outside the US, the sources are US writing about US political cleavages: fiscal (Malcolm Forbes), green (Gingrich), cultural (Bennett), religious (Robertson). Do they use this terminology in the UK or do they refer to the factions within the Conservatives as the Conservative Way Forward (dries) and the Tory Reform Group (wets)? TFD (talk) 15:52, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Cursory examination finds the terms in UK journals. [3] for "foscal conservative." Cameron using the term about himself [4]. [5] for "religious conservative." "green conservative" at [6] and so on. Collect (talk) 19:13, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Collect, just because an adjective and a noun can be combined in a meaningful way does not create a new variant. While the Times describes Paul Martin as a "fiscal conserative", it would be more accurate to describe him as "fiscally conservative", and even more accurate to describe him as an economic liberal. In fact, Martin was leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and I hope you are not suggesting that we change this article to include Canadian Liberals. Martin's faction is usually called the "business Liberals", not the "fiscal conservatives". David Cameron describes his political philosophy as "progressive conservatism", not "fiscal conservatism" and tries to bridge the wets and the dries. In fact you do not have to be a conservative to be a fiscal conservative any more than you need to be a conservative to be a "conservative dresser". There are numerous other adjectives that can be applied to conservatism: reactionary, right-wing, enlightened, socialist, moderate, extreme, old-fashioned, modern, nationalist, successful, unsuccessful, etc. Why do you think that the specific categories mentioned belong in the article, while the others do not.

Here are sentences from the Variants section that specifically discuss countries other than the United States:

In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous.
A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe is a combination of more modern conservative (less traditionalist) views with those of social liberalism. This has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism. Often this involves stressing what are now conservative views of free-market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights, environmentalism and support for a limited welfare state. This philosophy is that of Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. In continental Europe, this is sometimes also translated into English as social conservatism.
Until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy.
Libertarian conservatism describes certain political ideologies within the United States and Canada which combines libertarian economic issues with aspects of conservatism.
Edmund Burke, in his 'Reflections on the Revolution in France', argued that a government does not have the right to run up large debts and then throw the burden on the taxpayer:

...[I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied...[T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.
The culture in question may be as large as Western culture or Chinese civilization or as small as that of Tibet. Cultural conservatives try to adapt norms handed down from the past. The norms may be romantic, like the anti-metric movement that demands the retention of avoirdupois weights and measures in America and Britain and opposes their replacement with the metric system.
One example of such a movement was the Radical Reformation within the Protestant Reformation and the later Restorationists of the 1800s. Similar phenomena have arisen in practically all the world's religions, in many cases triggered by the violent cultural collision between the traditional society in question and the modern Western society that has developed throughout the world over the past 500 years.

Many of the other topics in the section also apply to various countries, not just the US.Spylab (talk) 20:12, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Liberal conservatism is a term used by different writers with different meanings to describe conservatism that accepts some liberal ideas, which basically applies to all conservatism and is already clearly explained in the article. Conservative liberalism is a variety of liberalism, not conservativism. The conservative liberals in Germany were the National Liberals, the main opponents of the Conservatives. Liberalism and conservatism also differed in Italy. Unless you want to merge this article with liberalism, the two groups should be considered distinct. Libertarian conservatism of course only applies to the US, they are libertarians who are part of the conservative movement. No such faction exists in Canada. While Burke provided comments that inspire modern fiscal conservatism, he did not belong to a fiscal conservative faction but is considered the founder of English conservatism, inspiring both wets and dries. The Radical Reformation and Restorationists were clearly in the liberal tradition, emphasizing the individual's direct relation with God and the development of the church from the community rather than an established church dictating worship. In fact classical liberalism in the UK and US had a strong nonconformist bent. As for conservatives opposing metric, does this necessitate the creation of a new category of conservative or is opposition to change part of the definition of conservatism?
As I already explained, while these cleavages exist in the US, in the rest of the world they do not, and we seem to be confusing conservatism with liberalism.
TFD (talk) 22:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The same distinctions occur in many lands, not just the US, as is shown by the cites furnished. Collect (talk) 13:28, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Libertarianism: the first source is an article about paleoconservatism ("an American branch of conservative Old Right thought"), the second source is the "New Libertarian Manifesto" written in the US.[7], the third source is by the author, Samuel Edward Konkin III, the fourth source is an article about Ron Paul and abortion.[8] None of them even use the term "libertarian conservatism", let alone claim that such a faction exists in conservatism outside the US. Ironically, although the section claims there are libertarian conservatives in Canada, the only reference to Canada says that some libertarians in Canada join the socialist party. TFD (talk) 14:43, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Conservatives are not only a political movement, but can be identified in levels like "Social conservative" whom may take morals, ethics, values, manners, folkways, social cues, taboos and beliefs strongly or seriously; and then there is "Fiscal conservative" about how much the government should spend budgets and taxpayer money onto federal or state-funded public programs. Conservative is simply defined on preserving what they believe or feel it's good, proper and sacrosanct in any given society or culture; and they aren't basically a reactionary side of the political spectrum either. We may hear of radical, libertarian, classic and forms of "paleo/arch(aic)" vs. "neo/modern" conservative to indicate ones' own personal or individual position in each or all moral, social, cultural and political issues of the day. + (talk) 06:06, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Religious conservatism and cultural conservatism

Religious conservatism is not a subset of cultural conservatism. Examples abound. China, for example, is very conservative culturally, but not at all conservative in religion. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Sort of true -- China is extremely conservative in such matters as Taoism etc., to the extent that "foreign religions" are suspect. This is sometimes hard to see as China is not by nature a single nation with a single religion, but a grouping of a "Heinz 57" of nationalities, many of which adhere in many respects to traditional religions. You might read Denby on such stuff as well. Collect (talk) 13:26, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
"Religious conservatives seek to apply the teachings of particular religions to politics...." Is this referring to religious people who are conservative or people of various political beliefs who are conservative in their religion? Certainly Christian socialists and nonconformist liberals pushed for blue laws and prohibition. But conservatives have usually supported state control of religion. Should be clarified. TFD (talk) 13:37, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I looked up the source, "New Religious Conservatism".[9] It appears to refer exclusively to a faction of US conservatism and there is no mention of similar factions existing elsewhere. TFD (talk) 14:01, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Try also [10] which refers to religious conservatism thoughout the course of history. Though American, I do not suggest that history began with the US <g>. Collect (talk) 14:39, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
So what? This source[11] refers to "conservative dressing". Some people have dressed conservatively thoughout the course of history. Although conservatives tend to dress more conservatively (you can test this by sitting in the Strangers Gallery in any parliament), it does not mean that there is a conservative dresser faction of conservatives. It just means that being religious and dressing conservatively are common attributes of conservatism. TFD (talk) 14:52, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Parts of the recent Spylab edit are good, other parts seem to confuse social conservativism, cultural conservatism, and religious conservatism. It seems clear to me just from the definitions of the words that social conservatism means expecting the government to uphold the conventions of society (examples of social conservatism would include the laws in New York in the early 20th century against lower class people crossing the police line into the Wall Street district, or laws in France in the 18th century against working class people dressing as if they were upper class). I can't think of any examples of social conservatism still in effect. Maybe the Atlanta country clubs that still exclude Blacks and Jews, but that is rare and local. On the other hand, cultural conservatism seems on the upswing, for example the controversial Arazona law requiring police to search anyone who "looks like" they might be an illegal immigrant. And issues of abortion and homosexuality, which seem to me clearly religious conservatism, have been moved by Spylab from religious to cultural conservatism. Maybe he would explain how he understands the various forms of conservatism. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:23, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

In her US political science textbook, Ellen Grigsby identifies two types of conservatism: "Classical liberal conservatism" and "Burkean traditional conservatism",[12] which she equates with "social conservatism".[13] She identifies the Family Research Council and the Christian Coalition as "traditional conservatives".[14] She mentions the Conservative Party of Norway as "traditional conservative". (In fact they call themselves "social conservatives".) Norwegian traditional conservatism involves support of the welfare state, same-sex marriage and family planning, including abortion. US conservative writers have always considered their movement to be a coalition between traditionalists and libertarians. TFD (talk) 16:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

(out) Nope. "Always considered"? Not in any books I found. As far as saying that because a single source makes a dichotomy, that therefore the dichotomy must be correct - that does not fit WP:V by a mile. All you can say is "this source says yada yada yada" and not that "yada yada yada is a fact." Collect (talk) 16:53, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I would like to know what books you read, Collect. Perhaps you could recommend one that supports your view. Incidentally, a single source is usually adequate to support a fact. People who dispute facts should provide alternative sources rather than ask for more sources. TFD (talk) 17:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
What any editor "knows" is irrelevant - all that counts is WP:V. Which means that insisting that because you find a book with a dichotomy does not mean that the dichotomy is "fact." The only "fact" you have presented is the opinion expressed in one source. And the simple truth is that we have a large number of sources which do not make that dichotomy - inlcuding sources for "fiscal conservatism" etc. As presented in the article. I make no claims as to "knowing" the "truth" nor does WP policy state that such is a proper thing for any editor to claim. Or do you dispute the RS sources given for the forms of conservatism? Collect (talk) 17:41, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
The fact that a source says there is a dichotomy is evidence that there is a dichotomy and a source that is silent on the topic is not a source. Anyway, please provide a source that "fiscal conservatism" is a type of conservatism. The source you use, besides being about the US, is actually about keeping costs down in the prison system.[15] This obviously is not a branch of conservatism. TFD (talk) 02:04, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Spylab has not responded to my question here, but on rereading, I find his edit to be an improvement in the article. The only point that seems doubtful is the claim that conservatives support "morality". It's an odd moral code that forbids dirty words but accepts torture. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:45, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Hi, I didn't notice that question directed at me until now. This is not about my understanding of the various forms of conservatism, nor about any other editor's understanding of the topic. The Variants section needs more references and less original research. Pretty much all I did was delete a bunch of uncited claims, and then copy/paste content from the related articles (cultural conservatism, social conservatism etc.). Spylab (talk) 21:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The lead

An editor removed the following text, with the notation "lede is not the place for extended argument - it is to show only the gist of the article. the "but" clai" from the lead: "But Robert Eccleshall countered that their claim that conservatism is not an ideology, taken at face value, implies that conservatives either lack a distinct view of society or else are incapable of thinking intelligently about politics. He defined conservatism as "the persistent image of society as a command structure in which the responsibilities of leadership can be exercised within the framework of a strong state". This text followed Hailsham's description of conservatism as "not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself".

While I accept the objection we still need to provide a mainstream description of conservatism in the lead. What about, "But Robert Eccleshall defined conservatism as "the persistent image of society as a command structure in which the responsibilities of leadership can be exercised within the framework of a strong state"?

TFD (talk) 15:25, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

"But" is, in esse, placing an argument into the lede, far beyond the value of the argument in the corpus of the article. Collect (talk) 16:50, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Then please recommend another conjuction when there are differing definitions of a topic. (Also, please stop using Latin, it reminds me of my schoolmasters.) TFD (talk) 22:36, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
The primary definition used in the article belongs in the lede. Other definitions do not belong in the lede. There is no need for a conjunction, especially when it is not even properly used as a conjunction. And where Latin phrases are "spot on" it makes sense to use them. Collect (talk) 23:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Then we should use the Eccleshall definition. I do not know where you are getting this from. Could you please provide a source for your explanation, otherwise I will set up an RfC. TFD (talk) 01:49, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The lede should " summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies. (My emphasis.) Since you have not replied I will re-insert the definition as described. Please do not remove sourced material without providing any explanations based on policy or guidelines. TFD (talk) 17:16, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The only problem was that 1. it was not given by him as a definition and 2. it omitted the actual point of the quote - that it referred to divine-right royalism as a hallmark of English conservatism. Now included. Collect (talk) 21:09, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

another resource for the article

Here's another resource for information on conservatism. (talk) 23:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

This book seems moderately interesting, but it was published more than thirty years ago, is out of print, has no reviews either on Amazon or Google, and is apparently the only work by an otherwise non-notable author. Better sources are available. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:13, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


A link from Islamic Consultative Assembly (Iran) suggests there is content about Iranian conservatism but no such content exists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

There is no reference in this article about that. TFD (talk) 05:44, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Conservative variants/sects

The section on conservative variants makes no sense. I have never heard of half of those variants and I think a few of them could be compiled into one section/banner. The different schools of thought that SHOULD be listed are: Traditional conservatism, Reactionary conservatism, and the New Right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xbarix (talkcontribs) 04:14, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


The Four Deuces: should we revert wrongheaded comments on the talk page? I thought not. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:56, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

It seemed like trolling to me, trying to generate reaction without expectation of improving the article. In reply to the IP's question, there are right-wing groups that are too radical to be considered conservative. TFD (talk) 15:38, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Rapid in def. of Conservative

Neither citation uses the word rapid, so I deleted it. Please cite the source, and it can be restored. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

There is no reference for the statement "opposes rapid change in society" or for your statement "supports minimal and gradual change in sociey". The fact that a statement is unsupported does not mean that one can substitute it with another unsupported statement. Please find a source. TFD (talk) 04:31, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
yeah, that was my bad. I made the same mistake you did. I didn't read the entire source before I wrote the above statement. You clear wrote the above statement before reading the source. What I changed it to reflects the source. Personally, I think it should be deleted, but you get my point.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 3 September 2010

National conservatism

I have nominated the article National conservatism for deletion. The sources provided for it use it as a synonym for right-wing populism or as a description of the policies of Daniel Webster. The definition provided for it comes from a dictionary designed for the "global bureaucracy" of the "New World Order". If anyone can find any sources for the article or would like to comment, please see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/National conservatism. TFD (talk) 13:04, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

The Lipset Quote

Can I please question the utility of the Lipset quote in the prime position that it's in?

It does not describe the same Conservatism as that of Burke and relies heavily on a US interpretation of the language used. The sort of Liberalism that Burke was reacting against was one that promoted commercial venture, individualism and social mobility (19th century liberalism, before the rise of Social Democratic traditions). The conservatism of Burke on the other hand was stressing the importance of the existing order (a class system largely based on hereditary birth right, which fixes people into a certain class) and the problems associated with quickly changing that. I don't think that the quote helps promote understanding of the topic.

-- (talk) 03:48, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Agree - the comments were specific to the U.S. and should be removed. TFD (talk) 06:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Agree. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:07, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
If and only if you can find in the quote "I only mean this entire article to be about the US" which does not appear AFAICT. Meanwhile, Lipset is used in almost all the articles on political movements - if removed here as only referring to the US, he should be removed from all the articles. His reference here to "liberal" and "conservative" appears to be a more general statement than "only American liberals and conservatives" Lastly, Lipset is an RS, and removal requires more than an assertiong that he only writes about the US. Collect (talk) 15:04, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Here is a link to the source, "Equality and the American Creed". Here is the first paragraph of the essay, from which the quote is taken:

Many of the inconsistencies in American racial attitudes point to a deep contradiction between two values that are at the core of the American Creed -- individualism and egalitarianism. Americans believe strongly in both values. One consequence of this dualism is that political debate often takes the form of one consensual value opposing the other. Liberals and conservatives typically do not take "alternative" positions on issues of equality and freedom. Instead, each side appeals to one or the other core value. Liberals stress the primacy of egalitarianism and the social injustice that flows through unfettered individualism. Conservatives enshrine individual freedom and the social need for mobility and achievement as values "endangered" by the collectivism inherent in liberal nostrums. Both sides treat as their natural constituency the entire American public. In this sense, liberals and conservatives are less opponents than they are competitors, like two department stores on the same block trying to draw the same customers by offering different versions of what everyone wants. (The text cited in the articled has been bolded.)

My reading is that Lipset was writing about liberals and conservatives in the U.S., not usually the terms globally.

TFD (talk) 16:14, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

You are reading material which is not in the source. My take is that he was talking about general characteristics of liberals and conservatives. As WP does not allow editors to assert we KNOW what an author meant, we have to use what the author WROTE. Is that clear? Just like we can not say "(in the European sense)" unless the author states those words. I would ask that the quote be reinserted, as unless or until someone can state what Lipset "meant" we have to work with what he "wrote." We are not "reliable sources" as to what an author meant. I trust this is clear now? Collect (talk) 18:49, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Why do you think that Lipset was talking about general characteristics when the article is about the U.S.? Elsewhere he wrote, "What Europeans have called "liberalism," Americans refer to as "conservatism"...." TFD (talk) 19:56, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
First of all - he makes it as a general statement about conservatives and liberals. Second, I do not have the "gift of knowing intent when the quote does not indicate one." Indeed, it is exactly -WP:KNOW which you are doing - that is, asserting that you "know" that Lipset meant something different than his precise words. Collect (talk) 21:43, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

It's called context, Collect. If an author titles an article "Equality and the American Creed", he does not repeat "American" over and over throughout the article. He assumes the reader will remember what the article is about. You should not try to take a quote out of context.

And of course we can know what an author means, if the author writes well and his meaning is clear. Wikipedia paraphrases what authors mean all the time, else everything would be meaningless. What we cannot do is to read into an author more than he clearly intended to say or take what an author said out of context. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:30, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

No - it is called "I know what the guy meant even if he does not say so"-ism. Unless you provide a quote where he says "the definition of 'liberal' and 'conservative' is different in the US than in other nations, and in my articles I use the US definitions" or the like, we must allow that his usage was the same as his usage in other articles - that is, a general usage. It is against WP policy for us to assume that we know what he meant better than his writings indicate. Suppose a person writing on weather in the US said "The northeast US geta a lot of snow" and then has a sentence "Snow is crystals of frozen water" would you assert that snow is only crystals of frozen water in the US? Yet that is exactly what you are saying here! Collect (talk) 14:56, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Also see [16] where he makes explicit comments about American conservatism and liberalism - and which does not align with his more general quote. Collect (talk) 19:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

"Radical Reformer"

In a recent edit, I had removed the term/word radical, as radical is a POV or peacock term, which may misrepresent the individual. It has since been re-added here with the edit summary:

reformer alone is misleading

Given that, after further contemplation, the us of reformer can also be seen as a POV term, perhaps the title should be removed to state only the two individuals in the picture, and where the picture was taken. This IMHO would be more neutral, yet still accurately describe the image. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 13:18, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree that just the name under the picture is best, as with earlier pictures on the page. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:25, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Change completed. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 15:12, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Emphasis on 'keeping things the same'

I feel in the introduction there is far too much emphasis on maintaining things - on cultural conservatism or traditionalist conservatism.

The fact is the meaning of conservatism today is still concerned with that in some regards, particularly cultural, but you are missing out the core of it today which is smaller government, less taxation, less income redistribution, less government socialisation of services, support for free market economics, etc etc.

In Australia where I am from, the main conservative party (ironically called the liberal party as the party was founded in the 19th century when liberal meant what is generally known as conservatism today) contains stands of social conservatism, ie opposition to abortion/gay marriage, etc, tied in with strands of cultural conservatism, ie preservation of australian values/reduced intake of refugees, AS WELL AS, most prominently as most issues are economic, support for the free market, deregulation, less taxes etc.

I know it is the same way in the USA, and also the UK and Canada at least to a large extent. From the extent of my knowledge of non-English speaking nations, for example in Europe, there is generally a left wing party that supports socialist-based policy of wealth redistribution and socialised public services, as well as a conservative party which always, from what I can see, has a core tenet of the small govt/less tax/free market conservatism of which i speak - maybe you define it as fiscal conservatism. But in order to make this article usable and refer to what people commonly think of when they hear the word conservatism - this needs to be given a FAR larger place in the intro and throughout. As it stands it is leaving out a core feature of the modern ideology - akin to writing an article about socialism and not talking about the economic side (ie govt ownership of production, communal factories/farms, etc) and just focusing on the revolutionary element! As it is, it is just not representative. Saruman-the-white (talk) 11:01, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

As explained in the article, "conservatives" are considered to belong to a separate ideological family from liberals. TFD (talk) 12:14, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes indeed, but the meaning of the word conservatism today refers to, in by the the most common meaning, a combination of free market, low spending, low tax, small govt economic policy, with traditional, slowly-changing social policy. That is the meaning of the word today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 07:21, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

"change is the means of our preservation."[17] So said Edmund Burke. It is a core conservative principle. Kauffner (talk) 09:48, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
While that is questionable, this is not a dictionary and articles are about concepts, not words. Surely an Australian student reading about historical conflict between Australian or U.K. liberals and conservatives would find your definition confusing. TFD (talk) 11:20, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
If you look at the link I gave, Kirk defines conservatism in terms of ten principles. "Minimal change" is a hostile definition, not one of Kirk's principles. Kauffner (talk) 11:44, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

But Kirk doesn't get to define words. Dictionaries define words. If the dictionaries are hostile, it might be better to choose a different word. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:07, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

So do tell. Which dictionary did the "minimal change" definition come from? The current definition actual even more hostile than this. It's "at the most" minimal change. I don't think this describes the POV any politically significant group. Kauffner (talk) 05:03, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Opposition to vast changes would indeed seem to be a key principle. But just as important are the principles of small govt, lower taxation, less wealth redistribution, less regulation, etc. I'm not really sure what you mean about the Australian student being confused with definitions. In Australia, liberal = (US) conservative, conservative also = (US) conservative. However we would normally use the term liberal to refer to the party, and conservative for the ideology. (US) liberal in australia would be called a left winger, leftist or just labor voter. In the UK i thought that "liberal" had the same meaning as in the US, in the modern context. This aside,the fact is the fundamentals of conservatism are minimal state control and regulation of the economy, and an emphasis on traditional values and ways of life. Neither one should be excluded from the intro and there should be as much discussion of these as there is with 'the need to preserve'.Saruman-the-white (talk) 02:11, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Can you recommend any reliable sources on political ideology that support your position? TFD (talk) 02:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

The manifesto or core principles of any and every major conservative party you have listed there in the intro? Are you saying you disagree with this 'position'? I don't know that there is any 'position' about it. Go up to anyone on the street and ask them to describe conservative beliefs and they will come up with things like small govt, low taxes, etc etc. This is great in terms of the social side of conservative beliefs, but has nothing on the economic side of things (which arguable makes up the vast, vast majority of political decisions today). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Saruman-the-white (talkcontribs) 04:54, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

I believe that the reason why the other editor is asking, is not that the editor agrees or disagrees with the statement that was made before the question that was posed, but because the minimum of inclusion within an article on Wikipedia is that it is supported by a reliable source. Otherwise anything else falls under WP:SPS or WP:OR. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:37, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

"Ask anyone in the street," may be a good guide to current usage, but says nothing about how the word has been used over the years by major writers. In their effort to defest Barack Obama, US conservatives have been hammering away against "big government", but you almost never heard that when George W. Bush was president. The meanings of words change, but if they change every election cycle, then words become meaningless. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:23, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Not to violate WP:NOTFORUM, but when G.W. Bush expanded Medicare and Federal Government involvement in Education, there were conservatives who stated that "Compassionate Conservative", was not conservative partially based on the big government argument. The search term George W. Bush not conservative brings up millions of hits, and on the first page at least one reliable source. That is of course just one POV, out of many, and as such YMMV. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 02:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
See Hayek's article, "Why I am not a conservative".[18] "This difference between liberalism and conservatism must not be obscured by the fact that in the United States it is still possible to defend individual liberty by defending long-established institutions. ...the conservative opposition to too much government control is not a matter of principle but is concerned with the particular aims of government...." In places where both traditional conservative and liberal parties continue to exist as they did in 19th cent. Europe, small gov./low taxes is associated with liberalism. TFD (talk) 03:15, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Well if traditionally it is normal to have a large government, and high taxes, based on the "slow change" idea of the term conservative in the political sense than conservatives would oppose smaller government and lower taxes. Is this what is being suggested?
At what point do conservatives then, state what is traditional, and should be defended, and what is not, and should be opposed?
It was stated here earlier, or on a related talk page, that conservatives shouldn't oppose ObamaCare because the Federal Government already has Medicare. When I stated that if the baseline is before X, then opposition is understandable under the conservative mantle, at which point that POV was not seen as within the scope. Either way, I will end there as not to go all WP:SOAPBOX. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 04:52, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Before the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was elected, huge businesses were government owned, unions had massive powers, governments fixed prices, etc. She repealed huge amounts of policy that had been present for a very, very long time. In fact her prime ministership is held to be a 'revolutionary' one, with more change brought in than any before her. If any of you want to define the woman who is one of the people known for being an 'ultimate' conservative, as anything but conservative - as your article would, then there is something wrong. According to that definition, the Communists of the USSR were conservative because they were defending the status quo there! Also the last quote in the intro paragraph speaks of a 'strong state', 'hierachical order', etc. That sounds far, more like a definition of communism or fascism. A strong state?! Conservative?! If you maintain that your 'keeping things the same way' definition (which I have just disproven and can be disproven also by the immense reforms undertaken by Australian arch-conservative John Howard, to a lesser extent US president Ronald Reagan, and countless others), then that last quote is clearly contradictory - what about the nations that traditionaly had a small government, and strict constitutional limits such as the US or Australia - and where by your definition conservatism would be defined as defending this small state rather than a strong one. It is incoherent and inconsistent. Saruman-the-white (talk) 08:35, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

According to Ian Gilmour, Thatcher was not a conservative but a neoliberal, and her policies were opposed by other "tradional conervatives" in the party. Thatcher's father, whom she saw as her ideological inspiration, had been a Liberal and writers have observed that Thatcher quoted liberals such as Adam Smith and Hayek more often than conservatives. "Old Liberals" like Alderman Roberts saw conservatism as a form of socialism. Thatcher came to lead the Tories by defeating the traditional conservative leader Ted Heath. But Robert Eccleshall in English Conservatism since the Restoration considered her a conservative because she supported a strong state. To him, whether Tories would adopt classical or social liberal policies would depend on what was expedient. If the private sector was unwilling to build infrastructure, then government would, but that would not be their first choice. And as the article points out, the "communist-successor parties [of Eastern Europe] ha[ve] strong similarities" to conservative parties of Western Europe. TFD (talk) 12:20, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
BTW the Australian Liberal Party is considered a conservative liberal]] party, not a conservative party.[19] The Australian conservative party died in the 1840s. TFD (talk) 13:00, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
This is getting into a discussion of what words "should" mean, which does not help make this a good article. There is a great deal of propaganda currently in circulation that tries to change the meaning of words to score political points. Wikipedia can only report standard usage, not political propaganda, because the latter changes so rapidly. Standard sources include the OED and the Encyclopedia Britannica, both of which say "conservative" is a predisposition to preserve customs and institutions that have existed for a long time. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:43, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
So far I think the greatest thing we see here is that words have different meaning in different countries due to having different contexts. Perhaps, a terminology section with how the word Conservatism is used in different parts of the world should be created, with links to such articles as Conservatism in the United States and other such articles be placed there. This would be keeping with the the globalize tag. Depending on what is the majority global view, verified by reliable sources of course, this article can focus on that, and other more regional views can be expanded upon there, with an explanation of the difference in those articles. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:02, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
It is explained. TFD (talk) 00:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

To hold up the people who are known as the archetypal conservatives such as Thatcher and Reagan as neoliberals or anything else is ridiculous, and goes against their own statements. Saruman-the-white (talk) 11:58, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

This conversation does not appear to be productive. If you have sources for material that should be in the article please present them. TFD (talk) 12:17, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Thatcher and Reagan said they were conservatives. And, as we all know, politicains never lie. Rick Norwood (talk) 17:02, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
How did that previous sarcastic remark further this conversation? I believe that it did not, and should be ignored. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Thatcher never defined her ideology as conservatism. At her first cabinet meeting she handed out Hayek's Constitution of liberty which includes the essay, "Why I am not a conservatItve". And Reagan claimed that Toryism was liberal. In any case, they are not rs and no source has been provitded. Ironically the same editor is arguing elsewhere that libertarians are liberals. TFD (talk) 18:31, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Rick Norwood's Reverts

I have reverted the removal of information and references by User:Rick Norwood. His edit summary stated: "rv Edit that does not reflect source, use of single source, typo." First I would like to establish the fact that according to WP:CITEKILL, which states: "A good rule of thumb is that one footnote after a sentence is almost always sufficient, two or three may be a good way of preventing linkrot for online sources or providing a range of sources that support the fact, and more than three should be avoided as clutter." Nevertheless, as a courtesy, I am adding one more source from The World & I.: Volume 1, Issue 5 which states "militant atheism was incompatible with conservatism." The removal of the this source was inappropriate because it supported the assertion already mentioned in the article, as evidenced by the quote: "If anything the reverse is true: moral conservatives continue to oppose secular liberals on a wide range of issues." I hope this helps. Thanks, AnupamTalk 17:51, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

This long list of the beliefs of social conservatives mixes major and minor beliefs. Of course conservatives oppose militant atheism. Many conservatives also oppose atheism in any form. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:15, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
But do the majority oppose atheism? Are there references? It has been my observation, that the conservatives that I have meet in my time involved in politics oppose the militant atheism coupled with the idea of state enforced separation of faith in the public square where no mention of their faith is allowed in said public forum; that itself is OR, I understand, but there are atheist conservatives, so a blanket term such as X group opposes Y would be wrong. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 17:56, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The way you have phrased your comment is biased. There are, no doubt, a few atheist conservatives, just as there are a few gay conservatives. But conservatives take an issue such as "separation of church and state", and pretend "state enforced separation of faith in the public square where no mention of their faith is allowed in said public forum". This in a country where every session of congress opens with a prayer! Conservatives commonly pretend that Christians are being persecuted if they are not allowed to persecute non-Christians. As you request, I'll provide more references.Rick Norwood (talk) 13:46, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for not keeping with WP:AVOIDYOU. I can say that the comment above also shows a bias. Granted, we as editors all attempt to follow WP:NEU, however in highly controversial topics I can understand how this is difficult. There is prosecution of public displays of faith, this is documented.
It maybe referenced, however, I think we as a group of active editors need to come to a consensus as to the wording to have it meet WP:DUE. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Uk Conservatives and Green Issues

Why is there citation needed written all over this? Under David Cameron, the UK Conservatives adopted green issues quite strongly. They operated under a new logo; a tree, and adopted a new slogan: Vote Blue, Go Green.

Please add info on this subject. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:44, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Please see WP:VER for the requirement of citations for content. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 20:08, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
I do not think that in this article which provides thumbnail sketches of parties, even though the UK Conservative Party is the most important conservative party, that this has much significance. TFD (talk) 03:33, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Summary style

This article is an excellent candidate for WP:SUMMARY. Anyone want to help out synchronizing the subarticles? – Lionel (talk) 06:44, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

i think we could safely remove the "Variants section" which is OR, and mostly relates to OR, and mostly relate to Conservatism in the United States, which arguably is not conservatism at all. TFD (talk) 12:59, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, I wasn't actually proposing deleting stuff, just synchronizing. I'm curious... If Conservatism in the US is not conservatism, then what is it?– Lionel (talk) 21:39, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Liberalism. See The conservative political tradition in Britain and the United States (Arthur Aughey, Greta Jones, W. T. M. Riches, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (1992) pp. 1-31), cited in the article.[20] TFD (talk) 21:52, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Of course that begs the question, to what ideology do American liberals belong? – Lionel (talk) 23:02, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
That is an issue for other articles. TFD (talk) 23:46, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
You're such a tease. Which article?????? – Lionel (talk) 00:42, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Modern liberalism in the United States, Liberalism in the United States and Liberalism. They are more heavily influenced by social liberalism than conservatives who often portray them as "socialists". But again, that is really an issue for those articles. TFD (talk) 01:24, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Lionelt's edit

Lionelt has replaced a great deal if this article with links to main article on the subject. Is this a good thing? Do the other articles reflect what this article used to say? Rick Norwood (talk) 20:24, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's an improvement, if I do say so myself! (smile) I did my utmost to retain as much material as possible when I synchronized the Conservatism sections to their main articles. In most cases the content from Conservatism was merged into the lede of the corresponding main article. In some cases the Conservatism section had minimal content. Those sections benefited greatly from being transcluded to the more complete lede sections of their main articles. Was there a particular synchronization you had a concern about? – Lionel (talk) 01:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
In some cases it makes sense, but not always. Conservative liberalism for example is not conservatism, it is liberalism, although sometimes called conservatism, especially in the United States, but not in Europe, where it is called liberalism. If we provide a link then we are implicitly calling it conservatism, which is promoting a point of view. TFD (talk) 14:55, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Why is information from the Christian Right article being brought here. Its undue weight. We already have the sections that summarized conservatism in different parts of the world. LittleJerry (talk) 15:36, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Revert to transclusion

Recently, Lionelt reverted my summary of the social/cultural conservatism article with the edit summary "Jess-why not utilize WP:SUMMARY? Feel free to join the discussion on the talk page--reverting". I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. I copied the text directly from the articles in the same way it previously appeared in the other articles. What part of WP:SUMMARY hasn't been followed? I also don't see any discussion of the transclusion on this talk page, so I don't know what "discussion" I'm supposed to be joining. All my reverted edit did was remove the transclusion. Articles are not typically transcluded in this fashion: it pollutes the subpages with unnecessary markup, and forces us to use the lead of those articles in our summary here, which will not always be appropriate. Furthermore, combining the lead of one article right alongside the lead of another should not be expected to result in good prose, or a summary which makes sense and relates to this article. There are also stability and quality concerns: we're talking about two unassessed articles, so the content is unsourced and volatile. For all these problems, I see no need for a transclusion. What was the purpose of this revert?   — Jess· Δ 18:46, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Jess, a method for implementing summary style is transclusion. See [21]. That's that I was referring to when I started this thread. I understand your concerns about transclusing. However manually synchronizing the article has it's downside:

Sometimes editors will add details to a summary section without adding those facts to the more detailed article. To keep articles synchronized, editors should first add any new material to the appropriate places in the detailed article, and if appropriate, summarize the material in the summary section. In other cases, the detailed article may grow considerably in scope, and the summary section will need to be re-written to do it justice. These problems may be tagged with {{Sync}}.

Using transclusion reduces labor, but the main reason, which I think outweighs your objections, is that it creates consistency. See [22]. – Lionel (talk) 13:50, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
The quote you provided (and the essay you linked to), say nothing of transcluding content from articles. Those pages mainly discuss transcluding templates. Indeed, the quote you provided talks about having the content in two separate places, and syncing them by hand. Transcluding is unconventional, and for good reasons. I'll note that transcluding the content in this way also comes with an additional problem: the content becomes difficult for anyone not familiar with wiki-syntax to edit, which makes it inaccessible to most readers. These are serious problems. I very much hope you'll reconsider. If not, we can take this elsewhere (like the Village Pump) for a broader opinion on policy, but I'd rather not waste the time discussing it heavily if we don't have to. Thanks.   — Jess· Δ 16:15, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
(I'm still here. Just giving other editors time to chime in.)– Lionel (talk) 12:16, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, considering this is a dispute between the two of us, I'd appreciate it if you'd respond. Otherwise, I'm going to have to take it elsewhere to get a broader opinion on transclusion, but I'd rather not waste my time doing that. Considering I've presented a number of strong reasons to avoid it, and considering the content of the article is identical, and considering the only reason presented to keep it is to avoid syncing (even though the other two articles show almost no activity), I'm not sure why you're so opposed to this... You want new editors to be able to change content on the page, don't you?   — Jess· Δ 16:25, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
This is not a "summary article" and therefore transclusion will in some cases affect the neutrality of the article. If for example we write about the Christian Right, this article should explain why they are considered conservative, whether there is disagreement, etc. If we just incorporate what is in the Christian Right article, we are making a POV judgment that they are conservatives. TFD (talk) 16:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
@Jess--I'm not so opposed: I guess being a programmer I have an obsession with modularity, lol. What do you think about 3O?

@TDF--is there a major disagreement that the Christian Right is not conservative? Not to be flippant but isn't that why they are called "right?" I understand your position on American Conservatism, and believe it or not I agree with you to a certain extent, but jeez does every single sentence have to be qualified with "a scholar disagrees that this is conservatism?" – Lionel (talk) 22:39, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Most scholars do not consider the Christian Right to be "conservative", except as the term is used in the U.S. See Political ideology today (p. 32) which explains that American political ideologies fall within liberalism - individualism, constitutionalism, limited government, no state-run church or monarch, etc.[23] TFD (talk) 05:13, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


How can you have an artikel on Conservatism and not mentionen Hegel? He is probably the second most important conservative thinker after Burke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SofiaLL (talkcontribs) 06:52, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Can you provide any sources that sould help? I looked earlier and could find no good sources on line for German conservatism, which should be included in the article. TFD (talk) 14:24, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

I mostely read books but i have found some linka that maby can be useful. also some wikiarticles — Preceding unsigned comment added by SofiaLL (talkcontribs) 09:31, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Swiss People's Party

As mainstream sources reflect (which I presented at NPOVN) the Swiss People's Party is considered to have transformed from a conservative party into a right-wing populist party. Certainly these parties are sometimes called "conservative", but we would need to show that that is how they are normally classified in order to state that they are conservative. I note that the main sources found include How Teachers in Europe Teach Religion and The Steelworkers' Victory and the Revival of American Labor. The religion book actually calls the SVP "conservative-nationalist", which is probably a translation of national conservative, a group that includes extreme right parties but not mainstream conservative parties such as the UK Conservative Party. None of these sources are about the classification of political parties and are fairly remote from the subject. I will therefore remove the section. TFD (talk) 19:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

As the mainstream sources which are from the academic press state these groups are conservative and it is not "poorly sourced" I have restored it. Please keep your WP:OR out of article space, please present your sources which state the Swiss People's Party re no longer conservative, you do realize a party can be conservative and populist at the same time yes? The Last Angry Man (talk) 20:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any sources that explain your understanding of what constitutes a conservative party? And why would you use a snippet quote from a book about religious education instead of a book about political science? TFD (talk) 21:59, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Alas - your removal is contrary to WP:RS, WP:V and WP:NPOV. And per discussion at WP:NPOV no one agreed that there are zero conservative Swiss political parties. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:02, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

A note to The Last Angry Man

The main point about the disputed section is that this article is about all of conservatism, throughout history and throughout the world, not about current events. I suggest putting the events described in the new section more briefly, and in context. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:13, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I came here from the NPOV board, TFd had removed a section, I found sources for the section and restored it. If certain parts are about current events then by all means remove them. The Last Angry Man (talk) 19:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

RfC: Is the SVP still a conservative party?

Do sources support the categorization of the Swiss People's Party (SVP) as a conservative party? TFD (talk) 21:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Sources for

  • This is insomuch of significance as the conservative-nationalist Swiss People's Party (SVP) has brought about a lot of movement in the political landscape...."[Ziebertz, Hans-Georg (2011). How Teachers in Europe Teach Religion: An International Empirical Study: An International Empirical Study in 16 Countries. Lit Verlag. pp. 237.][24]

Sources opposed

  • "It can no longer be ignored, in fact, that since the 1990s this country has witnessed a striking rise of the SVP...a party that was formerly a conservative one...." [Plomb & Milleti, "Individual Expressions of Right-Wing Estremism" in Changing working life and the appeal of the extreme right. Ashgate Publishing, 2007][25]
  • (categorizes the ideology of the SVP as "Radical right")[Slomp, Hans, Europe, a Political Profile [2 Volumes]: An American Companion to European Politics, ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 486][26]
  • "In older democracies, the relevant parties on the radical right that are the focus of this study include the Italian MSI/AN, the Italian LN, the Austrian FPÖ, the Dutch LPF, the Swiss SVP, ...."[Norris, Pippa, Radical right: voters and parties in the electoral market, Cambridge University Press (2005), p. 53][27]

A review of the literature shows that the SVP is considered to be a right-wing populist party and no longer conservative, although some sources refer to it as conservative. However if we include the SVP, then we should include the other extreme right parties, although they are better covered in their own articles. I would question also why editors are presenting a snippet quote from a book about religious education, rather than a source that explains political ideology and parties.

TFD (talk) 21:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Conservative Cherry-picking disparate sources to contradict what Swiss newspapers state, what Reuters and other news sources state, and other RS sources state, does not work. And I would note that one (unnamed) editor had called "conservative" the same as "right wing" in other discussions. See Reuters e.g. [28] The move is currently opposed by conservative politicians including the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP). Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:02, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
They are not cherry-picked, they are taken from books about political ideology and political parties. Can you find any such source that supports your opinion? TFD (talk) 22:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I fear you missed the ref given in my post directly above? I assure you Reuters is a "reliable source." Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Or any of these sources on Google news [29] The Last Angry Man (talk) 22:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Again you will occassionally read members of the extreme right referred to as "conservative". But books on comparative politics as far as I have read do not group parties such as the SVP, or the BNP for that matter, with mainstream conservatism. TFD (talk) 22:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
What about Google searches for SVP + "extreme right"[30] or "far right".[31] They easily beat your number of hits. TFD (talk) 22:47, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Google counting games do not rebut what reliable sources state. And the claim that there are zero conservative parties is out the window entirely. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Concur that "zero conservative parties is out the window." The view that the only real conservative parties are monarchists from the 18th century is rather obtuse. – Lionel (talk) 23:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Conservative: sources appear to support "conservative" and "right wing populist." Why not put "a conservative party, which sone sources decribe as right wing polulist." – Lionel (talk) 22:51, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Do you think we out to add neo-fascist parties that also have been described as conservative and belong to the same political family as the SVP? TFD (talk) 23:07, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The SVP is the largest party in Switzerland, certainly not an extremist group. There is another Swiss party called the "Conservative Democratic Party", so the SVP can be called "far right" to distinguish the two. Besides, doesn't every conservative party get called "extreme right" or something similar by liberal journalists? The main criticism of party leaders seems to be that they allegedly made some rude remarks about Albanians and other immigrants. Or are we to think that that the party is not conservative because it is Euroskeptic and anti-immigration? Here is the Wall Street Journal: "Conservative parties were the winners Sunday. According to projections, the SVP won nearly 27% of the vote." In short, SVP is a Swiss version of UKIP or the Tea Party. Kauffner (talk) 08:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Your link is to an article entitled "Far-Right Party Leads in Swiss Vote". It says, "Switzerland's far-right Swiss People's Party, or SVP, took the lead in Sunday's national election...." Even if it is a Swiss version of UKIP or the British National Party, it is not a Swiss version of the UK Conservative Party. "This nationalist and populist party [SVP]... manipulates sensitive issues, such as immigration, Swiss neutrality and welfare benefits, awakening anti-Semitism and racism. At least five of the SVP/UDC candidates in the October 1999 national elections were far right activists. Pascal Junod, from Geneva, has close ties with Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis. Pierre Schifferli and Henri Rappaz, on the same list, were formerly activists in a now defunct extreme right party; Roger Erter, from Ticino, expressed his sympathy for the Waffen-SS; Michael Mathys, from Argau, wrote racist comments on an Internet forum; and Jean-Jacques Kottelat, from Jura, is a convicted racist. None of these candidates was elected. The party's refusal to dissociate itself from them served to legitimize the presence of Holocaust deniers, anti-Semites and racists in Swiss political life. Two weeks before the elections, A Zurich court convicted Christoph Blocher, head of SVP's Zurich chapter, of using anti-Semitic stereotypes in a 1997 speech. He was fined Sf10,000 but has appealed. A week later, the media disclosed a 1997 letter by Blocher lauding a Holocaust-denying pamphlet written by the notorious anti-Semite Juergen Graf." (Anti-Semitism Worldwide, Anti-Defamation League, pp. 120-121)[32] TFD (talk) 13:28, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I suggest the attempt to link anti-Semitism to conservatism is a straw argument at best. In point of fact, the non-conservative Stalinists were undoubted anti-Semites, making that area rather orthogonal to any "political spectrum." Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:08, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

The question, then, is the extent to which anti-Semitism is a conservative view. But this is not the place to discuss that. This discussion is too topical for this article, and belongs in the article on the SVP. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Since you object to the inclusion of anti-Semitism in an article about conservatism, then you should object to the inclusion far right parties which rs claim are not conservative. TFD (talk) 14:42, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Huh? Collect (talk) 15:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
So what happens to Edmund Burke? I wonder how much the Swiss would fine him for saying, "a love of money equal to that of a Jew Broker." Kauffner (talk) 15:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
You are trying to link conservatism to anti-Semitism by widening the scope of the article to include a far right party that political scientists do not consider to be conservative and the Anti-Defamation League has linked to anti-Semitism. You are trying for an own goal. TFD (talk) 15:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Hey, I know the drill. Liberal advocacy groups think that pretty much everyone on the right is a fascist, winger, far right, anti-Semitic, climate denying scum. So there is plenty of RS available to support that sort of worldview. But that wouldn't leave us with much to write about. Kauffner (talk) 02:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
What it would leave us to write about is the traditions of Burke, De Maistre, Bismarck and Kirk. while omitting fascism and most of the far right. TFD (talk) 15:41, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Conservative per sources cited above. Support Lionel's suggetion of adding a "which some sources decribe as right wing populist" caveat.--JayJasper (talk) 20:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Fundamentalist Mormons

The article says, without any sources, that:

  • Social conservatism may entail defining marriage as relationships between one man and one woman (thereby prohibiting same-sex marriage and polygamy) and laws placing restrictions on the practice of abortion.

But Mormonism says that Mormon fundamentalism represents a conservative reaction to the LDS Church, and that article says that Mormon fundamentalists are associated with plural marriage. "Social conservatism may entail..." is a vague construction, since it may entail anything. Let's make sure we aren't overgeneralizing and can support our statements with appropriate sources.   Will Beback  talk  07:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

On second thought I deleted the sentence and some others which were unsourced or unrelated to the narrow issue of conservatism in the US, or too abstract. Since there's an entire article on the topic at Conservatism in the United States all we need here is a brief section on the main points, such as conservative parties and organizations.   Will Beback  talk  08:30, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Most of the "types of conservatixm" sections are poorly sourced, sometimes poorly defined and U.S. specific, and I would question whether they belong. The fiscal conservatism section for example uses a source about reducing a fire department's budget. Most sources I have read define the different types of conservatism by national traditions. Anglo-Scandinavian conservatism and Latin conservatism for example would be seen as distinct types of conservatism. TFD (talk) 14:53, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I think some parts of this article were written by American conservatives who have little idea of what "conservative" means historically or internationally. I hope you, TFD, can change those parts to have a wider perspective. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:28, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Spiritual Conservatism

what have you all got against Spiritual Conservatism ? it seems you want to censor the word Spiritual Conservative from the Article ! --Ne0Freedom 03:56, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Your ideas may or may not be worthwhile, but they must be accepted by a reputable source before Wikipedia can cover them. Wikipedia is not the place to publish original research. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:20, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Is information published in Wikipedia of another language[33] OR another encyclopedia like Bangladesh-pedia[34] acceptable ? --Ne0Freedom 08:40, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

No. Instead of using something from a Wikipedia in another language, use the reference given in that Wikipedia for that material. In other words, use a secondary source rather than a tertiary source. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:15, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

That Wikipedia article has no reference. So what about the Bangladesh-encyclopedia article[35]? can I use that as a reference ? --Ne0Freedom 15:37, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, but the only use of the word "conservative" in that article is in the sense of "cautious" (a "conservative driver" is a cautious driver), not in the political sense. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:43, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Nevermind, hard to argue with the blind. --Ne0Freedom 15:57, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Cause found

Which section does root causes of conservatism go under? Hcobb (talk) 02:02, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

If anywhere it would be best to be placed in the article Biology and political orientation. That being said I think the governing essay here is WP:CRIT#Philosophy, religion, or politics. Any addition of the above link as it gives a general statement, within it, that individuals who are not intelligent, maybe racist, and are more likely to be conservatives should be done carefully, or IMHO not at all. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:MEDRS should provide a guide. We should not include isolated studies until we see the degree of acceptance they have in the literature. TFD (talk) 17:29, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
So far, there is no biologic connection shown in any study. Post hoc ergo propter hoc" is not valid in medicine nor in any other field, and the studies do not rise even to that level. And we should always bear in mind the IQ/Race "studies" of the past. There is always also the question of who assignes what weight to what opinions in such a "test." Collect (talk) 17:52, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Improper Link to Citizens United

I just noticed that the article links to citizens united v. fec (the court case) when it should link to citizens united (the organization).

This was listed under Conservatism in the United States.

Can someone change this? I don't know how. Sorry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Briwivell (talkcontribs) 01:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Done. TFD (talk) 01:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

NPOV tag

I tagged the United States section. Associating conservatism with " ... the plantation system and slavery ... " and " ... skeptics toward reason and science ... " is almost absurdly POV-pushing. I am open to a discussion of the section, recognizing that I may be misinterpreting what I am seeing, but I intend to eliminate those statements. TreacherousWays (talk) 11:34, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Seems fairly mainstream and it is preseted with in-line citation, although most writers would question whether conservatism existed at all in 19th century America. That was the argument presented in Russell Kirk's The conservative Mind, which is the basis of modern U.S. conservatism. In order to defend your view however, you need present an alternative narrative for conservatism in 19th century America. TFD (talk) 12:30, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I think fighting the NPOV tag is a waste of time. Anything in the article that is not fair and balanced, which is to say 100% from the conservative point of view, is going to get flagged as POV by 100% conservatives. For example, here in Tennessee conservatives have put forward a motion in the state legislature to totally eliminate any mention of slavery from public school history textbooks. When slavery goes down the memory hole, clearly the only fair and balanced view is that conservatives have always been in favor of freedom for Blacks, and that it was the nasty liberals who fought against civil rights. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:21, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

TFD, the main article establishes a reasonable sense of balance absent in the black-tar caricature of those sentences. Taking one idea from that article and making it half of the summary in this space is POV-pushing, especially given that the section in this article is meant only to serve as a brief summary of conservatism in the United States not a history of conservatism in the United States. It might be reasonable to refer to a "mixed history" or in defending the status quo, but associating modern conservatism with defending slavery in a brief summary paragraph is a non-starter. TreacherousWays (talk) 16:41, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I have reverted to the version that existed before Rick Norwood's edit. The enormity of difference between the first edit and the second raises questions about the source of the citation. Perhaps RN can provide an additional source, or a more precise reference including page numbers? TreacherousWays (talk) 18:04, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry - I made that change as an IP editor. TreacherousWays (talk) 18:05, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps per WP:WEIGHT using reliable source references from the main article the sentences can be reworded to be more neutral. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 18:07, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
TreacherousWay, instead of coming to this article with preconceived views, why don't you read a book about Conservatism in the United States, you will find lots of sources in that article. Notice too that that is the history written by conservatives themselves. TFD (talk) 22:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
TFD, I read the article, identified a problem, and attempted to engage in a discussion to establish intent. I have asked for balance and specific references and followed BRD. The small summary section in this article is appropriate, and the main article, properly wikilinked, is the more appropriate place to introduce criticisms and develop arguments against conservatism in the United States. Introducing complex issues in this summary would require a substantial expansion of the section - unnecssary, since the main article has been written. TreacherousWays (talk) 11:57, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

This is not about criticisms of conservatism, it is about the way the word is used in cited sources. To pretend that what Ron Paul means by "conservative" is the major view, and what Rick Santorum means by "conservative" is the minor view, is to let the tail wag the dog. Libertarians, for reasons best known to themselves, want to change the standard meaning of the word "conservative". They have succeeded to the extent that some sources now state that the word is sometimes used to mean "libertarian", and so this article should report that fact. But it should not claim that that is a standard meaning of the word, nor that it is the way the word is most often used. William Saffire, a major conservative writer, says that the major conservative issues in the US are "God, guns, and gays". No mention of "small government". Listen to conservative spokesmen, and they spend a lot more time talking about birth control, gay marriage, abortion, prayer in the public school, and the second ammendment than they do talking about libertarianism. The tea party movement was a conservative small government movement, but they seem to have had their moment in the sun, and in any case, this is a major article about conservatism worldwide and throughout history, not just current events. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:44, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

The policy, Rick Norwood, is Bold, Revert, Discuss. Please leave the original text in place until all interested editors have had the opportunity to discuss the issue. TreacherousWays (talk) 19:19, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for providing specific references; they make the cite more defensible. I am going to post a notice on the talk page for Conservatism in the United States to see whether currrent editors on that article would like to join in this discussion. Please do not replace the contested text until some consensus regarding weight has been arrived at. TreacherousWays (talk) 19:26, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
TreacherousWays, neutrality does not mean that we have to balance mainstream views with whatever you happen to believe. You need to present sources otherwise your complaint has no validity. TFD (talk) 20:18, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
TFD I have adhered closely to policy. As for mainstream versus whatever I happen to believe, that is why I asked for additional opinions from concerned editors. What if we took the summary paragraph or a shortened version thereof from Conservatism in the United States? TreacherousWays (talk) 20:41, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Proposed text, taken from main article, minus photo and Buckley quote:
Conservatism in the United States has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s.[1] Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments."[2] The history of American conservatism has been marked by tensions and competing ideologies. Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government, low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise. Social conservatives see traditional social values as threatened by secularism, so they support school prayer and oppose abortion and homosexuality.[3] Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world and show a strong support for Israel.[4] Paleoconservatives, in opposition to multiculturalism, press for restrictions on immigration.[5] Most conservatives prefer Republicans over Democrats, and most factions favor a strong foreign policy, a strong military, and strong support for Israel. The conservative movement of the 1950s attempted to bring together these divergent strands, stressing the need for unity to prevent the spread of "Godless Communism".[6]

In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan solidified conservative Republican strength with tax cuts, greatly increased defense spending, deregulation, a policy of rolling back Communism (rather than just containing it), a greatly strengthened military, and appeals to family values and conservative Christian morality. The Reagan model became the conservative standard for social, economic and foreign policy issues, and that period of American history became known as the "Reagan Era".[7] After the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991, key conservative domestic issues become what conservative columnist William Safire calls "God, guns, and gays". Conservative voters tend to oppose abortion, gun control, and gay marriage.[8][9] From 2001 to 2008 Republican President George W. Bush stressed cutting taxes, increasing spending, minimizing regulation of industry and banking,[10] and the use of American military power to fight terrorists, promote democracy, and secure American interests in the Middle East.[11]

Other modern conservative beliefs include opposition to a world government (a view shared with many anti-globalists on the political left), skepticism about the importance or validity of various environmental issues,[12] the importance of self-reliance instead of reliance on the government to solve problems, support for the state of Israel,[13] support for prayer in the public schools,[14][15] opposition to gun control,[16] opposition to embryonic stem cell research, support for a strong Law and Order policy, strict enforcement of the law, and long jail terms for repeat offenders.[17]

According to an August 1, 2011 poll, 11% of American voters identify themselves as "very conservative", 30% as "conservative", 36% as "moderate", 15% as "liberal", and 6% as "very liberal".[18] These percentages have been fairly constant since 1990.[19]

The meaning of "conservatism" in America has little in common with the way the word is used elsewhere. As Ribuffo (2011) notes, "what Americans now call conservatism much of the world calls liberalism or neoliberalism."[20] Since the 1950s conservatism in the United States has been chiefly associated with the Republican Party. However, during the era of segregation many Southern Democrats were conservatives, and they played a key role in the Conservative Coalition that controlled Congress from 1937 to 1963.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by TreacherousWays (talkcontribs) 20:50, 14 February 2012

Way too long. Also it is does not address the history of conservatism in the U.S. or how it is connected with conservatism in the rest of the world. TFD (talk) 21:13, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Although it is comparable in length to the section on the United Kingdom, I have no problem with shortening it, which should prevent undue weight issues. Rick Norwood's proposed changes do not reflect the (much) more involved text in the main article very well, and are not reflected in the main article summary at all. I don't see how their inclusion in this much shorter summary can be done without creating weight issues. As for a history of conservatism in the US, that's what the wikilinked main article is for. As for the relationship between US conservatism and the world, that is addressed in the final paragraph of the summary above. TreacherousWays (talk) 21:54, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
It is frustrating to talk with you because you obviously know little about the subject and do not reply to questions. The modern conservative movement founded by Buckley et al takes its name from Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. Kirk presented the American South as the only part of the U.S. that was conservative during the 19th century. There is nothing POV about explaining that opinion because that is the opinion of the conservatives themselves. If you don't like that, then write a letter to the National Review and tell them they don't understand conservatism. And the U.K. section is too long as well. TFD (talk) 22:07, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Some statements regarding TreacherousWays can be viewed as not keeping with [[WP:CIVIL], speaking about the editor themselves, and not their edits or what they said. I think we should be careful, given the controversial issues politics are.

Although I agree what TreacherousWays has posted, even if well referenced, is to long what should be done is, per WP:SUMMARY since Conservatism in the United States is the main article regarding that specific subject, look to summarize said article, and condense due weight parts of that article into one or two paragraphs for this article. Therefore, it draws readers to the main article about Conservatism in the United States where that subject is discussed in the context of the United States. If there needs to be expansion on the differences between Conservatism in the US and elsewhere it can be expanded upon there, IMHO. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 00:38, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

So you do not think that the section should explain how conservatism in the U.S. relates to conservatism elsewhere and that no mention should be made of its history? TFD (talk) 01:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
As I had written; a summarization, per WP:SUMMARY, of the main article should be what is placed here. An expansive writing of the History of Conservatism in the US can be found in the main article. If we follow WP:SUMMARY a mention of the history that we speak of would be included, but would probably only be a sentence or two or three. Additionally, I did not say that how conservatism in the U.S. relates to conservatism elsewhere shouldn't be included in said summarzation.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:35, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Seems like coatracking to include a section without explaining why it belongs in the article expecially since most textbooks do not classify it as conservatism. TFD (talk) 06:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
What seems like coatracking?
Why does there need to be included an explanation in the article why it belongs here. It appears to me rather self-explanatory why it is here.
Furthermore, since there was a mention of the U.K. section, it is my present opinion that it is to long, and belongs in a Conservatism in the United Kingdom article. A summary of a paragraph or two is what should be in that section. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 07:04, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, shorter. How about this as a starting point? Again, directly from the main article summary:

The meaning of "conservatism" in America has little in common with the way the word is used elsewhere. As Ribuffo (2011) notes, "what Americans now call conservatism much of the world calls liberalism or neoliberalism."[21] Since the 1950s conservatism in the United States has been chiefly associated with the Republican Party. However, during the era of segregation many Southern Democrats were conservatives, and they played a key role in the Conservative Coalition that controlled Congress from 1937 to 1963.

Constants in American conservatism include: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments."[22] Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government, low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise. Social conservatives see traditional social values as threatened by secularism, so they support school prayer and oppose abortion and homosexuality.[3] Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world and show a strong support for Israel.[23] Paleoconservatives, in opposition to multiculturalism, press for restrictions on immigration.[5] Most U.S. conservatives prefer Republicans over Democrats, and most factions favor a strong foreign policy and a strong military. The conservative movement of the 1950s attempted to bring together these divergent strands, stressing the need for unity to prevent the spread of "Godless Communism".[24]

Other modern conservative beliefs include opposition to a world government, skepticism about the importance or validity of various environmental issues,[25] the importance of self-reliance instead of reliance on the government to solve problems, and opposition to embryonic stem cell research. TreacherousWays (talk) 15:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

The full text of the quote inserted by Mister Norwood is as follows: " ... In the nineteenth century, "conservative" referred to ideas and theorists defending hierarchy and community against the perceived threats posed by capitalist individualism and democracy. At that time, Conservatism was a backward-looking reaction to the disintegration of traditional society caused by industrialization and mass political movements in Europe. In the United States, nineteenth-century Conservatism was primarily a southern phenomenon oriented toward defense of traditional ways of life based on the plantation system and slavery.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, however, Conservatives concluded that the working class was not a mob intent on attacking all privilege and could be persuaded to support Conservative ideals. As Classical Liberalism collapsed in Europe in the 1920s and in the United States a decade later, a rightist coalition emerged with Classical Liberals affirming Conservative ideals of nationalism and tradition while Conservatives yielded to the Classical Liberal priorities of free markets and individual liberty. Modern Liberals hastened this ideological realignment by attaching the label "conservative" to Classical Liberals so that Modern Liberalism could lay claim to the tradition of freedom and democracy.
The marriage of Classical Liberalism and Conservatism after World War II was advantageous to both groups. Most Conservatives were anxious to rid ... " It would appear that the proposed text is badly out of context. TreacherousWays (talk) 15:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

The context is historical, and says so. Instead of replacing the referenced text by unreferenced text, why not add to the referenced text additional referenced text. All I have asked is that you provide references. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:31, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

There is a problem with the weight of the proposed text. Additionally, there is an obvious conflict between the proposed text and the intent of the author. " ... At the outset of this chapter, a word of caution about ideological labels is needed ... " The complex ideas that follow are best addressed in the main article, not in a short summary in a related article - especially if one is proposing to take sentences out of context. TreacherousWays (talk) 15:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Regarding references, specifically because the content of the references have been challenged by you I have proposed that the properly-references summary paragraph of the main article be shortened and substituted. TreacherousWays (talk) 15:41, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
The BRD cycle does not say that one party gets to have things entirely his way until all parties come to an agreement.Rick Norwood (talk) 15:57, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
You are proposing a contested change. So, yes, according to BRD it does stay as it is until the issue is resolved. The change you are proposing fundamentally changes the balance of the brief summary section. I have, out of deference to your concerns, proposed an alternative version that is properly referenced and already used in the main article. Would you find that more acceptable than the current version? TreacherousWays (talk) 16:05, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Per the discussion thread at Conservatism in the United States, Rick Norwood is willing to accept the shortened summary text I have proposed above. I'm going to go ahead and make the change, but accept and respect that TFD may have objections and revert. TreacherousWays (talk) 16:29, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

TreacherousWays and I did reach an agreement, though obviously we are not the only people interested in this article. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:33, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Reversion of United States section

Debivort has reverted the changes from the discussion above with the comment, "(RV, respect, support, preservation? This is way too POV. )" I have asked that editor to comment here and propose changes. TreacherousWays (talk) 18:13, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

My only comment at the moment regarding the terms "respect" "support" and "preservation" is that those terms describe how conservatives might define their own views, not how critics would view them. I see the possible objection, though. TreacherousWays (talk) 18:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the distinction could be made thusly: " ... American conservatives would identify respect for tradition, support of republicanism, preservation of "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments."[26] as being among their ideals. Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government ... " TreacherousWays (talk) 18:23, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Alternately, " ... American conservatives value tradition, republicanism, "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and "Western civilization".[27] Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government ... " TreacherousWays (talk) 18:26, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Your last phrasing seems acceptable to me. Although, I would offer as an even more neutral alternative: "American conservatives advocate tradition, republicanism, "the rule of law..." etc. de Bivort 19:28, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It does not appear to reflect accurately what the source says (The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution, p. xii)[36] TFD (talk) 19:34, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
My comment was not meant to endorse the wording vis a vis conforming to the sources, only the NPOV quality of the phrasing. de Bivort 19:47, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you're familiar with the reference, TFD, perhaps you could suggest an alternative phrasing that maintains neutrality? TreacherousWays (talk) 21:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Lead section and redirects

Summary of recent changes:

  1. Added explanatory conclusion from Jost et al. (2003) to psychology section. This section is a bit long and could probably be trimmed and/or merged into Biology and political orientation and replaced with a more coherent summary style section composed of one or two large paragraphs
  2. Changed parent article redirect from Differences between conservative and liberal brain to Biology and political orientation per the outcome of Talk:Biology_and_political_orientation#Proposed_move in December 2011[37]
  3. Expanded lead section per WP:LEAD to summarize the psychology section

More work is needed... Viriditas (talk) 10:30, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

This article is often edited, and there is no shortage of discussion. Here is the passage I object to and, since you request it on my talk page, I'll discuss it here before reverting it again:
"Psychologists have found significant ideological differences between conservatives and liberals. Studies show that liberals have been found to place a higher moral value on caring and fairness while conservatives place a higher moral value on loyalty, respect, and purity."
Now that may or may not be true, though it is not at all clear what "purity" even means in this context. But the lead should reflect the article, and the words "caring", "fairness", and "purity" do not appear anywhere in the article except in this newly added paragraph. Therefore the paragraph should not be in the lead. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:16, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The psychology section needs to be improved. I think all we can say in the lead is that the reasons people are conservative has been studied by psychologists. Notice that Altemeyer said that right wing authoritarians (RWAs) were more likely to vote conservative, but would vote for a right-wing alternative if available. (He clearly distinguished right-wing from both conservative and libertarian.) And the different scales measure different things. A high "c-scale" in the U.S. for example would make someone a Romney or Obama voter, while a high "f-scale" would make one a Santorum or Gingrich voter. TFD (talk) 05:40, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits

An IP editor has made a number of changes to the article which are unsourced or poorly sourced and appear to be POV.[38] For example, "In general, conservatism does not apply to advances in science and technology, except for to the immoral uses of such advances." I will remove the changes and ask that they be discussed here before being restored. TFD (talk) 02:24, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Lead section

Is it just me, or is the second paragraph of the lead (lede) section a mess? The first sentence is about Edmund Burke, the second quotes Hailsham (who I can't find in the body text), the third sentence introduces liberalism (in the lead paragraph?) the fourth and fifth sentences of the lead paragraph on (what appears to be) world conservatism introduce us to Whigs and Tories. I'd honestly just like to lose that second paragraph altogether as unsalvageable. TreacherousWays (talk) 19:31, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The second paragraph does not seem that bad to me, as a short summary of a big article, but doubtless it could be improved. The body of the text doesn't mention Hailsham personally, but does mention the ideas he describes.
By the way, I used "lede" until I read more Wikipedia guidelines. They use "lead". I guess "lede" is only for newspapers.
Rick Norwood (talk) 20:05, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
"Lede" is used by printers in general, not just newspapermen -- "lead" refers to the spacing between lines (as in the metal spacers). While the Online Etymology Deictionary only dates it to c. 1965, I had heard it in use earlier. Curiously enough, "lede" is also used as an archaic spelling of "lead" (both verb and metal). Collect (talk) 20:33, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
There is too much about how they describe themselves rather than independent writing. TFD (talk) 20:24, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
There does need to be a better summarization of the whole of this article, any content that attempts to describe the subject and other related subjects should have its own section, and should at best have a sentence or two in the lead corresponding with its size in the body. --RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 03:23, 10 March 2012 (UTC)


" ... Most recently, the Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, has proven a large outlet for populist American conservative ideas. Their stated goals include rigorous adherence to the U.S. Constitution, lower taxes. and opposition to a growing role for the federal government in health care. Electorally, it was considered a key force in Republicans reclaiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 ... " I have been kind of dancing around the edges of the Tea Party Movement (TPM) discussion, and have an issue with attribution of individual views to the movement as a whole. Even if one or two people who self-identify as members of the Tea Party - or even those who have founded a regional Tea Party organization - espouse a view doesn't necessarily mean that the majority of those in the Tea Party at the national level would agree. Similar to Unitarians, there are underlying commonalities but nothing as rigid as with the Catholic Church. Thus, it is (to my mind) reasonable to indicate that "X" is the position of the Tea Party Caucus, or "Y" is the stated position of the New York Tea Party or Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin. TreacherousWays (talk) 10:53, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

that's a common problem when dealing with primary sources. the Wiki recommended solution is to use a Reliable Secondary Source, so I added Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (2012) pp 45-82 Rjensen (talk) 17:59, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

'Conservative' Catholics?

Catholics are conservative by most definitions. So I've taken that qualifier out. Also, the original could be read as implying that 'liberal' Catholics are in favour of the death penalty, which I doubt (leaving aside abortions, of course).Twr57 (talk) 16:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

You might want to re-consider that characterization. As I understand it, most Catholics vote Democrat and are pretty liberal when it comes to government policies concerning the poor and disadvantaged. Also as I understand it, Barack Obama carried the Catholic vote in 2008, both white and non-white. The qualifier would seem appropriate to me. TreacherousWays (talk) 16:39, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree with TreacherousWays. Let's stick to the basics here -- most US conservatives support the death penalty regardless of their religion. Saying "most" allows for exceptions but they don't have tyo be named (Ron Paul does not make a big deal of it). I can't see what Catholicism has to do with it. Catholics are more liberal on most political measures than Protestants (in the US), not "more conservative" . Catholics vote about 50-50 D-R in recent decades. Rjensen (talk) 16:42, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


What does "Conservat" mean? -- (talk) 18:30, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Too many examples of "Conservatism in different countries" to list, please remove the section

The "Conservatism in different countries" list is not appropriate for the article. It currently only includes Western world countries, and considering that there are well over one hundred countries, if all countries' examples of conservatism were listed, the article would be extremely long. I urge users to remove the list, as it is not helpful.--R-41 (talk) 00:04, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The section is about political parties in the tradition of De Maistre and Burke which were established in various countries and continue to exist. As far as I can establish from reliable sources, it is a complete or nearly complete list. TFD (talk) 00:23, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The section should include all parties which fall into the definition in the lede. Your limit is not per the lede. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:32, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Not up to us to provide our original synthesis. We include parties where there is a consensus they are conservative parties. TFD (talk) 00:47, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
It would be SYNTH to assert that a list of conservative parties is limited to those "in the tradition of De Maistre and Burke ". It is not SYNTH to list all conservative parties in an article on Conservatism. Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:34, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean by "conservative parties"? TFD (talk) 07:09, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Parties identified by reliable sources as "conservative" (noting, of course, that "conservative" is an opinion, but not one which is usually considered contentious) or where the party self-identifies as "conservative" (again - such a self-identification would not normally be seen as "unduly self-serving"). Seems to cover the bases, I should trust. Collect (talk) 11:55, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Self-identification is usually adequate as is a consensus view in reliable sources. Note that very few mainstream parties self-identify as conservative. TFD (talk) 17:37, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Compassionate conservatism

I'm going to wait a bit before reverting Rick Norwood's unexplained and disruptive edit so that perhaps before I do so, somebody can explain how this partisan nonsense fits into a neutral, encyclopedic article on the subject matter of Conservatism:

As of the 2012 presidential campaign at least two observers (journalists Jim Wallis in the Huffington Post, and Amy Sullivan in USA Today) have argued the idea has "virtually disappeared" from America's conservative Republican Party,[68] replaced by competition to "take the hardest line in opposing government-funded programs to help the poor."[69]

This has been removed three times now for being the crufty crap that it is, and it's been put back three times by editors offering lame (or false) reasons, when they bother to offer one. To be as frank as possible here, if you can't see the glaring POV problem with this, or if you can't see the obvious problem with relevance, then perhaps political articles aren't your forte. Belchfire-TALK 16:32, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

I do not know why we have this section. Bush used the term "compassionate conservatism" in a speech, while Cameron issued a pamphlet called "Modern Compassionate Conservatism". There is no agreement on what the term means. TFD (talk) 17:29, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Two references have been given. Examples of modern US conservatives rejecting the idea of the government helping the poor abound. Just from today's news, "By picking Ryan, Romney acknowledged that he can’t force the election to be a pure referendum on Barack Obama’s bad economy. It’s a choice between a state with more benefits and top-down wealth redistribution, and a state with leaner benefits and tax rates that favor the “makers” over the “takers,” to crib Ayn Rand." On the other hand, TFD makes a good point that the whole "compassionate conservatism" meme is passe, and in any case US-centric, and the entire paragraph should go. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:49, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I will remove the section. TFD (talk) 15:10, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
The two references are not RSs for this purpose, Rick. Just because somebody can find a couple of hostile journalists willing to write something doesn't mean it's sourced well enough for Wikipedia. The idea that "compassionate conservatism" isn't notable is even more ridiculous than saying the HuffPo nonsense belongs here simply because it has a source. Belchfire-TALK 15:20, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Which compassionate conservatism are we talking about: where the state provides a decent safety net, where private charity looks after the poor, where neither government nor charity is necessary because God will provide, or where neither government nor charity should provide because it harms people through creating dependency? Can you show that it is given significant coverage in books about conservatism? Aren't these traditional concepts in conservative and liberal ideology anyway? TFD (talk) 15:58, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
The section talks about "compassionate conservatism" as discussed in the 80s and 90s. We could do a better job of explaining it, and we could agree or disagree about whether or not it resembles other philosophies, but that it was part of the national political conversation during that era isn't really in dispute. We're here having this conversation about it because I pulled some partisan claptrap out of the section, and some libs decided to edit-war over that. Belchfire-TALK 16:26, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
The fact that something was "discussed in the 80s and 90s" in the U.S. does not make it notable. None of your sources even use the term. You need to find sources that define the topic and explain its notablity. Find a book about conservatism that has a chapter about the subject. BTW David Cameron's pamphlet "new compassionate conservatism" has nothing to do with American conservatism - it says that conservatives should defend the welfare state. TFD (talk) 03:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
That's the silliest argument I've ever heard. So tell us, what year did history start, in your view? 1995? 2000? Good grief. I'll source it better tomorrow when I have more time, but tying to say, essentially, "The 1988 presidential campaign didn't really happen" is a pretty ridiculous approach. Meanwhile, be advised that unilateral bulk section blanking is not one of your options here, as explained in my last edit summary. Belchfire-TALK 05:11, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Still24 joined in on the blanking -- the material stays unless and until there is a WP:CONSENSUS otherwise. That is how WP works. And, as always, using terms internationally always entails noting the non-applicability of any real standards for a "left-right linear political spectrum." Cheers. Collect (talk) 08:45, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Insulting editors you disagree with, Belchfire, is not conducive to rational discourse, and is against Wikipedia policy. The point in deleting the section is that, in your own phrase, it is "part of the national political conversation", and therefore belongs in Conservatism in the United States, not here. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:05, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that all articles involving the "political spectrum" are subject to your same point - and in such a case all sections which are not universally true should be removed. Since that would leave empty articles <g>, I suggest that as long as the wording is clear, that the topic belongs in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Collect (talkcontribs) 12:10, 13 August 2012

This is called "black and white" thinking. You suggest that the article should cover this topic, local to the US and essentially to one presidental administration, or else cover only what is "universally true", which would limit us to mathematics, since all politics is local, in a famous phrase. Between topics that are only about one country and one administration and topics that are "universally true" there are many topics that are of broad international interest. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Nope. This article intrinsically covers topics from different places and different times - as there is no absolute definition if "Conservatism" which covers all places and all times. Thus every claim here is about certain times and certain places, including the US, Europe etc. Thus no reason to delete any claim as only affecting one area as long as the limits of the claim are properly stated. "Conservatism in X-Land" is a "well-formed sub-topic" of "Conservatism" as a parent topic. 18 math courses sink in a bit. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:28, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
The Conservative Tradition in America by

Charles W. Dunn and J. David Woodard, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 (224 pages), spends only one paragraph discussing compassionate conservatism. It lists Olasky's book as one of approximately 40 that have had the most influence on U.S. conservatism since 1945, most notably for its influence on George W. Bush. (pp. 15-17)[39] The minimal coverage in a book about US conservatism makes it of no significance to a global article. TFD (talk) 14:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that almost the entire article could be removed on precisely the same grounds that it is about local issues, and there remains no actual universal definition of the term. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
The general sections of the article are about the conservatism of Burke and Maistre, which had influence beyond the lives of the two men and beyond the countries in which they lived. This article is the same as any other - it should mention what is important and omit what is unimportant. We can determine what is important by the amount of coverage it receives in mainstream writing. How many people btw remember that George W. Bush, who was president as recently as 3-1/2 years ago, talked about compassionate conservatism and how many people would know what he meant? How important is Bush in the world history of conservatism, compared with Peel or Disraeli? Or even in the US, compared with Reagan? TFD (talk) 15:34, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Rick, I simply suggest that you should follow Wikipedia policy. If that's "black or white thinking" to you...fine, pick a color. Since nobody who tried to blank the section bothered moving it to what you are saying should be the appropriate article, I'm having a hard time taking that argument very seriously. TFD, your thinking is very short-sighted, historically. The concept of compassionate conservatism goes back 25 years or so and doesn't have that much to do with W. (who wasn't really a conservative anyway) Belchfire-TALK 15:41, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

If compassionate conservatism doesn't have that much to do with W. why are all the references in the section from the Bush era? Rick Norwood (talk) 15:50, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I think we agree that the section needs work, no? Belchfire-TALK 15:59, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
No. You and Collect think that the section needs work. The others who have made comments think the section has too little to do with conservatism to belong in this article. Whether it is a major component of American conservatism can be debated elsewhere, if it comes up. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
I think that since Compassionate Conservatism is substantive enough to merit its own lengthy, fairly well referenced article, it should probably be represented in the main Conservatism article. Perhaps it should be in the British or American sections. de Bivort 20:13, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, "compassionate conservatism" isn't a particular type of conservatism, just a Bush-era slogan meant to suggest the conservatism can also be compassionate. The attempt to sell conservatism this way is interesting in itself, but it says little about conservatism itself so it deserves minimal mention, if any, in this article. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 01:02, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Evidently Bush popularized it, but as a term it goes back to the late 70s. I guess the critical question is, among political scientists, does the term have significance? de Bivort 01:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's precisely the question but you and I aren't the ones to answer it. Rather, whoever wants to include it should track down reliable secondary sources that show it to be significant as a form of conservatism as opposed to as a slogan. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 02:14, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As of the time of this post, the "compassionate conservatism" section has been removed. There is no clear consensus to keep it, and no citations support it. Yet. If things change, we should discuss the issue here and form a consensus to reinsert the section. Until then, let's leave it gone and not edit-war to restore it. Just come here and bring cites. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 02:16, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Another imaginary "consensus". Belchfire-TALK 06:34, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Look, all you have to do is find some citations and I will personally reinsert the entire section. But as it stands, without these citations, there is no consensus to keep. Work with me; don't just edit war. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 06:37, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
The section is well sourced and should not be blanked. Perhaps we should discuss how much coverage is due, and should this item be moved into the US section.– Sir Lionel, EG(talk) 07:16, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
There are citations (quite a few of them, in fact, as Lionel just pointed out), and there is no consensus either way (which is quite plain to see, quite frankly). You're working with the admins now. Belchfire-TALK 07:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Two points of order:

  1. If you're going to escalate to ANI, you should mention it here.
  2. Now that it's under discussion on ANI, we should not be changing that part of the article. Lionelt's revert was therefore out of order.

Wikipedia parliamentary procedure is a harsh mistress. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 07:33, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

You had this edit summary right in front of you: Section blanking violates policy may be considered vandalism. You've been informed already, please don't do it again. Don't try to say you weren't given notice. Belchfire-TALK 08:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You misunderstood policy and were corrected on ANI. Section blanking is only a violation if it's done "without any reason". This clearly doesn't apply here. Please save the Wikilawyering and other tendacious editing for someone who can't read. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 08:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Follow-up suggestion from ANI

Hey all, I'm coming here from the recent discussion at ANI to follow-up on a suggestion I made after it was archived. I hope you don't mind that I'm basically copying and pasting what I'd posted there.

I've read through the above discussion, and these are my observations:

  1. The central issue of the dispute is whether or not the main conservatism article should contain a subsection covering compassionate conservatism.
  2. There are two opposing viewpoints on this issue: one side argues that the term is not in widespread use, and is entirely irrelevant outside the U.S. (possibly even the Bush administration), while the other side reiterates their understanding that the main conservatism article should cover all concepts branching off of the conservative political doctrines (including its various different interpretations), and not just a limited definition based on the ideologies of famous classical conservatives such as Edmund Burke.
  3. There is not a firmly established consensus on this page, and the dispute has resulted in an edit war.

So, bearing all this in mind, I've come to the conclusion that the best way forward from here is to try and establish a clear consensus one way or the other. To do that, we will probably need more people participating in this discussion. Therefore, my suggestion is to open a request for comment on this page by following the instructions laid out here, and listing it under the Politics, government, and law category. That way we can get a much broader perspective, hopefully establishing a clear consensus and alleviating the confusion caused by this situation.

Thoughts? Kurtis (talk) 09:21, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

My apologies if I archived it before you could respond, but it was the wrong venue. I'm fine with an RFC so long as the phrasing is properly neutral. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 10:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You are being tendentious here and on other political articles. I suggest you read WP:AGF and WP:NPA again if you have not already done so. And per Kurtis - since all the material in the article is variable from place to place and time to time, if we decide to only have "universal truths" about "conservatism", we would have no article at all. And your implicit claim that Kurtis' wording is not "neutral" is risible. Cheers. Collect (talk) 10:20, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm confused, are we saying that we need an RFC on the content, or that we need an RFCU on the editor? – Sir Lionel, EG(talk) 10:50, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Let's find out. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk)
I was specifically referring to content. =) Kurtis (talk) 10:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

As a non-conservative myself, I'm proud to say that I've known a number of conservatives with great intellectual rigor and consistency. On the other hand, nobody has made a case that within the context of the length and depth of centuries of conservative intellectual history, "compassionate conservatism" has ever earned any significant attention as anything other than a failed effort by Olasky, and a briefly-useful advertising slogan by one of the Bushes. Even seven lines does in fact constitute undue emphasis in an article of this broad global scope. --Orange Mike | Talk 12:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)


I have never considered Moderaterna a conservative party, let alone the conservative party. They are neoliberal in their rhetoric and advocate deregulation, but are (social) liberal or social democratic in practice. It's worth noting that neoliberal politics isn't culturally viewed as 'conservative' in Scandinavian, as opposed to America. Compared to the American Democrats, they are still more leftists and progressive, which is why calling them conservative is confusing in global terms. Parties like Christian Democrats, Liberal People's Party and Sweden Democrats are much better suited. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

That is what the sources say, while they describe the other three parties as christian democratic, liberal and right-wing respectively. They seem similar to the other parties described. There is a tendency to confuse conservatism with other ideologies on the center and right. TFD (talk) 14:43, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Liberal Party of Australia

The Liberal Party of Australia is generally classified as a liberal party. See for example Alan Ware's Political Parties and Party Systems (1996), which reports the classifications used by Klaus von Beyme in Political Parties in Western Democracies (1985).[40] See also Good Iron Mac: The Life of Australian Federation Father Sir William McMillan, K.C.M.G (1995), p. 109, "[New South Wales and Australia] had been universally 'Liberal' since the late 1850s, following the disappearance of the conservative party of James Macarthur and Wentworth in the early days of responsible government".[41] Louis Hartz's seminal work, The Founding of New Societies: Studies in the History of the United States, Latin America, South Africa, Canada, and Australia (1964), discusses at length why there is no conservative party in Australia in a chapter written by Richard Rosecrance.[42] Since the Liberal Party has both neoclassical and social liberal elements, it could be correct to describe it as center-right, but its history, core values and party name put it within the liberal tradition. TFD (talk) 00:13, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

"Liberal" is Australia corresponds to "classical liberal" or "libertarian" is US terminology. The policies are conservative as the Howard years (1996-2007) demonstrated. Howard generally framed the Liberals as being on the right in social policy, debt reduction and links with the US Alliance. The opposition Labor party is on he left. In most of the world outside the US "liberal" is similar to "conservative: in US. For example: (1) "In America, "liberal" means left-of-center, and it is a pejorative term when used by conservatives in adversarial political debate. In Australia, of course, the conservatives are in the Liberal Party." [David Mosler; Robert Catley (1998). America and Americans in Australia. p. 83. ] (2) "Decline in English influences on Australian reformism and radicalism, and appropriation of the symbols of Empire by conservatives continued under the Liberal Party leadership of Sir Robert Menzies. which lasted until 1966." [James Jupp (2004). The English in Australia. p. 172.  Rjensen (talk) 02:55, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

These citations say that conservatives belong to the Liberal Party, and that they have in at least one case influenced the Liberal Party. That doesn't make the Liberal Party a conservative party. TFD's sources strongly support the contention that there is no conservative party in Australia. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:26, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

the Australians think the Lib party is conservative--and to a considerable degree Australia leans right. Beecher comments that, "across the economic and cultural landscape, Howard [the Lib premier 1996-2007] proved that the centre of politics in Australia is inherently conservative." [Eric Beecher, ed. (2009). The Best Australian Political Writing 2009. Melbourne Univ. Publishing. p. 236.  Jupp (p 172)says, "In national politics the conservative parties were in office for forty-six of the sixty years from 1914 to 1974." "in more recent times, the Liberal Party has sought to project itself as much more conservative. This conservatism has been expressed partly in the support of conservative social policy, partly in defence policy and partly in embracing [religion]."Nick Economou; Zareh Ghazarian (2010). Australian Politics For Dummies. p. 119.  The switch of the word "liberal" happened in the US in the 1930s but it did not happen in other lands like Australia. Rjensen (talk) 13:43, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
and by the way, Ware does not classify the Australian Libs as a "liberal party." He emphasizes p 335 that it always opposes the Labour party (which is like the US Dem. party). The von Beyme model dealt with party origins 100+ years ago. Rjensen (talk) 13:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

In her essay, Janet Albrechtsen refers to "the conservative wing of the [Liberal] party" (p. 234), in contrast to "the moderate faction of the Liberal Party (p. 236). She also says, "Most people will not articulate their beliefs as conservative. Indeed many people may be loathe to call themselves conservative, such is the disdain that still lingers over this word." (p. 236) But she uses the words liberal and conservative interchangeably. "[Labor leader] Kevin Rudd...declar[ed] he was an 'economic conservative.... In the workplace, Labor finally worked out that a liberal philosophy had prevailed, one founded on the belief that individuals make better choices than the heavy hand of government or the clumsy collective mindset of unions." (p. 237) Australian Politics for Dummies says "The Liberal Party is a broad centre-rfight party that accomodates liberals of various types as well as conservatives, but in a way that is pragmatic enough to attempt to appeal to middle Australia."

Ware provides a chart which is reproduced here. Under "Other" he classifies the ALP and the Country Party respectively as "liberal/radical" and "agrarian". Although Von Beyme did use the circumstances of parties' foundings, it was part of his methodology for classifying modern parties. In any case all the parties listed in the WP article are historic conservative parties that have survived.

I take the point that the line between conservatism and liberalism has become blurred. One could argue that every country has a conservative party, even though that conservative party may be liberal, Christian democrat, etc. I will change the heading to "Historic conservatism in different countries".

TFD (talk) 15:11, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes that's a good solution Rjensen (talk) 15:24, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
The comments being made here are utterly farcical. Look at all the sources. There is no doubt whatsoever the Liberal Part is a conservative party. It opposes gay marriage, takes a tough line on refugees ariving by boat and opposes climate change action. The leader Tony Abbott once described climate change as 'absolute crap'. Furthermore, the party is a member of the centre=-right conservative International Democrat Union, and is considered to be on the right of the Conservative Party (UK). At Tony Abbott's website there are countless results for the term 'conservative' and he describes himself as a 'Christian conservative'.

Please don't comment here unless you actually know the facts, don't be simply misled by the name. Welshboyau11 (talk) 19:15, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Here is a link to "Liberal Thinkers" on the Liberal International website. Can you tell me which one of them supported same sex marriage, etc.? The IDU btw does not claim to be conservative. And even if we accept that Abbott is accurately describing his views, it represents at most one faction of the ALP. As Robert Menzies wrote, (quoted by Malcom Fraser), "We chose the word 'Liberal' because we want to be a progressive party, in no way conservative, in no way reactionary."[43] But I suspect Abbott is referring to traditional liberalism, and uses the term conservatism to distinguish himself from the radical and social liberal elements of the party. Do you have any sources that explain what he means? BTW you might want to read The Liberals: A History of the Nsw Division of the Liberal Party of Australia, 1945-2007 (1997)[44] and The Ethical State?: Social Liberalism in Australia (2003).[45] They provide interesting descriptions of the origins, divisions and ideology of the party. TFD (talk) 20:12, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, the party is not a member of Liberal International. Secodly, The International Democrat Union is described on its website as 'a working association of over 80 Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded political parties of the centre right'. ( Again, please get the your facts straight. There is no doubt the party is Conservative Welshboyau11 (talk) 20:30, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
The point is this. There are a variety of views withing all major political parties. For example in the Conservative Party (UK) there are the right-wingers and the more left-wing social liberals. Their are the hard Eurosceptics and the Pro-Euro grouping. That does not mean the party is not broadly a Conservative Party. On the Australian and Global politcal spectrums, the Liberal Party is a centre-right conservative party. There may be a few more left-leaning, but they constitute a small minority. The party ideology is also clearly Conservative. Welshboyau11 (talk) 20:39, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Well you need sources to explain that. I did not say btw that the Liberal Party is social liberal, just that it is liberal. They are in the tradition of John Locke and Adam Smith. Why do you suppose they call themselves that? Why not call themselves the Socialist Party if they want to confuse people? TFD (talk) 20:48, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Guess what. In the article, sources are there. Welshboyau11 (talk) 20:53, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
None of the sources appear to say it is a conservative party. In fact the section says among other things, ""It is Liberal in the sense of economics," the Labor Party is dominated by "a socially conservative element" and that liberalism in Australia would be called conservative in the US. TFD (talk) 21:07, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

I can clear this all up for you. Historically, the Liberal Party of Australia was just that - Liberal. It was essentially the Australian wing of the Liberal Party of the UK. "Whig Interpretation of History", and so forth. However, Australia being basically a Two-Party System ala the UK and US, the Libs steadily turned towards Conservatism as time went on. If you look at the biography of Malcolm Fraser, you will see him reflect upon this change. Fraser was/is an orthodox Liberal, and he very harshly criticized John Howard and the direction he took the party (to the Right). While the LPA is still formally Liberal, it has become a de facto Conservative party, just like the Conservative Party in the UK. Hence, Tony Abbott is both an economic conservative, and a social conservative. And Malcolm Fraser hates him too :-) This shift is not unique to the Right side of Australian politics either - the Australian Labor Party is still formerly Democratic Socialist and Social Democrat, however in practice it is today - and has been since the early 1980s - a Social Liberal party (in fact, its shift to the Centre predates both the Blairite "New Labour" and Clinton's "Third Way"). LiamFitzGilbert (talk) 13:19, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

ssentially the Australian wing of the Liberal Party of the UK well no, it was not like that. The Aus Libs emerged from a merger ("Fusion") in 1908 of the Anti-Socialist Party (which makes it pretty conservative), and Deakin's Protectionist party. There was indeed some intellectual resemblance to the reform program of the British Liberals but there were key differences: 1) the Deakin group strongly favored tariffs, the Brit Libs were strongly free trade; s) Deakin's group was pro-military (it proposed conscription & bought warships) spending and the Brit Libs against; 3) the Brit Libs formed coalitions with Labour and the Aus. Lib refused; 4) many Anglicans joined the Aus. Liberals (compared to few in England). Rjensen (talk) 13:46, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Would it not be more correct to say that the Conservative Party of the UK has become a de facto Liberal Party, especially since Thatcher? That was Ian Gilmour's criticism in Dancing with Dogma, among other writings. Rjensen is correct that the Liberal Party UK was in 1906 essentially a social liberal party. Since the Gladstone ministry, the free market liberals had defected to the Tories. This type of defection is explained in Herbert Spencer's "The New Toryism" and Hayek's "Why I am not a Conservative". The 19th century division of liberal and conservative was replaced with a division between conservatives and liberals on the right with socialists on the left. Essentially the Australian Liberal Party was a coalition of neoclassical and social liberals and is now sometimes considered conservative because it is returning to neoclassical liberal policies. But it is not returning to conservatism, as represented by the Exclusive Party or 19th century English conservatism.

I suggested above the desirability of changing the name of the section to "Historic conservatism in different countries" because it is informative to have a section about how traditional conservatism has persisted into the modern era. If we want to include modern parties that developed out of other political traditions that are now sometimes called conservative, although New Right is the more accepted term, I suggest putting it into a separate section "Modern conservatism in different countries". TFD (talk)

As for Australia, the position of James Macarthur (of the "Exclusive Party") was so far out he realized it himself and left Australia in disgust about 1860. They were very rich men who proposed to keep power in their hands with no elections whatever. The landed elite in England were trying to keep centuries old traditions; the Exclusives had just recently arrived and had no interest in conserving anything--he wanted the Queen to create a brand new aristocracy--based not on military valor, or centuries of family achievement, or service to the crown but because he owned a lot of sheep. it's hard to call them 'conservatives' under any definition. [See Clark, Select Docs in Aus. Hist. vol 2 p 341 for how he was ridiculed. Rjensen (talk) 15:33, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Both contemporaries and historians call it conservatism. But isn't that what English conservatives would do in a new colony? Attempt to implant aristocrats and replicate the class system and other traditional institutions. Cf. the Family Compact, which developed into modern Canadian conservative parties. On the other hand, if there were no traditions to conserve, then liberalism, or more precisely radicalism, becomes the sole viable ideology. TFD (talk) 18:52, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
As Edmund Burke explained, great traditions worth conserving do not spring up overnight. How quick can you turn squatters into dukes, barons and earls? London laughed at the idea. As for Ontario's Family Compact, it was merely a closed political ring and did not pretend to be frontier aristocrats. Rjensen (talk) 04:35, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
How should the Liberal Party be described? Is it in the tradition of Edmund Burke and if so when did it adopt that tradition? There are a small number of European parties that date back to the 19th century conflict between liberals and conservatives and all of them are mentioned in the article. There are also parties on the right that developed out of other political traditions, such as liberalism and christian democracy, or have more recent origins. I think we should distinguish between them. Also, if we apply American categories to foreign parties, then not only would we include parties that claim not to be conservative, e.g., UKIP and ACT New Zealand, but we would have to exclude "traditional conservatives" such as the wets in the UK. TFD (talk) 16:21, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
the current Liberal Party dates to World War II. Its ethos has been (more or less) middle class, pro-USA, pro-business, pro-Monarchy, Protestant (tho not anti-Catholic), anti-multiculturalism, anti-postmodern 9as in education), anti-Socialist, anti-union and anti-Communist. It was much less willing than Labor to support Aboriginal rights or to welcome refugees. Its started calling itself "conservative" more recently (in 1990s). Rjensen (talk) 16:39, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Minimal government

The removed section[46] is more ambiguous than false. It's true for economic conservatism, false for social. Perhaps we could reinsert a more nuanced (and better cited) explanation. I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 04:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Any well-referenced addition is welcome, but needs to be written by someone who realizes that, for example, in the Jacksonian era and the years following, the liberals and radicals supported laizzes-faire, while the conservatives supported government monopolies awarded to prominent families. See, for example, The First Tycoon by T. J. Styles. Economic conservatism has favored big government in some periods and small government in others, whichever view served best to preserve the existing power structure and prevent innovation. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:57, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the meaning of conservatism has not been stable, so this is complicated. One thing I'd suggest is that we qualify our statements by stating their time range. So, for example, "Since the second half of the 20th century, conservatism has been associated with the stance that all eggs must be eaten from the little end first". I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 17:59, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It already says in the "United States" section, "The meaning of "conservatism" in America has little in common with the way the word is used elsewhere. As Ribuffo (2011) notes, "what Americans now call conservatism much of the world calls liberalism or neoliberalism."" TFD (talk) 18:30, 11 September 2012 (UTC)


There is disagreement about the extent to which Compassionate conservatism should be included in this article. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 10:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

This is a strange misstatement of the actual issues which are noted in the talk page above. The issue is whether an article on "Conservatism" which has no universal definition thereof must necessarily then have topics in it which are not universal to "conservatism" as a general topic, or whether all material which is not universally true should be then excised. The section at issue is properly sourced per WP:RS and [[W{:V]], and has been present in the article since 1 Feb 2012. Collect (talk) 11:00, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Oh, come on, Collect! You know better. Nobody but you has ever suggested that a subject must be universal to be included, only that it must be important. Find a source that says "compassionate conservatism" is an important kind of conservatism. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:08, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Read above - where the claim is specifically made that since "compassionate conservatism" as a term is only US and British that it does not belong here. I recall reading: TFD makes a good point that the whole "compassionate conservatism" meme is passe, and in any case US-centric,, The fact that something was "discussed in the 80s and 90s" in the U.S. does not make it notable, The point in deleting the section is that, in your own phrase, it is "part of the national political conversation", The minimal coverage in a book about US conservatism makes it of no significance to a global article. TFD etc. all show the argument that it is only about the US therefore does not belong in an article on "global" conservatism. I suggest those words are clear. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
That's not at all an accurate summary of the discussion. The real issue is how little space we can dedicate to compassionate conservatism without slighting this article. So far, the evidence supports little to no mention of it, as it was a Bush-era slogan that has since been dispensed with. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 11:30, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Except for usage in reliable sources in other countries - including the UK, usage by politicians in other countries, inclusion in reliable sources otherwise etc. Elision bcause you do not like something is not how to achieve consensus Still24 -- it is the path to discord utterly. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
The issue is whether it's undue, not whether there are any sources at all. Feel free to show how an obsolete slogan is really that important. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 12:16, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
7 lines in a 78K long article is "undue"? Um -- perhaps you should read WP:UNDUE:
Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources
So UNDUE requires the topic be included.
For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept
Which is quite obviously not the case here. So we are left with a claim that 7 lines in a lengthy article is "too long"? Fails. Collect (talk) 12:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not a significant viewpoint, it's a historical slogan. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 12:41, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I suggest the RfC be stopped, two succinct statements clearly stating what both feel the issues are be made, and then posted side by side in a new RfC so editors can see what the opposing issues are more easily. IRWolfie- (talk) 13:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Exclude The Conservative Tradition in America by Charles W. Dunn and J. David Woodard, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 (224 pages), spends only one paragraph discussing compassionate conservatism. It lists Olasky's book as one of approximately 40 that have had the most influence on U.S. conservatism since 1945, most notably for its influence on George W. Bush. (pp. 15-17)[47] The minimal coverage in a book about US conservatism makes it of no significance to a global article. TFD (talk)
  • Include The article specifically includes information about conservatism in many specific countries, thus the "global" argument fails. The 7 lines are properly sourced per WP:RS so the claim that it is UNDUE here is a fail. The fact the term has been used in at least one major foreign country means it is not deletable as only about the US. The fact that there is no universal definition of "conservatism" means that deleting anything as not being universally true is also a fail. Really -- excising 7 lines in a long article seems pointless. As for it being a "political slogan" the problem is that the NYT and other reliable sources do not so categorise it. Collect (talk) 13:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    • While "new compassionate conservatism" was used as a slogan by David Cameron when he ran for the Tory leadership, it was not the same concept as used by Bush and in fact he was criticized for using it - he now calls himself a "progressive conservative" or a "liberal". Cameron's "compassionate" referred to welfare state policies as opposed to Bush's reliance on the private sector. The fact that Cameron would use similar words to describe a different concept is evidence that the original use had obtained no notice. TFD (talk) 14:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Your personal attacks on other editors do not advance your cause, Collect, nor does your sarcasm, nor does your failure to stick to the point. You still have not provided even one reference that says this is important. So far, the examples given all use the phrase with different meanings, one saying it means libertarian conservatism, one saying it means Biblical conservatism, and two using political platitudes which could apply to any candidate of any party. Instead of continuing to argue off topic, please cite a source that says compassionate conservatism is important. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:41, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Show me a "personal attack" Rick -- so far I see you using that claim, but since I did not attack anyone, I suspect that your claim is a teensy bit weak. And there is no need for a source saying "this is the most important topic in the world" only that reliable sources discuss the topic. See WP:UNDUE. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Cut it out, Collect. Anyone who reads your comments can see the personal attacks and sarcasm. Even your "Cheers." is sarcastic. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 14:01, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh? Pray tell why do I say "Cheers" to Jimbo? Collect (talk) 18:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Collect: You wrote: "Except for usage in reliable sources in other countries - including the UK, usage by politicians in other countries, inclusion in reliable sources otherwise etc. Elision bcause you do not like something is not how to achieve consensus Still24 -- it is the path to discord utterly." Sarcasm followed by attacking an editor by claiming his posts are based upon what he likes rather than on the evidence and accusing him of sowing discord by disagreeing with you. And, once again, you try to shift the ground from "important" to "the most important topic in the world". There are thousands of books about conservatism. If this article included everything discussed by any reliable source, it would be thousands of pages long. And you still have not given even one source saying this is an important topic. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:34, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

This series of articles gives it a serious treatment: de Bivort 15:52, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
note to those of you removing the section, with edit summaries to the effect of "no consensus to keep it" - there is clearly no consensus to remove it either. I believe that per WP:BRD, it's better to leave the article the way it was (in this case, with the section in place) until consensus is established on the talk page. de Bivort 18:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

De Bivort: Your view seems to be that unless there is a "consensus" no change can be made to a Wikipedia article. That is not Wikipedia policy. If it were, then a few people, by refusing to agree to any change they don't like, could dominate Wikipedia. Also, you should read your sources before you post them. Here is how Compassionate Conservatism: A Primer begins: "What was "compassionate conservatism"? It was the signature project of the George W. Bush Administration that wasn’t—one firmly focused on domestic affairs and the bipartisan reform of the welfare state." Note the use of the past tense, and that he ties the idea closely to one U.S. president. He goes on to say that the idea was never put into practice. He does not say that "compassionate conservatism" was an important movement. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:00, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, look at your sources, which are three short articles written by Clifford Orwin for the Hoover Institution. The first, called "The Fall of Compassionate Conservatism" says "George W. Bush first embraced the idea and then let it die." That does not make it notable in a global article about conservatism. TFD (talk) 19:25, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Not to drop policy heavy handedly, but WP:BRD says: "1. [make your edit] 2. Wait until someone reverts your edit. You have now discovered a Most Interested Person. 3. Discuss the changes you would like to make with this Most Interested Person, perhaps using other forms of Wikipedia dispute resolution as needed, and reach a compromise." The edit was the removal, it got reverted, now it's time to discuss. WP:BRD does not say, "1) make your edit, 2) wait until its reverted, 3) go ahead and revert back!" The interpretation in this case is straightforward. Now, to the substance of your comment. I am highly disinterested in this particular question, but the debate was raging above, with lots of "you provide a source" "no, you provide a source" and no one providing sources. I'd hoped to seed a topic focused discussion and move us away from reflexive accusations. de Bivort 20:20, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Include: Whether the notion is specific to US/UK isn't relevant for inclusion or exclusion. If it's specific to US/UK, it should be included and presented as such. The mindshare this idea gets in sources that discuss conservatism determines how much space in the article it should get, since it's been embraced (apparently) by Bush and Cameron then at least a short mention, set in the appropriate context, might be in order indeed. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 20:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Minimize: It's worth mentioning very briefly as a conservative concept that made for a fine slogan, was never actually implemented and has now been condoned to the scrap heap of history. In short, give it as much space as it deserves, which is slightly more than none but much less than what it has today. It's linked to its own article, so nothing of value is lost. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 20:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Drop: Proponents of inclusion have not been able to cite even one reference that says it is an important kind of conservatism, or even a clearly defined kind of conservatism. It's a slogan, nothing more. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    • And your reeliable source for using the term "slogan, nothing more" is? [48] Compassionate conservatism is neither an easy slogan nor one immune from vehement attack. It is a fullfledged program with a carefully considered philosophy. It will face in the twenty-first century not easy acceptance but dug-in opposition seems to belie the claim. [49] But whether compassionate conservatism was primarily a philosophy, a marketing slogan, or merely a dodge, it was the product of prodigious work ., [50] In fact, compassionate conservatism was more than a slogan.31 It grew out of Marvin Olasky's books, The Tragedy of American Compassion and Compassionate Conservatism, [51] As Jacobs recounts later in The Compassionate Conservative, telling another business story of compassionate conservatism, writing of the successful measures he put in place to reduce the number of injuries in his company, [52] In The Compassionate Conservative Jacobs, a former businessman and now a philanthropist, adopts the American form of the jeremiad and lays out what he sees as the principles of compassionate conservatism, uzw. Enough cites and material in reliable sources to place it beyong "slogan". And of cource WaPo [53] Far from being a vague, weepy tenderness, compassionate conservatism has a rigorous definition. It teaches that the pursuit of the common good is a moral goal. It asserts that this goal is best achieved through strong families, volunteer groups and communities that all deserve legal deference and respect. But it also accepts that when local institutions fail -- a child is betrayed by a consistently failing school, a state passes a Jim Crow law, a nation is helpless to tackle a treatable disease -- the federal government has a responsibility to intervene. Such interventions generally are most successful when they promote individual and community empowerment instead of centralizing bureaucratic control. But when that is not possible, it is fully appropriate to send in the Army to desegregate the schools of Little Rock. In short - WaPo found it a major concept to discuss. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:22, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
In this sea of words, is there any place where a notable authority describes it as important to conservatism? You're going to have to point it out, because this is a flood of low-quality information. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 22:34, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You are the first to assert that the Washington Post is a "low-quality" source. Cheers. Collect (talk) 00:45, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You do realize that I can't even find the Washington Post in that wall of low-quality verbiage, right? Thought so. The point of the wall is to intimidate, not educate. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
And of course WaPo [8] Far from being a vague, weepy tenderness, compassionate conservatism has a rigorous definition. It teaches that the pursuit of the common good is a moral goal. It asserts that this goal is best achieved through strong families, volunteer groups and communities that all deserve legal deference and respect. But it also accepts that when local institutions fail -- a child is betrayed by a consistently failing school, a state passes a Jim Crow law, a nation is helpless to tackle a treatable disease -- the federal government has a responsibility to intervene. Such interventions generally are most successful when they promote individual and community empowerment instead of centralizing bureaucratic control. But when that is not possible, it is fully appropriate to send in the Army to desegregate the schools of Little Rock. In short - WaPo found it a major concept to discuss. I trust this is easier to find even though it was one half of what you call a "wall of low-quality verbiage." Cheers. Collect (talk) 02:30, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is entirely consistent with what I said about CC being a wonderful slogan expressing high-minded ideals. But how is it important to conservatism if it was never tried and is now sneered at? Where does your beloved WaPo quote say that CC is important to conservatism? Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 02:33, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Collect: You ask for a reliable source for "slogan, nothing more" and then provide one. "Frum [Bush speechwriter] wrote, 'Bush described himself as a compassionate conservative ... which sounded less like a philosophy than a marketing slogan.'" Thanks. And you offer evidence that Bush supporters, during his presidency, picked up on the idea. What's missing here is any consistant idea of what the phrase means, and why it is still important today. For one writer, it means small government. For Olaski, it means Christian conservatism and Bible based government. For WaPo, as you call them, it means mixed government, with primary emphasis on local institutions but allowing federal intervention when local institutions fail. Which is it?Rick Norwood (talk) 12:13, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You asserted it was only a slogan. I provided cites making clear that such an assertion is errant (unless the WaPo is "low quality" as Still24 thinks). BTW, "WaPo" is frequently used on Wikipedia for "Washington Post" occurring over 900 times. Google first count? About 8,560,000 results (0.17 seconds) I am a teensy bit surprised that you were not familiar with the usage. Cheers - my point is made - ot os not "merely" a "slogan." Collect (talk) 21:24, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
It's only a slogan because nobody has ever implemented it. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 22:01, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
A slogan/the sentiment embodied by a slogan could be a notable aspect of conservatism (Liberté Egalité Fraternité appears with moderate prominence in Liberalism, and remains surely "just" an idealization or aspiration for liberalism). You guys should be arguing about whether it's notable, not whether it's a slogan. de Bivort 23:50, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, but none of our sources seem to say this. If anything, they suggest the opposite. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 05:54, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Rick, is your argument that this article should only include important aspects of conservatism? If so, do you feel that e.g. conservatism in Iceland or Luxembourg (which are now mentioned in the article) are important aspects of conservatism? I think this can be mentioned in the project the same way e.g. "New Labour" can be mentioned elsewhere. Short, but include. Maybe 50 years on editors will remove these mentions as irrelevant, but they're not irrelevant enough to exclude, for now, IMO. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 09:49, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Iceland is included under "Conservatism in different countries". The question here is whether "Compassionate Conservatism" should be listed under "Forms of Conservatism". That is, is it an important form of conservatism that can be distinguished from libertarian conservatism or religious conservatism, which already have their own sections. So far, no evidence has been provided that it is as important as the others, especially since the list is already long, nor that it is distinct from the forms already listed, nor is there any agreement about what form of conservatism it refers to. The WaPo definition sounds a lot like the second meaning of "liberal conservatism", the original use was to describe "Christian Conservatism". In any case, it does not seem to be a distinct form of conservatism. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:16, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

The rationale for including Iceland and luxembourg is that We can have a section about every historical conservative party in Europe that still exists, because there are fewer than a dozen. TFD (talk) 15:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment, if the summary is removed from the page, a wikilink to the article should be left in the See Also section.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 03:53, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Still, if someone is opposing the inclusion of something based on the argument that it isn't an important aspect of the subject-matter, then the same person ought to favour excluding other things that aren't important aspects. Concerning the list of "Forms of Conservatism", which one could C.C fall under? If that's discovered, then a short mention in that section could do the trick. It's probably not necessary to have a separate section for "compassionate conservatism" since editors are discussing whether to mention it at all. --Dailycare (talk) 10:19, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

As I mentioned above, one problem with "compassionate conservatism" as a description of a form of conservatism is that different writers use the phrase with widely different meanings, so according to one writer it falls under one head, according to another writer under another head. Rick Norwood (talk) 11:59, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment A bit tangential, but here I go. I think less emphasis should be given to the forms of conservatism and more emphasis on conservatism in general. At the moment the article is effectively two lists. One of the forms of conservatism, the other conservatism in different nations. There should be a section on discussing conservatism in general etc, but not the big lists. When sections, like the one on the USA, say things like "little in common with the way the word is used elsewhere" it's a good sign that it doesn't belong in the article. These effectively disparate topics should be split off (or not linked together as the case may be). IRWolfie- (talk) 13:52, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I would remove the forms of conservatism. Not clear that these are forms of conservatism, just different ways in which the word is used, and are mostly original research. TFD (talk) 14:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Include as a brief summary. (Uninvolved invited by RFC bot) If it is just a slogan then why are there books on the subject?[54][55] If this concept is notable enough to warrant it's own article then it really should be mentioned here. Facts, not fiction (talk) 20:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Include: it is obviously within the scope of the article, and coverage in RS shows that the brief suggested text passes WP:DUE. – Sir Lionel, EG(talk) 08:11, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Exclude Guess I should weigh in since I filed the RfC. My reasons are best explained by TLD, who refers to a source that gives "compassionate conservatism" very little space. We should follow our sources. I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 08:25, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Exclude This apparent contradiction in terms is adequately covered in its own article. The term is used differently by various protagonists and appears to be more a slogan than a philosophy. I do not think we need to mention every bit of electioneering here. Lastly, I note there is already a link to "compassionate conservatism" in the info box.
PS: I'm now off to see how "harsh liberalism" is treated on the Liberalism article. ;-) Jschnur (talk) 04:46, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

This RfC has run its course and it looks to me like a dead heat, more or less. I don't believe that it represents a consensus to include "compassionate conservatism". I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 17:29, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Amazing -- judge, jury and executioner who has absolutely no say in any close, but perfectly willing to iterate the same points over and over and over -- the problem is that "no consensus" results in retaining the established material which is not what iy "REALLYREALLYWANT". Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not established material, so why do you bring this up? I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 21:19, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
The material was in the article until 14 August when The Four Deuces excised it. It had been stable in the article since 1 Feb 2012, or more than six months. In Wikipedia parlance, the edits were well-established in the article. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

A minimal role for government.

The idea that "conservatism" has something to do with small government is relatively modern, and usually heard during US presidential elections. The original conservatives supported absolute government and the devine right of kings. The Founding Fathers supported strong federal government, with the power to award monopolies to well-connected families, set tarrifs, and regulate trade. John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition acts, greatly incrasing the power of government. When Andrew Jackson championed limiting the federal government, the idea was called liberal, not conservative. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:03, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that there is no definition for "conservatism" which applies to all times and all places. Just as "liberal" has different meanings from place to place and time to time. Collect (talk) 12:20, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
We've been here before. Just because conservatism is used in different ways doesn't mean there is no common theme to those different uses. The common theme is tradition. Politically, that means either support for the existing power structure or a return to an earlier power structure. Small government libertarians started calling themselves conservative when the conservatives proved valuable political allies. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
You keep writing, but without denying the truth that there is no definition for "conservatism" which fits all places and all times. Period. Nor do I find your Small government libertarians started calling themselves conservative to be remotely sourceable as "fact" for a Wikipedia article. The use of "tradition" is utterly useless -- Poland under Jaruzelski was run by a "conservative" dictator by that standard, who was opposed by the "conservative" Roman Catholic Church -- both sides clearly supporting "tradition" as they saw it. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
There is no single definition of conservativism, but there are common features (and Jaruzelski was a Communist, so not a conservative in the political sense - Communist always defines itself, at least ostensibly, on building towards a utopian communist future, not on preserving tradition, and this is as true of the functionally reactionary Brezhnevite regimes as of any other variant of Communism). "Small government" is not in any way one of those common features. If I had to give a spot general definition of conservatism, it would be that it is the political ideology of traditional social elites. And "traditional social elites" does not, typically, mean "the Communist Nomenklatura." john k (talk) 17:44, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
It means to conserve tradition. The dispute is over whether it is limited to preserving specific traditions developed during the Middle Ages or whether it is situational. Hence U.S. conservatives claim that they defend "small government" because it is an American tradition. Notably the strongest advocates of small government outside the U.S., where earlier traditions still exist, are usually called liberals. BTW there as mentioned in the article there has been recent scholarship comparing the post-Communist parties of Eastern Europe with the conservative parties of Western Europe, and supporters of post-Communist parties tend to score high on tests for conservatism. 18:44, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Notice that part of 'small government' includes rights of states and other distribution of governance spelled out in the Constitution. Conservatives stand with Founding Fathers on this. A US constitutional government is not a bloated federal government. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 01:14, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Conservatism in the US

"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?

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

Falongen's 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)

Hume claimed as conservative

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)

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

[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

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."[56] I notice the paragraph has evolved considerably since I first added, although no new sources have been provided.[57] (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)
    • ^ Patrick Allitt, The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History, p. "before the 1950s there was no such thing as a conservative movement in the United States.", Yale University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780300164183
    • ^ Gregory Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield. 2009) p. xii
    • ^ a b Cal Jillson (22 February 2011). Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 19 January 2012. Social conservatives focus on moral or values issues, such as abortion, marriage, school prayer, and judicial appointments. 
    • ^ Bruce Frohnen, ed. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006) pp ix to xiv
    • ^ a b Michael Foley (25 October 2007). American credo: the place of ideas in US politics. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 January 2012. Against accusations of being pre-modern or even anti-modern in outlook, paleoconservatives press for restrictions on immigration, a rollback of multicultural programmes, the decentralization of the federal polity, the restoration of controls upon free trade, a greater emphasis upon economic nationalism and isolationism in the conduct of American foreign policy, and a generally revanchist outlook upon a social order in need of recovering old lines of distinction and in particular the assignment of roles in accordance with traditional categories of gender, ethnicity, and race. 
    • ^ Paul Edward Gottfried, Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right, p. 9, "Postwar conservatives set about creating their own synthesis of free-market capitalism, Christian morality, and the global struggle against Communism." (2009); Gottfried, Theologies and moral concern (1995) p. 12
    • ^ Sean Wilentz, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008 (2009); John Ehrman, The Eighties: America in the Age of Reagan (2008)
    • ^ William Safire, Safire's Political Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780195340617
    • ^ Ahoura Afsha. "The Anti-gay Rights Movement in the United States: The Framing of Religion" (PDF). University of Essex. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
    • ^ Julian E. Zelizer, ed. The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (2010) ch 6
    • ^ Jim Mann, Rise Of The Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet(2004)
    • ^ Peter J. Jacques; Riley E. Dunlap; Mark Freeman, The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism, Environmental Politics. v12 m3 (2008), Pages 349 – 385
    • ^ Benjamin Balint, Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine That Transformed the Jewish Left Into the Neoconservative Right (2010)
    • ^ Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: a Woman's Crusade, p. 217, Princeton University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0691136240
    • ^ George H. Nash, Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism (2009) says, "abortion, school prayer, pornography, drug use, sexual deviancy ... In a very real sense the Religious Right was closest in its concerns to traditionalist conservatism." p. 325
    • ^ Glenn Utter and Robert J. Spitzer, Encyclopedia of Gun Control & Gun Rights (2nd ed. 2011)
    • ^ The "law and order" issue was a major factor weakening liberalism in the 1960s, argues Michael W. Flamm, Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s (2005)
    • ^ Gallup, "U.S. Political Ideology Stable With Conservatives Leading" Gallup, August 1, 2011, online
    • ^ Juliana Horowitz, "Winds of Political Change Haven’t Shifted Public’s Ideology Balance," Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, press release November 25, 2008
    • ^ Leo P. Ribuffo, "20 Suggestions for Studying the Right now that Studying the Right is Trendy," Historically Speaking Jan 2011 v.12#1 pp 2–6, quote on p. 6
    • ^ Leo P. Ribuffo, "20 Suggestions for Studying the Right now that Studying the Right is Trendy," Historically Speaking Jan 2011 v.12#1 pp 2–6, quote on p. 6
    • ^ Gregory Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield. 2009) p. xii
    • ^ Bruce Frohnen, ed. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006) pp ix to xiv
    • ^ Paul Edward Gottfried, Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right, p. 9, "Postwar conservatives set about creating their own synthesis of free-market capitalism, Christian morality, and the global struggle against Communism." (2009); Gottfried, Theologies and moral concern (1995) p. 12
    • ^ Peter J. Jacques; Riley E. Dunlap; Mark Freeman, The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism, Environmental Politics. v12 m3 (2008), Pages 349 – 385
    • ^ Gregory Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield. 2009) p. xii
    • ^ Gregory Schneider, The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield. 2009) p. xii