Friday, November 27, 2009

Why Being a Conservative Is Pointless

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble. ~Henry Miller
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. ~Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958
It's the most unhappy people who most fear change. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson

Here is the definition of the word "conservatism" from an online dictionary:

1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.

2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
4. a. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
    b. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.
5. Conservative Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or  
    the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
6. Conservative Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.
7. Tending to conserve; preservative.

The first and the last definitions are, of course, the ones that are most relevant to the understanding of the conservative trend in politics. And these very definitions demonstrate why conservatism makes absolutely no sense. Opposing change and tending to conserve go against the very essence of human existence. "This too will pass," said the famous inscription on King Solomon's ring. King Solomon was absolutely right. This very second I am already different from what I was a second ago and from what I will be a second from now.

Conservatives are people who are terrified of change. Which means that they are terrified of their own humanity. They would prefer to live surrounded by robots who keep reiterating the same preprogrammed movements. When confronted by evidence that human beings are not robots and are not interested in living in the mechanical paradise envisioned by the conservatives, they become enraged.

The instability of human existence and the human capacity to change, often in pretty dramatic fashion, are the characteristics that make our lives both scary and delightful. Of course, it's hard to accept the fact that every new day will bring a multitude of changes - both welcome and not - to our lives. But at the same time, who would want to experience even the most amazing day of their lives over and over again every single day until death?

In the last few decades, conservatives have become increasingly more rabid and scary in the outlandish manifestations of their rage. This is not surprising since the world today is changing at a more rapid pace than ever. Turn on Fox News (or don't, if you are unprepared for your senses to be assaulted by uncontrollable hatred) and you will see a bunch of people who hate the universe for existing in a state of perpetual motion, their fellow human beings for enjoying rapid technologic and intellectual advances, and themselves for being incapable of absorbing any new information, viewpoint, or fact of reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a writing of this text there is no my English, therefore I used the on-line translator, I hope it have not strongly deformed sense of the told.

Actually conservatism has many conclusive advantages.
Has put here not in obstinacy though outwardly, maybe, the conservative position and looks. For the conservative the central problem — a link of times, mutual relations of the past, the present and the future. In these categories and parametres he reflects, argues and estimates a reality, a course of history and events.
Conservatism itself is not necessary on a place, varies, keeping thus fidelity to own principle and logic. To it to liking social inversion which does not break the developed order of things, instead of a method of destruction and accidents. It suspiciously concerns idea of "progress" in its revolutionary understanding. The conservative — at its finest the supporter of evolution doing all gradually, does not do sharp movements.
The conservative — "the eternal antirevolutionary", the opponent of a full break and a distemper, destruction of public foundations, the cultural basis, "kernel" or "archetype" of this or that society.
The conservative opposes any radicalism and extremism, whether it be "on the right" or "at the left". Principles of its behaviour and action — "hasten, without hurrying up", "do not pursue progress", "new — only fashionable» etc. the Conservative will often not break a building and to refuse a habit only on the ground that a building "old", and the habit "has bothered". He will tell to adherents of progress: construct nearby a new building. And old if it represents at least the slightest value, restore — and let they "compete" in time. And old things, habits too have the right to existence, have the future (cyclic evolution of a fashion which comes back on "circles the" through certain time intervals, repeating samples of a former fashion, — to that convincing acknowledgement). We will agree: the conservative quite often appears the rights, interpreting new as "well forgotten old"!

Natalia V