Conservatism is about conservation. It is about limiting change.
From the multitude of conversations I’ve had about the right side of politics, it seemss clear to me that the further to the right a person is, the more he or she is driven by fear. Fear of the government, fear or limitations or having freedoms or rights taken away. Fear of other cultures or unfamiliar sexual orientations – the Us versus Them. Fear of someone “in control”. Fear of change, of progression. Even fear of damnation or Hell.
It is a political belief mired in fear, of which paranoia is born. Paranoia begets conspiracy theories. From the Illuminati, “the bankers” and “reptilians” to all kinds of “Truthers”; be it 9/11, fake moon landings, hollow or flat Earth, telepathic beams from Polaris, HAARP, chemtrails or governments hiding alien life forms.
Paranoia and fear clouds the rational mind and promotes aggressive behaviour – as so often seen in online discussions with labelling of opponents, name calling, threats and the usual wide range of logical fallacies.
To have an intelligent discussion with a right-wing believer, you must first help him feel safe, or you will waste your time while he or she remains afraid.
30 thoughts on “Conservatism”
I;d say conservatism is not about limiting change per se but limiting damaging change.
That is the origin. But it has long since departed from that and ventured far into the realms of fear.
I don’t quite know. But at least before Trump.
aotc – Good videos – thanks for posting them
P.S. Some people don’t know this. You can use the settings tool to speed up the playback if desired.
No problem Richard. There does seem to be a fundamental difference.
This blog argues that it’s biological:
According to many thinkers and teachers, the “us versus them” mentality is not only based on fear but is where the majority of the world is still coming from.
I’m reading a book about HeartMath titled “The Hidden Power of the Heart” by Sara Paddison. There’s a chapter in it regarding spiritual “dimensions,” which seem to me to be broad bands or ranges of the emotional tone scale – bands which the author refers to as “frequencies.” According to the book (and I’ve come across very similar data elsewhere), at this particular time in Man’s history the vast majority of individuals, and Mankind as a whole, have reached the third dimension..
Here are some excerpts about both the third dimension and the impending fourth dimension, taken from the chapter titled “The Dimensional Shift” (which I was able to find online, so I’ll post the link).
“Ordinary day-to-day human awareness is a product of the third dimension. We tend to perceive things as good and bad, right or wrong, black and white, and react accordingly. Often we view conflicts as, “that’s the way things are and it’s going to get worse.” The third dimension is a range of frequency bands that’s bound by many illusions of limits. These boundaries are colored by fears that keep us from seeing a way out. They are created by thoughts like, “There is no proof of life after death, therefore there isn’t any life after death.” You probably know people who are afraid to even think about life after death.
“Einstein’s discovery that everything is energy helped launch a whole new science, Quantum Physics, which states that nothing is reallyseparate from anything else, everything is interconnected and interrelated. Quantum physics also concludes that the consciousness of the observer affects the things we observe. Therefore, everything is relative to perception. Quantum reality is very different from Newtonian reality. It is an example of fourth dimensional perception and intelligence – it surpasses and embraces Newtonian understanding like a teacher’s awareness embraces a young student’s. Quantum physics opened up a whole new dimension of awareness….
“The higher fourth dimension is where the frequencies of love, care, compassion, forgiveness and inner peace reside. As we sustain these heart frequencies, our consciousness [I get that, by “consciousness,” she means theta)] has a smoother, more harmonious flow. We experience more hope; and hope is a powerful fuel to create momentum for positive change and fulfillment. The higher fourth represents a quantum leap in human awareness.
“The harmonizing, regenerating frequencies of nature are tuned to higher fourth dimensional frequencies. Nature simply radiates frequencies of peace and harmony without stopping to wonder if it’s good enough, or whether people will like it, or even whether people will care for it [i.e. take care of it]. It just radiates. The higher fourth holds magic, majesty, wonder and delight and is a level of awareness available to you any time you choose to experience it. When Christ came to earth, he brought in new perceptions of love and broke through many mind sets of that time. He created and left behind an opening into the fourth dimension. This was a powerful transformation for a society that was largely operating in the second dimension—the undeveloped mind. In the higher fourth dimension you see union; you see all people as one. Christ had a constant clarity of vision, and he loved everyone he saw. His mission was to touch all people and “lifestyles.” He mingled with all segments of the population, all the people. In the higher fourth, you don’t judge or overcare about someone’s lifestyle. You only care about the style and focus of your own love and awareness, and feel true care for all.
“The planet is poised to begin operating more consistently in the higher fourth, but it will take a potent infusion of fifth dimensional energy to break free of the density and stress of third dimensional thought. And, it will take people becoming more self-managed through the heart to transform our current thinking habits into higher understandings of love and care.”
Reading this article made me extremely sad, cause it made me feel like an abused child eligible to be taken away by Barnevernet. I don’t understand what exactly made you consider us emotionally crippled.
I was all my life a conservative in politics but I never ever experienced these kind of psychotic revelations. I don’t have fear of other cultures, I don’t believe in reptilians and never, ever insulted a person with a different opinion.
Of course I have fear of government, because I know very well that history can be very cruel sometimes. Living in a communist tyranny for almost 20 years made me be very careful in relation with government, public administration, police, hospital, army or intelligence services. But this is not an obsession or a part of my behaviour, these are just sequels of a period in my life.
There is a big difference between millions of people like me, who reveal their right side political face in the day of election voting a conservative party and other millions of Donald Trump type morons who never read a book all their life, love their guns and consider the whole Universe to be the space inside the Texas state borders.
Being a real conservative means to have strong attitude in defence of rule of law, family values, Christian values (if the person is Christian), private property and freedom of business.
Right side means Ronald Reagan and Helmuth Kohl not Donald Trump, right side means stability and tradition not bigotry, ride side means anti-communist and anti-Nazi, right side means a normal, happy, quiet life which I experienced in Norway, for instance.
I have not enough space here to write you about thousands of people who changed the world in many respects and were on the right side: scientists, doctors, artists, politicians, athletes, musicians and so on…
People typology you develop in your article may claim to be on the right side of politics, but they’re not. They are extremists, lunatics or, why not?…poor innocent and innofensive fools. Just useful idiots.
As I said, the further to the right, the more tendency you get of the effects I describe here. As an example, the Norwegian Conservative party (Høyre) would be considered way to the left in US politics. Knowing you, I wouldn’t consider you very far to the right, Dragos.
I have made a similar observation. Trump is an instinctive master at manipulating his supporters through fear, be it bans on Muslim travelers, walls to restrict the movement of “rapists and murderers” from Mexico, on and on.
I heard of a study that took a group of self-identified progressives and another group of self-identified conservatives and asked them to envision a scenario where nothing could harm them, where they had complete control over anything that could endanger them or their loved ones. Interestingly, the conservatives then answered survey questions in a much similar way as progressives.
A friend of mine who is still involved with the church, but is a born-again progressive estimated that at least 75% of Scientologists he knew were Trump supporters. I have observed this myself. Though his and my observations are not scientific studies, they correlate with the idea of the conservative mindset being largely influenced by fear. Scientology hammers it’s members with how precarious the world situation is, how fragile is your chance to “get out of the mud” for all eternity. This mindset inculcated by the church primes the member to buy into any kind of fear-based political ideology that might come along.
It is also interesting to me how over-the-top hostile are the responses when you present this idea to individuals on the far right of the political spectrum. It’s almost like the schoolyard where they have to respond strongly to “prove you’re not chicken.”
Now to abruptly change the subject: you had a commenter, Maria, who routinely said really thoughtful, brilliant things. I enjoyed her posts tremendously. Then she fell into a serious health issue. Do you have news of her? I hope she is okay.
The link in the article above is to the study you mention.
What you write here about scientologist agree with my observations.
No news on Maria 😕
Well, I just went back and clicked on the link you included about the Yale study. Yes, this is the same studio I referred to in my above comment.
I totally agree, we have a whole population in fear and the media really is one of the main cause of this. The only, or most only news we get are bad, frightening and so on and paint a dangerous world where anyone can be the next victim. So the population is put at effect of possible well known dangers and many stop living and ask “strong” leaders to be cause on their behalf. The cure is to let people know that they are at the steering wheel of their life, but it happens that the “left” political leaders just follow the crowd instead of asking the people to take charge and to really be the actors of their life and stop to be the wining spectators hoping that someone will save them.
Oh boy – conservatism, liberalism and politics! Lot’s to talk about here. lol
A friend of mine says Republicans only want to make the rich richer. That’s it – one sentence – case closed. Well, that’s a bit of an exageration and we occasionally compromise.
Some people honestly and truly believe the Prez is mentally deranged. They write long essays and cite references to prove their point. I don’t agree with that but apparently he’s never used alcohol or recreational drugs and I’d be happier with him if he’d gotten drunk or stoned a few times in college which would give him a broader perspective in my opinion.
In 2018 America, liberals (Democrats) are FAR more hysterical and paranoid than conservatives (Republicans) which is just my own NON hysterical opinion – haha
Maybe defining in generalities is beneficial. This is my understanding which I don’t say is correct, just my thinking at this time.
liberalism = democrats, idealists, globalists, the left
conservatism = republicans, realists, nationalists, the right
I think most people outside of politics would say they look at both sides of issues, but might agree they lean one way or the other.
This is indeed the polarized American view. And to many Americans there is nothing interesting outside the US.
That brings up another interesting point. Just what is an “American view” or even “an American”?
Americans are legal citizens living within geographical boundaries is one definition. Some people would include all other people living within those boundaries who have no intention of leaving.
An American view is also nebulous. It could be statements or opinions expressed by politicians supposedly reflecting the general opinion of the electorate in a constitutional democracy. But that changes over time.
Judging by actions rather than words would be another way of looking at American views. America is a leader in contributing to advancing global democracy or America is an aggressive imperialistic nation. I’m not a flag waver.
Does anyone remember that book called “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”? He suggested (probably jokingly, I didn’t read the book) that if something wasn’t written in English it wasn’t important anyhow! No wonder a lot of people hate “Americans”.
As used in my above comment: An American = a person influenced more by the US culture than any other culture.
Thanks for the clarification, Geir. I’ve never lived in another country than America so I’ve never experienced a different culture. I’ve read that some countries consider six weeks a standard vacation for a worker. They would be placing more emphasis on living life than on getting ahead as in the USA.
I looked at the Washington Post article referred to in the “you must first help him feel safe” part of the topic. It mentions “300 U.S. residents in an online survey . . . ” and “But before they answered the survey questions, we had them engage in an intense imagination exercise. They were asked to close their eyes and richly imagine being visited by a genie who granted them a superpower. For half of our participants, this superpower was to be able to fly, under one’s own power. For the other half, it was to be completely physically safe, invulnerable to any harm.”
After reading that I didn’t place much significance on the rest of the article. Psychobabble presented by the Washington Post providing confirmation bias for “liberals” and never Trumpers.
Another part of the Post article mentions “President Trump is an acknowledged germaphobe . . . ” and follows up with this,
“In another study*, using hand sanitizer after being warned about the flu virus had the same effect on immigration attitudes as had being vaccinated. A simple squirt of Purell after we had raised the threat of the flu had changed their minds. It made them feel safe from the dangerous virus, and this made them feel socially safe from immigrants as well.”
* “another study”??? I wonder who pays people do do such things. Maybe they’ll follow it up with an enema study.
Enema study ?, It seems that you are one of such sarcasm likers. May be you could find a sarcasm here:
What do I know? If someone wants to take that article seriously go ahead. In my opinion it’s junk science. “A simple squirt of Purell” changes people’s minds about a dangerous virus and immigrants? Really?
The issue of massive numbers of people showing up at the southern U.S. border is a real one. Every year 500,000 people are apprehended illegally crossing. In a world with almost 8 Billion human beings, up from 3 Billion in 1960, no doubt a billion or more people would like to escape to America. Tens of millions of U.S. citizens remain in poverty and even homelessness. What about them?
Here’s another interesting study: https://www.salon.com/2016/06/06/study_liberals_and_conservatives_have_different_brain_structures_partner/
Dear Richard, you are right, and it will continue to grow up:
If it’s possible to lighten up a bit, here’s this.
Years ago I had a good paying construction job. The boss recruited two “Hispanics” from a car wash and two weeks later “work got slow” and I went down the road. Those two guys weren’t escaping political oppression, just economic opportunists willing to undercut my wages.
I have no grudge against Mexican border jumpers. I put it in the category of Karmic Justice. Years ago the United States stole a large part of Mexico and now the Mexicans are getting revenge. “Remember the Alamo” goes both ways. LOL