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View Diary: The "Epistemic Closing" of the Conservative Mind (231 comments)

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  •  What Conservatism is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, Matt Z, codairem

    Conservatism is fundamentally about order. It pursues stability and "sameness" at the expense of all else. Same people, same ideas, an attempt to achieve the same way of living, year after year. Of course, Conservatism is reborn, over and over in countries and times, all over the world. It attempts to take some window of human experience and freeze it, always rejecting the new, but always being consumed by it, which produces yet another Conservatism. There's a fear that comes from having an ordered, and seemingly ideal type of existence be upset. Fear of losing that so-craved sense of stability. Fear of the other. Fear of losing a world and a worldview, that, in the mind of the Conservative just makes sense. A world that's well organized, well categorized, well delineated. A world where the rules are known and can't be changed. A world with "us" and "them". You know your friends and your enemies. You know who is "good", and who is "bad". You know who to trust, and who to punish. A world that's easy to make sense of. A world of order.

    When looked at in a general sense, Conservatism is not really a specific ideology, like Liberalism. It doesn't have a set of universally applicable principles. What it has is simply a desire to cement a way of seeing the world and existing that conforms to a perceived ideal, whatever that ideal may be. And that ideal changes over time (look at all the different Conservatisms throughout US history - Agrarians, Patricians, Southern "gentlemen", etc. - all different ideologies, but linked together by their desire to freeze time.)

    A Graveyard of Elephants: A song about 25 years of destructive Republican policies.

    by spencerh on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 08:54:03 PM PDT

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