What it means to be conservative

Let me draw your attention to an article of mine from the October issue of Quadrant that has now been put up online: Conservative Thought in the Time of Covid. The reason I wrote the article, and it is the first of two on the subject, was to point out that conservatism has a positive agenda, and is not, NOT, an attempt to conserve what presently exists, nor is it a wish to promote a laissez-faire form of economic structure. Its core ethic is to bring individual rights and personal freedom to the very centre of our political culture. 

The emphasis on rights and freedom is what allowed the market economy to create the prosperity we now take for granted, but also allowed us to live with an ability to direct our own lives in our own way that had never before existed. 

Sadly it is this personal freedom that so many now take for granted, and are apparently all too willing to throw away because of the need to deal with this transient Covid virus in our midst. 

Read the article, and then, if you are not already a subscriber, you should subscribe to Quadrant since if you are reading this blog you should also be reading the magazine.

14 thoughts on “What it means to be conservative”

  1. “Read the article, and then, if you are not already a subscriber, you should subscribe to Quadrant since if you are reading this blog you should also be reading the magazine”

    Thank you Steve….and yes, apart from the trolls, those who are here contributing should definitely subscribe to Quadrant and the Speccie.

    For the record, I subscribe to both.


    Report comment

    4
  2. To be a conservative is to believe in the inalienable dignity and rights of the individual human being.

    To be a progressive is to believe in the total submission of the individual to the state.

    No wonder the left and Islam like each other.


    Report comment

    10
  3. munty’s claim on the Old Cat to be a conservative because he is in favour of preserving existing institutions was based on a limited understanding of conservative thought.

    Institutions are worth preserving only to the extent that they preserve the conservative philosophies Steve discusses. Their ABC long since ceased to support the philosophies that ruled when it was brought into existence. It should be abolished. The police have long since ceased to follow Peel’s Principles. They should all be reformed, with most of the senior officers fired. The ADF no longer seems willing (at least at the top) to defend the Australia that established and supported it for more than a century. Time to purge, and re-build.

    I’m sure others could add further examples (universities, schools?).


    Report comment

    7
  4. “The police have long since ceased to follow Peel’s Principles. They should all be reformed, with most of the senior officers fired. The ADF no longer seems willing (at least at the top) to defend the Australia that established and supported it for more than a century. Time to purge, and re-build.”

    Peter Hitchens, in the superb interview that Arky put up two days ago, argues that the politicised police forces across the UK have to be completely disbanded and only then can new police forces rebuilt…on the Robert Peel’s original principles. I would argue that this also applies to Victoria. The Victorian police are beyond redemption and must be completely disbanded.


    Report comment

    12
  5. “…have to be completely disbanded and only then can new police forces rebuilt…”

    Perhaps done more in line with “country” US – an elected sheriff and deputies that swear to uphold the constitution first and foremost. Certainly the latter – following the consitution of the country, then of the state, and only then the laws of the state. Might also need a consitutionaly enacted bill of rights to go with it though. But in that general concept anyway – where the policeman really is on the side of Mr(s) Average, not the side of the wanna-be dictators that are our current crop of “leaders”.

    “Nuke it from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure”.


    Report comment

    5
  6. …conservatism…is not, NOT, an attempt to conserve what presently exists

    Which is just as well, as what presently exists is the mere shell of past institutions in which woke progressives presently squat.


    Report comment

    2
  7. I’m sure others could add further examples (universities, schools?)

    The courts, the bureaucracy, corporations and the braindead lamestream meeja, not to mention our disgusting, destructive no longer fit for any useful purpose political system.

    And that’s probably barely scratching the surface of all that ails this country.


    Report comment

    4
  8. It annoys the hell out of me that everyone who isn’t a brain-dead leftard gets called a conservative.

    In the last four decades of the 20th century, the left included everyone who didn’t go along with political fashion – even iconoclasts who wanted to improve society, not just tear it down.

    But from about 2007, the left became a seething radical communist mob that wants to tear down the free market system and replace it with a fascist dictatorship of the proletariat that has no room for bourgeois concepts like freedom and democracy.

    And everyone who opposed the removal of democratic freedoms is now branded a “conservative” as a perjorative for neanderthal reactionary.

    In fact, anyone who doesn’t go along with the leftt’s open borders nation-wrecking includes the vast majority of the population who don’t want violent revolution.

    Politically, that includes libertarians and economic rationalists like me whose primary concerns are about the weakening of the free market system through Big Government overreach. We are not conservative reactionaries.

    I am sick of being branded a “conservative”.


    Report comment

    4
  9. The Victorian police are beyond redemption and must be completely disbanded.

    For that to happen they’ll need a change of government with a strong reform mandate.

    I don’t see it happening, although I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong.


    Report comment

    4
  10. The Victorian police are beyond redemption and must be completely disbanded.

    Well sad, Cassie – even if they have to follow the Western Australian precedent of bringing in a new Commissioner from outside the Force to rebuild that force.


    Report comment

    2
  11. Conservatives are “you do you and I’ll do me” and “you are people with bad ideas, let me show you where you are wrong…”.
    Progressives are “you must do as we say” and “you are bad people with ideas, you’re not allowed to even speak them out loud”.

    It’s not hard to realise that conservatives are at a significant disadvantage, if only because they will allow alternate opinions to exist, whereas progressives want to repress/censor alternate views out of existence.

    Fortunately, the recent rise of “cancel culture” has now reached the stage where the left have run out of real conservatives to cancel on social media etc, and are now eating their own. So it should soon disappear up it’s own fundamental orifice – and good riddance.

    In much the same way, President Brandon (“Let’s go, Brandon!”), that witch Pelosi and their sycophants are also giving the US population an object lesson in just where the authoritarian socialist fruit-loopery will take them all – inflation, shortages, barbed wire fences around centres of government, lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, millions of illegal immigrants and so on.

    US leftists are now freaking out that they may lose the Gubernatorial race for one of the “bluest” states in the union – Virginia. If that governorship is handed to a Republican, be ready for either one of two things: full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes, pushing as much junk through while they can, or a total about face on much of it. Of course, the about face will be spun as “back to basics” or something.

    All the left has is spin. Something about fooling people seems apropos here…


    Report comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *