Monday, 16 May 2005

Freedom from conservatives

Tuatara Left is trying to annoy right-wingers. As I'm not a right-winger I'm not annoyed (see where libertarians actually are on the spectrum here), I'm just a little nonplussed and somewhat disturbed at the chap's poor grasp of political and economic fundamentals.

First of all he's misrepresented the nature of capitalism (see here for for some fundamental insights into the benevolence of capitalism). And he attacks conservatism when he should really be welcoming conservatives for having delivered collectivism to him on a plate.

The lietimotif of conservatism is appeasement. Appeasement and compromise. (See for example here and here if this statement surprises you.)The liberal's collectivist agenda and the willingness of conservatives to sell their own principles down the river did more in the last one-hundred years to deliver half the globe into socialism and collectivism than even Karl Marx would have thought possible.

The fightback begun in the last twenty years and the remnants of capitalism we still have left are not there because conservatives fought back or kept them alive. That we still have some lingering remnants of capitalism intact for 'third way' Ministers of Finance to loot is no thanks to the conservatives; it is tribute instead to the nascent will to freedom that resides in every human being worthy of the name. See for example here and here.

Freedom, real freedom, is the absence of physical coercion. It's worth fighting for. But conservatives wouldn't understand that; and neither would the liberals.


  1. Tuatara Left has either renamed his blog, or deleted it.

  2. What is your definition of conservative?

    Nowadays, the word is most often associated with old fashion and religious view (or even old people's view). But I think conservatisme is about common sense and not to rush into anything new too quickly. Its about thinking twice before we decide to drop our current value and embrace another.

    May be I don't make much sense ( but neither your comment/post to me sometime, hah! :P )

  3. AL, you said: "Tuatara Left has either renamed his blog, or deleted it." Ah, that explains that then. I'd put my comments on his post to one side,and when the link didn't work yesterday I just assumed it was down temporarily. I thought I'd give the chap's new blog to pass on the favour that other bloggers passed on to me; not much use if the chap has given up already.

  4. Sid, let me give you an example of how conservative compromises sell out their values.

    I said that the lietmotif of conservatism is appeasement and compromise. But when conservatives seek to win their point by compromise then they don't win, they sell out. Take the RMA for example (please, take it!). Environmentalists were saying 'trees have rights,' 'sand dunes have rights'! Maori activists were saying that 'rocks have mauri'! Farmers and property owners were saying that they had rights too. Guess which 'rights' the RMA protects? And the RMA was brought in by a conservative, Simon Upton, in a conservative National Government.

    Sid, you also said: " What is your definition of conservative? Nowadays, the word is most often associated with old fashion and religious view (or even old people's view). But I think conservatism is about common sense and not to rush into anything new too quickly."

    One problem with conservatism is the difficulty in defining the position of a conservative. In the US PJ O'Rourke is a conservative; in Russia George Galloway would be a conservative. Perhaps the common factor is as you say Sid that what binds conservativism together is the desire "not to rush into anything new too quickly." Not very inspiring, is it?

    Edmund Burke had a point that conservatism does sometimes protect freedom, but that's because some conservatives (such as PJ O'Rourke) seek to conserve freedom, and if they and the bulk of the population do embrace notions of freedom then that is indeed a good thing, and a bulwark of freedom.

    But compromise taken over time is not a bulwark, it's a slow leak.

  5. I view conservatisme as a parent trying to stop a child from destroying him/herself by rushing into anything radical too quickly. A good parent would eventually let the child do what he/she really wants once they understand (and able to convince) the consequences.

    Conservatisme is not about freedom, but liberty.


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