Since May 6, 1999
"All which a man without authority can give, -- his unbiased opinion, his honest advice, and his best reasons."
We therefore see that where Tories meant to leave things unchanged and to unflinchingly preserve, the Old Whigs, such as Burke, were true reformers who meant to conserve by carefull reform as time and culture progressed and changed.
You can have all the democracy you want, all the free trade you can foster, all the metaphysical Rights you can write on volumes of paper, but if you don't have Prescriptive Property Rights enforced by a Settled Order and formula for recognition under the Rule of Law, and of course, the type of Ordered Liberty that is translating day-by-day into Justice, you will have no prosperity and no liberty.
What is conservatism and how is it distinguished from the root word "conserve" often thought to be a defining and limiting decription of the overall group of principles?
Conservatives arent, as is often claimed, the trolls standing athwart the path of history, yelling, Stop!
Instead, they are those that are aware of the value of what they have inherited: their heritage, their patrimony, their culture. Understanding that the best way to preserve those things is by slow and careful change and reform made in, and by, the time honored and settled means accepted in an ordered society, they work for preservation through innovation. We should understand conservative in a political sense by relating to the root word and how it relates to the definition of "save". That is what conservatism does: it saves what is of value in our culture and society; indeed saves our nation.
Conservatives know that change for changes sake produces upheaval, injustice and takes from one for another. Knowing the imperfectability of man, they have a rightful distrust of his schemes, calculations and metaphysics and instead trust in mankind, as a whole, and their Maker.
President Taft confronted the issue of so-called Human Rights in 1912 recoginizing them for what they were, a construct meant to trump Property Rights. I have stolen a find from nicolo as follows. Taft stated:
It has been said, and it is a common platform expression, that it is well to prefer the man above the dollar, as if the preservation of property rights has some other purpose than the assistance to and the uplifting of human rights. Private property was not established in order to gratify love of some material wealth or capital. It was established as an instrumentality in the progress of civilization and the uplifting of man, and it is equality of opportunity that private property promotes by assuring to man the result of his own labor, thrift, and self-restraint.
When, therefore, the demagogue mounts the platform and announces that he prefers the man above the dollar, he ought to be interrogated as to what he means thereby -- whether he is in favor of abolishing the right of the institution of private property and of taking away from the poor man the opportunity to become wealthy by the use of the abilities that God has given him, the cultivation of the virtues with which practice of self-restraint and the exercise of moral courage will fortify him.
A fellow freeper asked me to save a particular post I made to be refered to by others, so here it is below.
To make a flip reply, I would contend that you transposed your political terms when you said:
the only difference between a liberal and conservative in my opinion is that while both may have the same views, a liberal is not going to use legislation to force his/her views onto others.
Why do I contend that you may ask? Well from history, I would reply. If you look at all of modern society from the French Revolution on, liberals or as I would have it, militant leftists, have in country after country, age after age, done nothing more than force their views onto others through centralized legislation or decree.
Leftist law is (1) centralized; (2) always expressed as the "will of the people", the only answer, or Majority Rule; and (3) always rationalistic and formed fresh from metaphysical opinion, leaving society disrupted and unsettled.
On the other hand, conservative societies have always had law originate as close to local units as possible. It has always based its law on respect for settled Order, relying on custom, convention and accepted prescriptive rights to form law in a preserving manner. Preserving what is good and reforming carefully what hasn't continued to assist Order.
Why do I use the term Order?
Because first and foremost, conservatives believe in an Enduring Moral Order. Such for Man and such for the State.
Belief in that Enduring Moral Order helps avoid the flawed nature of man, his imperfectability, and that nature showing itself in his passions, rationality, metaphysical constructs and schemes for earthly salvation through those traits expressed in government.
A conservative then, avoids his own opinion when constructing, preserving and reforming the State as he attends to the duty of preservation. He uses instead of his opinion, the settled and respected culture and the Moral Order mirrored by the best of his patrimony to form his laws and execute public government.
Legislators of the leftist mind or the conservative mind therefore utilize just the opposite of what you claim.
Likewise, executives and judges of the conservative sensibility, execute their oaths and set aside their opinions and personal morality, unlike the leftists in such positions that always claim a crisis makes them reach for "justice", "equality", "human rights" and other things they redefine from moment to moment.
We could go to Lincoln for an example, but lets just look to Florida. The young child Elian is seized at gun point by the leftist Attorney General and in this Easter's tragic events the sworn conservative Governor must serve his oath and leave aside his personal anguish for justice and moral right.
I relish our individual helplessness in the face of evil. It guarantees a thoughtful people will work for reform and wrestle power from a judicial arm run amok.
13 posted on 03/25/2005 12:30:23 AM CST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies | Report Abuse ]
Another fine quote to have for easy reference is from Roger Baldwin the Founder of the ACLU:
"I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those that produce wealth: Communism is the Goal"Now isn't that revealing counterpoint to their supposed mission statements?
This truely vile Immigration Reform Bill brings to mind a quotation from Burke when speaking of the French he says what we can style for the Senior Senators:
"It cannot at this time be too often repeated; line upon line; precept upon precept; until it comes into the currency of a proverb, to innovate is not to reform. The..." [Senior Senators]"...complained of everything; they refused to reform anything; and they left nothing, no, nothing at all unchanged. The consequences are before us,not in remote history; not in future prognostication: they are about us; they are upon us. They shake the public security; they menace private enjoyment. They dwarf the growth of the young; they break the quiet of the old. If we travel, they stop our way. They infest us in town; they pursue us to the country. Our business is interrupted; our repose is troubled; our pleasures are saddened; our very studies are poisoned and perverted, and knowledge is rendered worse than ignorance, by the enormous evils of this dreadful innovation."
-1984 Part 1, Chapter 5 (with a hat-tip to KarlInOhio)