The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Age of the Liberal as a 'Reactionary'

It has come to my attention (quite elegantly in fact) that I have ignored the opponent to which I am striving to defeat. And in fact, using the word 'defeat' is necessary in a conflict of ideologies where, truly, only one can prevail. I believe that the recent election is only a gain for conservative ideology, and all efforts must be continued in order for conservative ideology to cement those gains. This is why I speak of a quest or mission to spread the ideas of the New Burkeian.

Well obviously there are related ideologies that do not pertain directly to the conservative/ liberal label. I think that we can assume that these ideologies lean towards one side or the other for the sake of my current topic. Libertarians tend to lean conservative and Greens or Socialists lean towards liberals. Let me also make the distinction that we are talking specifically of American democracy.

Liberal philosophy is certainly more complex than passing it off as some form of fascism or socialism. However many tenets of liberal belief do tend towards traits in these two philosophies. The use of the state as a central means for production and economic growth is central to liberal beliefs. Sending responsibilities that are classically performed by liberal governments to the private sector is viewed with great opposition by liberals in general. In fact the very idea of social-welfare can clearly define liberal economic philosophy. Liberals believe that the state, as an entity which derives its power from the people, has an obligation to provide for every citizen. I would argue that government is a representation of our collective interests, and as such, should reflect what the majority is interested in pursuing. Our current government's path away from social-welfare programs is a direct result of the idea that people are entitled to what they can achieve as citizens of America. Government can promote the success of individuals, but every citizen is entitled to succeed on his own. As such, the conservative would have government limit the tax burden on individuals in order to allow them freedom to pursue their own success in life. These are the differences in domestic ideology.

On the other hand we have foreign ideologies that define conservatives and liberals. I have discussed the idea of cultural relativism as being central to liberal philosophy. Liberals believe that every culture must be viewed relative to one's own. That is to say that perhaps Iraqis can find a different form of government from democracy that is the best form of government for their culture. Democracy is excellent for Americans, but perhaps the Iraqis can find a form of government that better pertains to their culture. This stinks of appeasement to dictatorial regimes for the simple fact that they differ from us culturally. As a conservative and an 'actionary', I believe that liberty is a universal right. And since democracy is the best form of government to protect liberty it can be used universally. Liberals view American action in the world under our current government as an imposition of American cultural ideals upon another culture. Conservatives believe that liberty is more than distinctly American. Liberty is the right of all men, and since America has benefitted from the right of liberty we have an obligation for the spread of this right. This is why I believe the core of the liberal party will begin to promote the political isolation of American democracy in favor of allowing a bureaucratic monolith to regulate the affairs of international relations. Conservatives would have America create a sort of new world order where the promotion and protection of individual liberty is essential.

Part of the reason I choose to limit discussion on the liberal viewpoint is because I believe in the conservative ideals I have previously discussed. Rather than try to define a newly emerging liberalism, I would be better off to define the new conservatism as an all encompassing philosophy that most Americans will agree with. Since conservatives have become active in the pursuit of their ideals, liberals essentially become 'reactionary'. Where conservatives used to respond to policy when it became too liberal, liberals now react to 'actionary' policy that appears too conservative. And I mean conservative in the New Burkeian sense. I believe that conservatism will become the norm in American politics, so any gains by liberals will be viewed as a reaction against a conservative direction. Perhaps this better defines my views on the difference in these two ideologies.


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