What is conservatism?
“Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions like politics and Christianity. It believes in Incremental change, limited government, free markets, the rights of the individual and personal responsibility also make the list.”
Manners even feature in the context of culture and civilisation.
Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasising social stability and continuity. It also has a distrust of science.
Capitalism is, of course, a central tenant of its ideology however it takes second place to profit when necessary.
Conservatives also believe the role of government should be to provide people with the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasise empowerment of the individual to solve problems.
Conversely, socialism believes in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all:
“It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights.
It believes the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. It’s policies generally emphasise the need for the government to solve problems.
So, what makes the Morrison government’s actions of the past week or so, so astonishingly staggering? Is it that it has completely abandoned its ideology in favour of those of the socialist?
The question as to why they should do so, to the political observer, is most perplexing.
Or perhaps l should put the question that The Australian’s Greg Sheridan posed (firewall):
“The government’s massive fiscal intervention in the Australian economy, entirely justified by the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis, will change centre-right politics in this country forever. You cannot make the need for small government, free markets and less state intervention your chief political narrative if you have just used government on a scale never before imagined to rescue the nation from a desperate health emergency.”
I would have to disagree with his assumption that the Coalition parties are centre-right. I think they are far more right than mildly centre-right.
What have they done? Well, just a few weeks ago “balancing the budget” was its top priority despite a decline in economic conditions. Now in the space of a few days, they have done a triple bypass spending $18 billion, propping up the economy and saving jobs. Even minding the kids will be free.
It is now it is lining up a new wave of spending commitments for business, valued at more billions.
They are also making a commitment to specific sectors like tourism, sports, arts and entertainment and the airlines, which will total more than $1 billion.
Who would have believed it? So socialist!
Conservatives will even be hard-pressed to explain how the science of climate that discovered our planet is overheating and threatening our existence is somehow different (and unbelievable) to the science that discovered a virus that also threatened great destruction.
When, many years ago, the lady with the bad hairdo uttered her famous and dispassionate condemnation of the human species:
“There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making their way. The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect from the rich” (paraphrased).
I was horrified. It was a statement that could only be expressed by someone with a deep sense of isolation, selfish indifference, or indulgence.
Was she saying that families only consisted of individuals making their way without any dependency on a societal structure? The basic need for companionship, for each other.
Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability.
We are by nature a herding animal. We form groups because no individual can survive without the assistance of others.
“No man is an island,” as John Donne said. Margaret Thatcher’s statement condemns us to class self-centeredness and serfdom.
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy on not fighting the old, but on building the future” (Socrates).
Anyway, how do we explain this interchangeable ideology? Is it common good even common sense politics? An attempt to retain power perhaps.
Will it all, at the end force a change in political ideas? Will it all at the end just revert back to the way things were?
Substantial and worthwhile change often comes with short-term controversy but the pain is worth it for the long-term prosperity of all.
Will the conservatives when they have done with the philosophical ideals of the left once again take on the mantle of the capitalistic rights of the individual over the collective?
The way I see it at the moment is that all they are doing is governing for the common good and I have to salute that.
The philosophical arguments will come later.
My thought for the day
It’s difficult to cast yourself in a new light when you’re coming out of the darkness.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!