follow up

To follow up with my last post.
I do think conservatism, within limits, does have value. While it is often what keeps societies from progressing, it can also serve to keep progress in check. If there is not a group which fights change, a culture may progress too rapidly. And by too rapidly I mean seeking change that is untested and may be harmful.
If everyone in the USA had been ultra liberal, perhaps we would have embraced Communism at some point last century, which history has shown can be a disaster.


Vincent said...

I assume that when you speak of conservatism and liberalism, you refer to the narrow context of politics and culture in US.

Whereas the questions you are opening up are much bigger, at any rate to my mind: what mind of strategy is best for survival and flourishing?

Taking the abstract idea of "conservative" away from a particular context, it's to do with maintaining or restoring a status quo. So it really depends on what status quo one is thinking of, and whether one considers it desirable or not.

Me, I'm a deep-dyed conservative. I vote for the Conservative party here. When I think of a model for the future, I always look nostalgically to the past. But that doesn't embrace everything that happened in the past, all the social conditions etc. There's an aspect of selectivity, and rose-coloured spectacles.

But I couldn't be a conservative in America. I couldn't be a liberal either. Both attitudes would be alien. I don't see Cuba of the last 50 years as a disaster. I haven't lived there, but at a great distance I see some admirable features: a free health service, like the one we have here, and a light ecological footprint.

Chris Almond said...

I'm speaking of conservatism and liberalism in the broadest sense. Conservatism as wanting to conserve tradition and liberalism, in the american sense of being progressive.