Conservatism is a position where tradition is everything and they follow and uphold the status quo without critical analysis or question.

Socrates spent his life at great risk to himself to teach Athenians to critically analyze tradition and popular belief before following them.

So conservatism is committing two fallacies:

1: Appeal to Tradition:  

2: Appeal to popular opinion (Ad Populum) or more commonly called commonsense. 

Meaning that conservatives are unlikely to be Rational Critical Thinkers. 
Socrates would never consider conservatives as Wise.                                                       

Anybody disagree?   :-D~ 

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Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.
-- William E. Gladstone, 1866

The appeal to tradition you mentioned has a predictable foundation in the FEAR OF CHANGE, which conservatives seem to find totally anathema.

There's also that old saw: "When I was young [and poor], I was a liberal, but when I grew up [and got rich] I became a conservative" ... because whoever was speaking didn't want anything to change and impact their financial status. With their influence on government, wealthy conservatives have gotten their taxes reduced so that they can build even more wealth that they can never use, creating their own unique drug to which they are helplessly addicted.

Thankfully, this attitude isn't universal among the rich, with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates as very public examples, though what we do about the aforementioned addiction without proper taxation, I do not know.

Thanks Loren.  I was beginning to wonder whether A/N still has any contributors. 

Yes change is a conservatives anathema, they vehemently dislike change.
As a psychological experiment recently showed that when they removed the fear of change from a conservative, they became somewhat liberal and vice versa, as introducing fear made liberals  conservative.

So some things definitely warrant fear, and we can all consider ourselves conservative in those cases, though I should have been more specific, in that many conservatives fears are irrational as they never bothered to research as to any research into that they fear or follow.

Often they are following somebody else's irrational fear, either a parent's or an idol's.
Such is religion, or a mass of people following one person's irrational fear without question.

As far as taxes go, to often it is people being afraid of losing their money, which in a society like many western nations controlled by the wealthy, these tend towards social Darwinism, where all fiscal policies favor the wealthy and the poor are of little importance.

These are the basis of Reagan's, Bush's and Trump's tax policies, who follow the economic philosophy of those whose Social Darwinist, Supply Side Economic ideologies make the wealthy feel secure and important, such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. 
Often referred to as Trickle Down Economics, which historically has never worked.

Their opposition is the Bottom Up Economists who empower the poor, working class, such as John Maynard Keynes, Demand Side Economic theory where an economy only thrives when those that purchase the bulk of commodities ( the average person) is financially free or on other words has sufficient capital to make choices and thrive.

Historically Keynes philosophy has had greater success, as implemented by Roosevelt in his "New Deal", and the liberal Democrats such as Bernie Sanders hope to reintroduce in America if he wins in 2020.
Part of their "Green New Deal".

But there are irrational fears ( conservatism ) in both camps, as irrational fears dog humanity.
If all humans were liberal, there would be no religions as we know them  and wisdom would be the primary merit sought in a meritocracy.
Whereas in the world today wealth is the basis of our meritocracies. 
Thus the world is in favor of conservatism as a wealth based meritocracy puts conservatives with their wealth based fears in control.

Plato in his "The Republic" indicated the flaws in a democracy based on possessions / wealth.
He favored a Wisdom based Meritocratic Republic.
A wise people electing very wise leaders and wise leaders with goals of educating and keeping their population healthy and wise.
Similar to the ideals of Confucius who sought to educate everybody in China so he would be surrounded by the wisest advisers to help him make wise decisions.  

It is unlikely western democracies will change from being wealth based meritocracies any time soon.

DD, step out of the academy and join us on the streets.

Your argument implies without evidence that:

1) tradition (or Tradition) cannot be deduced rationally or critically, and

2) popular opinion cannot be rational or critical.

Therefore, I without evidence can deny your argument.

Conservatives dislike progressive change and like regressive change.

As to Plato, a critic long ago said his Republic left only himself qualified to rule.

Conservatives are liberals who have been mugged. (unknown)

Liberals are conservatives who have lost their fear of being mugged. (your post and my opinion)

I agree with you fully Dog. Conservatives in America were always like this, then it gets worse when you add religion as they have done. They have no critical thinking. 

As a younger man I was conservative. I did not understand liberal things and why we did not always have a balanced budget, why we wanted to give away healthcare, etc. I could barely make ends meet myself and I was so certain I could do so much better if everyone followed conservative views.

Many years later I can now be classified as a Democratic Socialist, healthcare and welfare is everything, while religion is nothing, and I even have a bit more money. None of this came by way of following Trumpty Dumpty and his friends.

First, this discussion deals with only two of the three kinds of political policies: conservative and liberal. Both Democrats and Republicans identify the missing third kind:

1) A conflict in the Democratic Party is between its younger progressives and its older moderates.

2) Sen. Mitch McConnell identified the third ) when he “...proclaimed that he would become the ‘Grim Reaper’ of progressive policies in the Senate should he remain majority leader....” He did not say “...liberal policies”.

Second, where do we put “progressive” on the Left-Right spectrum?

My political experience suggests: Progressive - - - - Liberal - - - - Conservative.

Third, taking this discussion from a philosophy classroom to where the conflict is requires that we identify some policies. Two searches, one on “conservative policies” and another on “liberal policies” showed me many links, one of them a Student News Daily website that identified about a dozen policies. Another search on “progressive policies” showed me less. I will identify some of the policies in another post.


The above-mentioned Student News Daily and another conservative policy site say opposition to abortion is a conservative policy. It is not; it is a big-government-in-the-bedroom religious policy.

If anyone posting here insists that today’s Republican Party is across-the-board conservative, this discussion will fail.




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