Monday, December 15, 2014

Conservatism vs. Liberalism

Thinking through what Conservatism is, has brought me to the following:

(NOTE: These are American Conservatism and American Liberalism. For, it turns out that American Conservatism has much in common with Classical Liberalism.)


  • Individuality vs. Tribalism
    • Liberalism espouses the view that It Takes a Village. While it is true that community is important, it never should become more important than the individual responsibilities and freedoms. Of course, there are limits. One cannot be free to injure the community to satisfy one's desires. But, barring injury to the community as a whole or to individuals, an individual's desires should trump one's community.
  • Self-Defense vs. Accommodation
    • The end result of Liberalism's horrific reaction to individual self-defense is the view that one should not aggressively defend against the primary aggressor. This started out as telling folk to just give in to robbery. It has progressed to the point that in a home invasion, even when life and limb are in jeopardy, one should always retreat. The true sickness of this world-view is that it treats the criminal as the victim -- as if they are righting some wrong. While vigilantism is generally considered wrong (although a delicious wrong -- just watch the Death Wish series), individuals should be allowed to defend themselves. And, not just their life and their bodies, but their property as well. The accumulation of property is through the work of the individual. That individual has traded parts of their life to accumulate the property. Defense of property is defense of life.
  • Equality of opportunity vs Equality of results
    • Liberalism sees disparate outcomes as the result of something evil. Yet each individual has different innate and natural advantages. Someone who has advantages should not be penalized because they used their advantages. We can, of course, argue whether certain advantages should be more evenly distributed, but, once distributed and used, the users should not be penalized.
  • No Freedom without Responsibilities
    • Liberalism sees the state as the final arbiter of what people should have. This mistake leads to the point where wealth redistribution from the haves to the have-nots becomes disease-like. If someone is given something for which one has no responsibility then what was given has no value. It will be treated shabbily (see any housing project), and will not sate the owners desire to acquire things for themselves. 

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