Conservatism is a political philosophy recognizing civil authority of political and cultural institutions that support the Constitution and Declaration of Independence ideals of individual liberty. Individual participation in civil institutions by community support like education and religion instill within the community and nation as a whole self-discipline and create the tangible notion of something bigger then ourselves. The reliance on institutions help control the inherent selfishness of peoples unrestricted passions. Edmund Burke (January 1729 to July 1797) defines these institutions as, "a sufficient restraint upon their passions." Manifestations of civil social order is a vital component to conservatism that is seen as a method to focus the best characteristics of an individual and thus the community. Skepticism of the ability to form an effective relationship between the federal or national government and the individual becomes a healthy element as well within a robust conservative philosophy. Conservatives conclude that less intrusion into the individual lives of people the better while celebrating historically moral and civil institutions. The federal government is seen as irrelevant to the everyday live of the individual citizen. Government above the state or local level is an abstract concept unnecessary until a specific and transparent, incremental and representative action is required for the whole of a nation state.
Conservatism within the United States are the institutions or organizations and political positions that embrace historical traditions and values, free enterprise through capitalism, limited government by supporting individual natural rights through low tax rates and a strong national defense or what is peace through strength as a deterrent.
The United States Constitution is the founding document of the United States of America as well as the supreme law of the land, which was adopted on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Generally speaking, it is an attempt to form a comprehensive foundation of governing and political principals of the governments limitation and scope the United States is to live up to.
Conservatives trace their political philosophy to its utmost application by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Declaration of Independence.
- Main Article: Originalist Perspective
The dominant way to interpret the Constitution is called originalist, retaining many of the same qualities as a biblical exegesis. Within contemporary conservative thought the judicial branch of the United States government has strayed significantly from core originalist interpretive principles. Especially within the last century judges have assumed superiority of their contemporary contexts, another biblical interpretive approach that critics often use. It is called eisegesis and when applied to that of the United States Constitution it manifests revisionism and judicial activism which is considered legislating (forming law) from the bench.
Conservatives uphold the originalist perspective of Constitutional interpretation as the most valid form.
The French Revolution
- Main Article: French Revolution
The French Revolution (1789–1799) is a time of radical social and political upheaval in French and European history. The ruling political classes were the Girondins, most wanting liberal economic reform and representative democracy. Secondly the Mountain (Montagnard) which introduced a communitarian governance concept based on radical, dictatorial direct democracy advocating death to the ruling King. The third political class was the Plain which were essentially independents and thus viable in continuing power of either the Girondins or the Mountain. The Girondins once ruling the Legislative Assembly of Paris with their power now fading collided with the Mountain violently in competition for Plain support during the time of the Reign of Terror (1793 to 1794).
The historic ideas about hierarchy and tradition were usurped in a very destructive manner by followers of what was considered enlightened reason. Anarchists of France rebel and dissolve the ruling monarchy in three years. Medieval political systems were trying to reform under classic liberal political attempts while civil and religious rights were assaulted by the masses of anarchists on the streets. The difference in the American Revolution (1776-1781) was the core goal to only rid themselves of a foreign non-representative dictatorial presence. The goal was met when British soldiers surrendered at Yorktown to the combined French and American forces in 1781 and the Americans who raised arms and rebelled against a foreign government were subdued through self-initiated law and order. In the British relinquishing their rights in surrender that day at Yorktown of which was foreign land they stood, the greater cause of liberty was secured and ushered into the United States Constitutional republicanism.
Conservatism in one regard is the preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal, in other words law and order over radical change and chaos. It is Edmund Burke and his commentary on the French Revolution that expounds on the philosophical tenets of conservatism although he never mentioned the term.
- Main Article: Original sin
The Fall of Man (Date::8 Ethanim 1 AM) was an event during which the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) sinned against God, and fell from grace. The event is also known as the Original Sin. According to the Bible, this sin brought death into the world, but humans remain immortal beings to be resurrected to eternal life in heaven, or eternal death in hell. The Bible also seems to clearly imply that humans were designed to live immortally in their physical bodies before Adam and Eve committed the original sin.
Conservative Christians and their support for absolute, or universal morality refer to biblical texts and its anthropology as well as history to show inherent attitudes of people to follow corrupted passions and embrace anarchism over law and order. Other not religious conservatives still contend for a type of absolute morality due to merely history of which civilizations show a clear natural inclination for disorder, war or what can be called evil making it a constant and powerful influence.
The intellectual movement began in the 1970's, with Irving Kristol (1920 to 2009), considered the "godfather of neoconservatism," as opposition to the radical anti-God nature emerging from the progressive liberal Democratic left associated with Great Society programs sponsored by Lyndon Johnson gained. Irving Kristol was influenced by Leo Strauss (1899 to 1973) who in turn was influenced by Neo-Kantian philosophy. With the momentum gained also came articulation of a foreign policy that stood against the aggressive military nature of the Soviet Union's communist expansion.
Neoconservatives attempts to fuse both new liberalism and conservatism addresses many topics like foreign policy, domestic politics, economics and cultural issues. Emerging as a counter within the anti-religious progressive left first, neoconservatives later in the same regard entered into the conservative movement. It effectively fuses both sides by adopting stances upon a foundation either side seems unwilling to embrace. Neoconservatism still retains new liberalism core presuppositions of domestic federal government intervention in the economy, guided by a redistributive or socialist template instead of a completely libertarian or capitalist approach.
- The conservative mind: from Burke to Eliot By Russell Kirk
- The Heartland Institute
- Heritage Foundation
- Foundation for Defense of Democracies
- In Defense of Defense By Victor Davis Hanson. From the November 29, 2010, issue of NR.
- Ronald Reagan Inaugural Address January 20, 1981
- Reign of Terror By Wikipedia
- Chronicle of the Revolution, Yorktown 1781 By PBS
- Reflections on the Revolution in France By Edmund Burke 1790
- The Voice of Neoconservatism; "We in America fought a culture war, and we lost" By Ronald Bailey ; October 17, 2001
- Irving Kristol By Wikipeida
- Neo-Kantian By Wikipedia
- Is Neoconservatism Dead? By PJTV
- Defining Conservatism Up (Part One) by Benjamin Wiker. 08/14/2010
- Defining Conservatism Up: Part II by Benjamin Wiker. 08/15/2010
- Hayek vs Keynes in the London Times Oct. 19, 1932 By Greg Ransom ; June 30, 2010
- Browse French Revolution Texts - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; Exploring the French Revolution By Center for History and New Media; George Mason University
- The Practical Liberal By Christopher DeMuth
- French Revolution Pictures By Google Images Search
- Internet Modern History Sourcebook: French Revolution