Conservative First

March 23, 2012

My Definition of Conservatism

Filed under: Politics — Sofie @ 12:49 pm
Tags: , ,

As I wrote in March of 2009, conservatism is a political philosophy or ideology based on and promoting the two principles stated in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

  • maximum freedom of individuals, who possess inherent rights to ” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
  • minimum power of government, which exist “to secure these rights”

Ronald Reagan spoke of the three legs of conservatism:  national defense, free markets, and traditional social values.  National defense is clearly a function of government in fulfilling its role to protect our rights, as is the “justice system.”  Free markets are necessary to allow individuals to exercise our rights.  However, except for abortion, which violates the right to life, social issues like the definition of marriage, pornography, etc., have nothing to do with conservatism because they do not, or should not, fall within the very limited purview of any level of government.

July 14, 2009

What Is Progressivism?

Merriam-Webster Online:

“the principles, beliefs, or practices of progressives” (“progressivism“),who are people “believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action” (“progressives“)

Ronald J. Pestritto:

“Progressives had an ‘evolving’ or a ‘living’ notion of government . . ., and thus wanted government to take on whatever role and scope the times demanded.  The Progressives reasoned that people of the founding era may have wanted a limited government . . ., but they argued that people of their own time wanted a much more activist government, and that we should adjust accordingly.”

“‘Progressivism’ was . . . all about moving beyond the principles of our founders.” (“Reframing America: the Progressive Mission,” Fusion 5.2 (July/Aug. 2009): 4-5).

Matthew Spalding:

“The Progressive Movement, which is more than a c entury old, sought to transform every aspect of American life.  Not only did it intend to change our politcs and political institutions, it also launched modern liberalism’s efforts to remake America, liberate it from traditional cultural institutions and build a new, great ‘Progressive’ society.”

Progressives “rejected any self-evident truths about man and politics and held that all ideas change and evolve with time.  These assumptions transformed our creed of natural rights limited government and constitutional liberty into a new doctrine of evolving rights, and expanding state and a ‘living’ Constitution.  But the Progressive’s relativism also took aim at the moral underpinnings of free government and our character as a self-governing people” (“Remaking America,” Fusion 5.2 (July/Aug. 2009):16).

Bradley Watson:

“Progressivism is . . . characterized by the belief that truth is always and everywher relative to its time and place” (“Living Constitution, Dying Faith,” Fusion 5.2 (July/Aug. 2009):19).

July 7, 2009

What Is Economics?

Filed under: Economics — Sofie @ 1:42 pm
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Definitions of economics:

April 2, 2009

What Is Fascism?

Filed under: Economics,Politics — Sofie @ 3:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This morning I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio while I was driving to campus. He was talking about how the country is moving toward fascism by way of socialism and suggested that his listeners read the definition of fascism in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics at the Library of Economics and Liberty.  Here is the first paragraph of the definition by Sheldon Richman:

As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism–“blood and soil”–for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.

I found these definitions as well:

  • a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition” (“fascism” at Merriam Webster Online)
  • “a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)” (“fascism” at WordNet)
  • “[a] system of government that promotes extreme nationalism, repression, anticommunism, and is ruled by a dictator” (“Vocabulary Words Starting With Letter ‘F’” at Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Center)

Even though it has a “capitalist veneer,” fascism is obviously still tyranny.  A couple of definitions I found, and didn’t include, put fascism at the far or “extreme” right end of the political spectrum.  Since it puts the nation or race above the individual, it clearly belongs at the left end with socialism and Marxism.

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