The Case for Conservatism

Our complex culture has inexorably been redefining humanity in its own image, leaving the individual at the mercy of groups, technology and ever-accelerating “social progress.” The tail has come to wag the dog; what we’ve built is running us.

What’s happened was that we have, over the course of time, effectively subverted the natural process in the name of the way we think (or are led to believe) that things are.  The rapid growth of knowledge and technology has persuaded us to delegate the responsibility for progress to groups.  We’ve effectively signed over our own creativity, imagination and ingenuity to others, giving them permission to tell us what to think and accepting what they tell us as the way it is.   Instead of sharing the load according to our ability to handle it, we have become caught up in self-interest and neglected our vital link with humanity.  In the process we have drawn further from the principle, the reason for it all—to be, to live, to create, to become all that we can be—what humanity and life itself is all about.  We have come to believe, perhaps even with good reason, that we cannot trust others to do the right thing, thinking (or worse, never even considering) that others feel the same way about us.  We forget that the vital connection includes more than shared interests and abilities. It includes, in fact, everything that makes us human, and it begins in truth.

As we developed stronger and stronger group connections we developed as well, group by group, a system of laws that has tended to mask our vital link with humanity.  We tended to forget that, even if the high-water mark of mankind, our society is still a group, and as a group it’s disposable.  We tended to forget that humankind remains the vital and overarching entity to which each of us is vitally connected.  We tended to forget that groups, however large and pervasive, remain groups that do not and cannot replace the individual, family, community or humanity, no matter what they tell us or what we have come to believe.

And when we permit group relationships to displace the vital one in importance, we permit groups (including society itself) to appropriate greater authority, and some members greater influence, than they are due.  In this process, group rules corrupt the basic ethical precepts of mankind.  Groups have written their own rules in order to accomplish their own ends, and these rules have found their way into law that may (and often does) misrepresent the relationship between the group and the individual.  We have allowed, even encouraged, this to happen, and in the process we’ve subverted ethics in favor of law (group think) by assigning our own ethical responsibilities to groups that by definition cannot handle them.  The effect has been devastating on both levels that really matter: the individual and the whole of mankind.

The ‘global community’ aspired to by many is a worthy goal, but only by way of first principles and natural law. It is, in fact, the way things could be, but it is not possible under the aegis of a government (or governments) that takes liberties with truth (anyone needing examples of this either has not been paying attention or is in moral denial).  Only an ethical and moral entity can achieve this goal.  Such a government may be worth pursuing, but not under the current conditions resulting from servile deference to special interests.  It is possible using a truly conservative approach.

To me, conservative means a return to the original premises of our nation and of humanity generally.  This process begins with truth and the primacy of the individual freedom guaranteed by our Constitution and implicit in natural law.

This is not a political issue.  It merely requires that all parties revert to the truth.  Ethics and morality are not subject to party lines.

Do you think it’s political?  Sorry—not from my point of view.  Conservatism, by political definition, champions the Constitution and rights of the individual rather than the power of government.  Should someone favor governmental power over the primacy of the individual, that someone would be in political opposition to conservatism.  However, so long as he demanded truth in politics and compliance with natural law, we would be in essential agreement ethically. Any political differences would be his choice, not mine.

I am in favor of individual freedom and people helping each other.  I do not and never have relied on government for help to run my life—I alone am responsible for it.  I also am a professional, one who speaks for himself without an intermediary.  That puts me in opposition to unions, and especially public unions, which are made up of people who delegate to others the power to speak for them (and therefore are not professionals).  As an individual, which like it or not we all are, I accept the responsibilities of my actions and will sink or swim with my decisions.  Parenthetically, I’ve done both.

…open for discussion…

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