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GO: Collect $200 salary as you pass

Reader comment on item: Conservatism's Hidden History
in response to reader comment: Frogpondians and the Tower of Babel

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 1, 2018 at 03:00

Hi, Martin.

I looked over the link you gave, and will now try to highlight the main points:

1. Liberalism is Defined by What It Opposes

2. [The word "liberal"] appears for the first time in the second decade of the nineteenth century when a party of the Spanish Cortes of 1812 called itself the Liberales. This was a liberal constitutional party that formed a front against attempts at restoration.

3. today "liberal" has become almost equivalent to "conservative," and, indeed, this is because the movement of liberalism has been overtaken by new, more radical waves of rev­olution,

4. Roughly speaking, one can say that in America the Repub­lican Party is called conservative, the Democratic Party, liberal-progressive. But what is conservative in the Republican Party is its liberalism in the older European sense–that is, its opposition to socialism, to excessive state intervention, etc.; while the Demo­cratic Party is liberal insofar as its program tends toward the welfare state, state capitalism, and a decided emphasis upon the interests of the labor unions.

I think that's enough to leave everyone confused. It bears striking resemblance to Marx's view of the ever-elusive "dialectic".

My own "conservatism" goes back as far as one can reasonably go, to the rudiments of our civilization: to Moses and the Bible Patriarchs. This makes me marginally more "hip" than a dinosaur, a view I am comfortable with. You might want to quiz me, with some wild questions:

Q: How many wives should a man have?

A. Abraham, Jacob and David all had several. It let to contention in the home, but seemed OK to God. Solomon had hundreds, and it was his downfall. Go figure. Certainly, the answer is "none or more".

Q. Is slavery OK with God.

A. He seems to prefer freedom; but deals with slavery as a fact of life.

That's enough examples. How am I doing? Do my views on slavery make me an Antebellum Democrat? Maybe so. Do my views on marriage make me a Mormon? I am not. How about an Arab? The correct answer to all questions of this sort is, "I am a conservative". I suppose that validates Voegelin's statement that Liberalism (and, by extension, Conservatism) is defined by "what it opposes": I am opposed to liberalism, so I am a conservative -- regardless of my opinions on particular matters.

I suppose that takes us right back to "GO". Do I collect $200?

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/monopoly/images/9/91/Go-.gif/revision/latest?cb=20071004123654

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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