Thought Archive

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Joys of being conservative

I have recently discovered a great joy of being a conservative. Not a conservative, of course of David Cameron variety -which is of a greener kind - but very much a social conservative bent on preserving a status quo. We are a dying breed, ones who want to protect, hold back, stop abandon and reject the new. We are ones who refuse to send their girls to school in rural Afghanistan or protest against human cloning in America, the ones who stone adulterers in Iran and march against the gay marriages in Britain.

There is no way that a person or group of persons, can hold back the tide of human and scientific progress in secular society, held together by the enemy of poets and dreamers - the science. Doomed is the effort of anyone really mad enough to attempt such an undertaking – for there is a little sense in halting life . However, there is a force that is stronger than life itself and this force is self-preservation of life.

Conservatism is a relativistic term that defines what this preservation is. We usually use this umbrella term to describe political philosophies that favor traditional values, where "tradition" refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs.

All of you my beloved traditionalists – here is my manifesto.

Imagine the uncontrollable tidal wave coming towards shore, ready to change everything on its path, bringing forth the upheaveal and perturbation. And slowing this wave down, making sure that the wave is not destructive, there is the status quo of the wave breaker, the wall or parapet. This wavebreaker is the Raison d'ĂȘtre of conservatives.
It is obvious that different cultures have different established values, conservatives in different cultures have different goals. Some conservatives seek to preserve the status quo, while others seek to return to the values of an earlier time, the golden age.

I advise traditionalists to be realistic in our own time and preserve the status quo, do not fight for complete reversal of fortunes , since reaction is not en vogue. Conservatives always fight yesterday’s battle and yes, win some victories; but they lose many other grounds in the West, for example, where they are doomed. Yet one has to see beyond the day to day fight against the progress. Victories are never ultimate, they are slow affairs, best enjoyed relaxed. Such is the task tradition performs, always losing a ground but slowly and graciously, giving time to all of us adjust to new reality. Those liberals who do not wish change to occur to0 fast, sometimes, without knowing, are exhibiting conservative (and to my mind) quite normal behaviour.

There is also a great ally that traditions and upholders of a tradition have – the society. Societies by nature, and most of the time, are conservative institutions, whilst individuals are not.

So my manifesto will finish with the words: “ Preserve the society, develop the individual” This is my conservatism, what is yours?

No comments: