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Conservative or Selfservative

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Healthy conservatism promotes the continuity of civilization, the importance of community, the dangers of thoughtless change. It does not, or should not, assert the right of white, Christian heterosexual males of a certain age to limit the rights of everyone else. The past 100 years of social history has been dedicated, on good days, to constraining the dominance of this minority. Yesterday was a good day. John Ibbitson, www.globeandmail.com Wed. June 29th.

The world moves at a pace quicker then most of us can handle. Whether breakthroughs in the science of how we understand ourselves, medical research, or the use of technology in our lives, something new is announced on an almost daily basis.

Careening along we ascend the heights of knowledge, desperately attempting to assimilate and acclimatize to the new altitudes. To a race that for thousands of years was relatively static the past hundred or so years has seen an unprecedented explosion of change.

Technological changes have given rise to societal changes. Through our advances in labour saving devices more and more people have been liberated from the drudgery of mind and soul destroying labour. With more people being exposed to education and it’s accompanying knowledge and awareness, more have craved the privileges so long confined to a few.

Demands for equal treatment in the eyes of the law no matter race, creed, or sex have resulted in massive societal shake-ups and opened the door on issues that had never been considered. The fight for equal rights for women resulted in the issues of abortion and day care to either rise from obscurity or come into existence. Before women worked en masse what need was there to be concerned about children during the day when school was done?

Traditional rules and mores that have long been held dear by so many are being discarded in the face of these new realities. It seems that although the technological changes have the potential to impact our quality of life and our very existence in some circumstances, it’s the social changes which cause the most consternation.

There are weapons that exist today that if deployed could destroy the world through explosive power and radiation sickness. Others could wipe out whole populations through the spread of disease. We have bombs that will kill people but leave infrastructures intact.

The amounts of coal and gasoline burned by our industry and private vehicles has risen to the extent that respiratory ailments are now commonplace. The effluence of industry and our inability to dispose of our own waste material has effectively turned many lakes, rivers, and streams into toilets.

Deforestation, agribusiness, and strip-mining have combined to destroy the habitats of countless species of animal and plant. Forcing the remainder into small pockets of land where they are in more danger from disease and over population thus eroding their chances of survival even further.

For some people these issues aren’t relevant. Either they refuse to recognise their reality, or they simply don’t care. Those who don’t care are usually those who are more focused on issues that they seem to believe affect them personally. Ones that they feel threaten them in some manner or another.
What’s truly puzzling is the fact that for the most part those matters that they feel most threatened by have nothing to do with them as individuals. Even though they may be neither female or gay somehow same sex marriage and abortion concern them deeply.

So concerned are they with ensuring the maintenance of the status quo at all costs that only those issues that threaten their power base, even indirectly by giving rights to others, are all that matters. They don’t worry about society as a whole, no matter what they claim to the contrary, they just worry about their place in it.

If women are allowed to chose what happens to their own bodies, and homosexuals are treated the same as everyone else what does it harm anyone else? Nobody is about to make anyone marry someone of the same sex or have an abortion.

But that’s not the issue. If they are no longer able to impose their morality on others what control can they exert on the direction society takes? What would happen to the power of the pope if no one cared what he had to say about day to day issues? Their power is based solely on what they are allowed to influence. Take that away and they are no different from the rest of us.

Claiming to speak for the good of society, they’re truly seeking only to preserve their own position. Under the guise of moral protectors they fight to keep alive an untenable position. They are entitled to their beliefs but not to the exclusion or denial of others.

Fear of the unknown makes the familiar all the more attractive. But every now and again the time comes when we have to take a leap in the dark into something new. Faith should give one the ability to enter new territory with humility and respect. Blind faith will only prevent the fulfilment of potential.
While there is no denying the need to conserve certain values in the face of the technological onslaught that we are experiencing they should not be ones dictated to the many by the few. The intent to move forward must be tempered with the need to ensure the preservation of cultures that have existed for thousands of years. There are many beautiful and precious things we risk losing if we are not careful, and it will take all of our efforts to keep this world in balance.

John Ibbistson’s quote at the beginning of the article was in reference to the passage of same sex legislation in the Canadian House of Commons. It seems that some of us have been conservatives all along and haven’t known, while others who claim to be are something else altogether. I’ll leave exactly what they are for someone else to decide.

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About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.
  • http://ideaplace.blogspot.com Randy Kirk

    Fear of the unknown makes the familiar all the more attractive. But every now and again the time comes when we have to take a leap in the dark into something new.

    1. 3% privatization of SS
    2. Parental notification on abortion
    3. Balance in classroom pov
    4. Elimination of preferences
    5. Get government off industries back
    6. Sub minimum wage for entry level workers
    7. Make 3 ‘r’s only subject through grade 3 (maybe music and art)
    8. Illiminate government charity, decrease taxes to allow more charity by individuals

    I could go on for days.

    P.S. When will folks learn that conservatives have no more desire to impose their morality on folks than liberals do. Different morality. Different motivation sometimes.

    Some of the lefts motivation is to create libertine society. That is rarel the movivation on the right. (Just those pesky libertarians.)

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    “If women are allowed to chose what happens to their own bodies… what does it harm anyone else?”

    Well, one might not completely unreasonably argue that it harms the baby that gets killed.

    I’M A CHOICE, NOT A CHILD

    PRE-BORN MEETS THE ONE-EYED MONSTER

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Hmmm…I like this word ‘Selfservative’. Seems to describe conservatives pretty well. They’re people who would rather do things for themselves than have government take care of them. Makes sense to me.

    Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    gypsyman gets today’s “Cookie”

    ——————> @

    enjoy!

    now let’s have a look at Comment #1…it lays out some points in an Agenda that claims to be “conservative”

    1)it has already been proven, and admitted by the WH, that the “privitization” plan does NOTHING to end the solvency problem of SS, and guarantees nothing about improving the system…but it does claim that there shoudl be better returns based on Market history…this will be up to our elected Representatives to work out, influenced (hopefully) by the Voters that put them there and not the lobbyists they normally seem to work for…the only sure winners i see are whatever private companies handle the money and the profits they reap…NOT my biggest priority here

    2)my problem here are the cases where it was a parent that impregnated the child..show me how you protect those girls, and i will listen..otherwise i stand by that girl’s Rights

    3)another attempt to force religion into the public school system…sorry, that goes against the Rights of those that don’t subscribe to it, not to mention the violation of separation of church and state…if i am mistaken by what alternative “pov” you are speaking of, please elucidate for the purposes of discussion

    4)this one i’m all for…i fucking HATE any kind of “hyphen american”…just american will do

    5)oh yeah, this one seems ok on the outside, but do we so quickly forget Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia Cable on and on…it is one of the purposes of our government to protect the Citizens against the unbridled Greed of rapacious companies that operate with NO ethics other than this quarters bottom line…let’s start with raising the fines against polluters (currently maxxed at $25,00 a day)to be at least equal with the FCC fine against “obscenity”…everyday there are companies that send boats out to dump pollution into our oceans with an EPA man on board…a few million of shit is tossed overboard and a check is handed to the EPA guy…this is good for our Nation how? reasonable regulations that protect our Citizens are REQUIRED, anything less fails to serve the purpose of our Government to serve and protect the people

    6) i’m confused here, are you asking for the minimum wage to be increased or to have it lowered?

    7)i can go for this one if you keep music as a requirement, art as well..they both are woefully underfunded, and needed for so many things…music and math are so closely entwined in so many ways…and we NEED our kids to know more math

    8) start with corporate welfare and i am halfway there, what else do you specifically have in mind? no AIDS helps to Africa?…what? as for taxes and charities, i woudl say eliminate the tax examptions for charities alltogether..if someone is truly charitable, they will do it formtheir own Heart and don’t require financial re-imbursement…weird , huh?

    as for Big Al’s comment…as far as i understand it, our Society has a legal definition of when you are a baby and when you are a corpse…we give out certificates for each..until you change the definition of a Birth Certificate and a Death Certificate in each town that writes them then your “not unreasonable argument” is null and void because no “child” is being “killed”

    you just got out Libertarian’ed by a gonzo

    and it still hasn’t gotten weird enough for me

    Excelsior!

  • WTF

    Gonzo,
    I did a research paper on the association of math and music. Read a lot of studies, papers, books, and articles, all taken from various dbases available through the university. The summary statement, in short was, after reading scores of documents, comparing the arguments (which were few the information blew away my misconception. While I thought that in general there was a correlation, there was – but not as I believed.

    Through misconception of understanding, it’s really not a matter of being wired differently. Mathematicians don’t necessarily make good musicians and visa versa. However, musicians can figure out mathematical symbology easier, because they view symbology on the music they read.

    By the way, if you don’t read music, there is no correlation.

    Musicians overall, tend to be less stressed, able to connect with right side brain activity sooner, and remain there. Suicide was discussed, but was attributed to lifestyle and subsequent systemic stresses, rather genetic programming.

    How many people in politics are musicians? That would be an interesting side note (pun intended).

    Several hundred years ago, most everyone read some type of music, and sang or played an instrument. In fact, if attending a party or a dinner, it was considered rude if you didn’t bring your instrument, as the preferred social activity after the meal, was music.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    thanks WTF, you stated quite clearly what my own addle pated self only alluded to

    both mathematics and music deal in symbology…and the symbolic logic used to create harmonies as well as pattern recognition helps tremendously in algebraic expression as well as extrapolating curves derived from calculus and so on

    there was a
    Thread not so long ago that asked what we thought was man’s greatest Invention

    a lot of folks had a lot of good Thoughts…what i said was Symbols…representation of abstract Thought…this gave Man writing, music, math and it what i believe truly shows we are “intelligent” and raises us to a higher level fo existance

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • WTF

    Also, of particular interest is chapter one of Fermat’s enigma authored my Simon Singh.

    The chapter deals with the developments in math from the greek through the 20th century. Very good overview. Amazing evolution of thought process.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    WTF…you might actually enjoy “the Discoverers” by Daniel Boorstin, a former Librarian of Congress

    warning: this book is not for the feint of heart..it IS thick, and it IS a rather dry, albeit well written, scholarly Work

    but if you want an Overview History of milesontes in Man’s accomplishments dealing with the Mind…nothign i’ve found beats it

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!