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Old 06-13-2004, 09:48 PM   #1
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Conservatism - the ever evolving 'ism'

something struck me as funny when I was thinking about liberal and conservative politics today.
I came to the conclusion that the natural tendancy of society (uninhibited, democratic societies) is to progress towards more and more liberal ideologies.

I suppose the purpose for conservatism, if there is one, is to keep a check on things. Not to let things get too out of hand. But really all it does is delay the inevitable.
(for example, anyone who thinks gay marriage won't be legal in every state in 50 years is probably fooling themselves)

what is also interesting is that conservatism always changes. It becomes more liberal.
Conservatives of 50 years ago would no doubt look at conservatives today with shame.
Likewise, conservatives of today would no doubt deem those conservatives 50 years from now as quite liberal.

I'm not talking about some wishy washy moderate either...I mean hardline conservatives mostly.

I dunno, what do you think?

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Old 06-14-2004, 01:49 AM   #2
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By and large I think you're right. There are many reasons for what you describe, mostly that I don't think conservatism (true conservatism) is tied to specific issues. Thus it changes in tone, over time. I also think it tends to react based on whatever are perceived to be mainstream community values at any given time. Of course perception is usually a decade or two behind reality.

At present the perception is that the general public can't handle gays. I think this is about ten or fifteen years out of date. Same principle with civil rights in earlier decades.

Of course this is quite separate from 'movement conservatism' in the US, which is very specifically tied to issues (and inspired by fundamentalist Christianity) and is imo radical, not conservative at all.

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Old 06-14-2004, 04:01 PM   #3
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I think you are right about it being a way to keep things in check. While I am quite liberal on many of my viewpoints I welcome the fact that there are conservatives out there saying "now wait a minute, let's think about this." when new liberal ideas are being pushed forth. I think it works vice versa too, which again is good.
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:45 PM   #4
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Re: Conservatism - the ever evolving 'ism'

Originally posted by Basstrap
I came to the conclusion that the natural tendancy of society (uninhibited, democratic societies) is to progress towards more and more liberal ideologies.
I think you need to support this statement before the balance of conservatism can be evaluated.
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