This is about becoming conservative (though closer to the Burkean sense than the US Republican sense). It should be read together with MovingToTheRight.
The latter is about changing one's moral opinion about things, namely losing one's moral disapproval of certain social injustices because they seem natural or innevitable.
Becoming conservative is pragmatic, a HypotheticalImperative? rather than a categorical one.
It consists of a set of beliefs / expectations rather like this ...
I'm not sure I'd agree about the left. They sometimes like models that are operated bottom-up, but they tend to be imposed top-down. -- BillSeitz
But going meta for a moment, I think "conservative" can mean so many things that it's not a helpful umbrella - it might make sense to focus this page on distinguishing different belief systems which might be conservative-ish, spinning each off to its own page.... --BillSeitz
Good point. What do you reckon on
Writing in the late 18th century, EdmundBurke founded modern conservatism by convening an ideological coalition between the aristocracy and church -- traditional social elites who wished to conserve a static social order of deference and authority -- and the emergent merchant class -- who wished to encourage a dynamic social order of commerce. Burke's project was not universally embraced in its day -- far from it. But it has not disappeared, and it is currently the ascendent political movement in the United States. Like any coalition, the conservative coalition is not entirely stable. The interface between the dynamic and static components of its ideology must be constantly reworked and constantly smoothed over. Some of Burke's followers emphasize his themes of liberty; others his themes of order; and sometimes the themes are combined in ways that downplay their intrinsic tension. In any event, the point is that the explanatory schemata of hierarchy and self-organization are not always at war. Their relationship is complex and variable. Both schemata are woven throughout Western culture, and both are capable of coming to the surface in a wide variety of ways when conditions are right.
See TheArchitectureOfComplexity (worth reading in a political context)
HowBuildingsLearn ... a brilliant, scary book which pushes one in a conservative direction.
RogerScruton? picks up a similar theme in JaneJacobs : http://www.opendemocracy.net/ecology-urbanisation/jacobs_3492.jsp
ClayShirky is deriving conservatism from thinking about CreatingCommunities and TheEndOfOpen. As he finds openness in communities allows them to be exploited he sees the rational of protecting them by creating restrictions. Observing the abuse of open access and becoming defensive about it is probably another strong push in a conservative direction.
which contains an interesting quote :
If conservatives favor the free market, it is not because market solutions are the most efficient ways of distributing resources--although they are--but because they compel people to bear the costs of their own actions, and to become responsible citizens.
For Scruton teaching people to "bear the cost of their own actions" trumps efficient allocation of resources (although it helps that he thinks that the same institution does both.) If they didn't, I suppose he'd still choose the market.
(Think I need to read the rest of that article. Not sure I see that free markets compel personal responsibility, especially with the rise of businesses as "individuals", and the race for technology (which makes markets more efficient, but removes the personal burden further). In fact, there seems to be a bipolar disorder between the "people" and the "company" under the current set-up. Maybe if we actually had a free market, but isn't that just utopian thinking? ;) BTW, Scruton also has a rather intriguing article on the [delicacies of urine] this week... -- GrahamLally)
GeorgeLakoff studies the phenomenology of being (US) conservative or (US) liberal. And has a think-tank : http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml
But above all by knowing that mere reason, essential though it is, is only half of the business of reaching momentous decisions: you also need fine-tuned instincts. “I have a gut feeling,” he said again and again in his diaries. Ronald Reagan, those intellectuals may decide, was the first post-Enlightenment president.
DavePollard, why does small business vote conservative? : http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2004/06/18.html#a776
Actually why does anyone vote Republican? Psychologists investigate : http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html
I am just finishing 'The happiness hypothesis' - and I can recommend it. But I think that Rene Girard could be even more effective here in showing how the fragile is the society framework that the liberals (in the US sense of that word) take for granted and what happens when it is detroyed. What conservatist understand is that society is not something that would emerge spontaneusly - but is built by it's participants. --ZbigniewLukasiak
No mention of MargaretThatcher? in the dismisal of any neo-conservatism in Europe. I almost (and let me reiterate the "almost") feel sorry for her.)
This is an interesting quote : Finally, for a great power, the "national interest" is not a geographical term, except for fairly prosaic matters like trade and environmental regulation. A smaller nation might appropriately feel that its national interest begins and ends at its borders, so that its foreign policy is almost always in a defensive mode. A larger nation has more extensive interests. And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns.
(See also AntiAmericanism)