Conservatives: how would you define your views.

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Mattmars
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I have thought of myself ass progressive for years, and have come to define it as believing in social reform that improves people’s quality of life. This leads me to wonder how conservatives, not necessarily Conservatives, would describe their views. Are they more social than fiscal or vice versa. Interested to hear from those applicable to the above description.
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by Mattmars)
I have thought of myself ass progressive for years, and have come to define it as believing in social reform that improves people’s quality of life. This leads me to wonder how conservatives, not necessarily Conservatives, would describe their views. Are they more social than fiscal or vice versa. Interested to hear from those applicable to the above description.
The best definition that I ever heard of conservatives vs progressives is this:

(and this doesn't mean the parties, because the UK conservative party isn't overly conservative in many ways, and equally there are plenty of ways where Labour aren't very progressive, this just talking about the notions of conservativism and progressiveness)

Progressive people inherently see the problems in todays society at the forefront, and when they see potential change, they are optimists and see the good that it could bring

Conservative people inherently see the good that we already have, even if its not perfect, and when they see potential change, they are worried about it backfiring and any damage it could do to their current society.

---

This plays out very well when you look at who is progressive and who is conservative in society.

Generally, proressive people fit into two camps - they are either struggling, and as desperatly need change/reform, or they are well off enough to not fear the effects of change because they know that they are seccure enough to weather the storm. So you get the alliance between the metropolitan rich types, and the working class. They also skew heavily towards the young, because young people are inherently more optimistic and creative in their thinking, and they also have less wealth/assets to risk if change goes wrong.

Conservatives though tend to occupy the middle/upper middle. They are people who are pretty comfortable in life, and happy with how society is functioning, but generally speaking not so secure that they couldn't be hurt. Pensioners are a great example of this, they are comfortalbe and society is good for them currently, but they are also highly vulnerable to change. They also skew older, because as we get older we accumilate more wealth, possessions and family, which all mean we become more risk adverse and more happy with our current state. Its no surprise that there is a natural shift to more conservative thinking when men get married and when women have children (although recently enviromentalism is upending this a bit).

----

What this does mean though is that conservativism will never 'win', we will never be static, and that's not the societal function of conservativsm. True good conservatism is meant to A, slow down the rate of change so that people can handle it, and B, filter the changes so that only the good ones make an impact on society. Progressive ideas will always win, but not all of them. Take the 20th century. Socialism/Communism? A progressive idea, largely failed in western societies.. but equality and human rights? Succeeded. That's the function of conservatism, to loose.. but to only loose to the ideas that will actually help society, not hurt it.

(all of this is how its been explained by conservative thinkers in the past, none of it is my own ideas)
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bigblockofcheese
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(Original post by Mattmars)
I have thought of myself ass progressive for years, and have come to define it as believing in social reform that improves people’s quality of life. This leads me to wonder how conservatives, not necessarily Conservatives, would describe their views. Are they more social than fiscal or vice versa. Interested to hear from those applicable to the above description.
Although I am not totally a conservative, I consider myself to be part-way between a libertarian and a conservative, this is how I would define my conservative side.

-I believe that the traditional nuclear family model is the most effective way of producing healthy, more responsible adults, and I believe the current system we have in place does not provide enough of an incentive for couples to stay together after bearing children.
-I believe some religious values can be important for the health of our society, without these values, our society will deteriorate (Family structure etc.)
-I believe protectionism may sometimes be necessary in global trade in order to protect British goods (And by extension, British jobs and businesses) from cheap foreign goods (Often made using cheap labour), through the raising of tariffs on specific goods, even if this means higher prices for those goods.
-Although I support the free-market for the most part, I believe the government should step in to limit drug use (With the exception of cannabis, which I believe should be legalised, but not promoted.) and pornography from being viewed by those who are underage.
-I believe patriotism should be encouraged, not shunned.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Mattmars)
I have thought of myself ass progressive for years, and have come to define it as believing in social reform that improves people’s quality of life. This leads me to wonder how conservatives, not necessarily Conservatives, would describe their views. Are they more social than fiscal or vice versa. Interested to hear from those applicable to the above description.
Strictly speaking i would define myself as a mildly socially conservative nationalist and fiscally conservative Orange Booker (bar a brief period around 2013/2014 when i almost went Lib Dem i have always supported the Tories).

I am a Conservative primarily because i believe in removing the burden of taxation and fostering the aspirations of the working poor. I believe in the market over government, in welfare being a means to survive rather than to be comfortable, in fiscal restraint over fiscal extravagance (a deficit today is your children's burden tomorrow). I believe in a country which can be proud of its history rather than shamed, which can project its force upon the tyranical world rather than sit back (pacifism is like sitting on top of Mt Moral High Ground preaching while two opposing armies slaughter each other beneath you). I believe in a state guided by morality rather than absurd fanaticism, a state which fights to preserve our society against those who would do us harm from within (the destruction of gender norms, revisionist history, drug use, obesity) and without (Novichok, terrorists).

Essentially we all want to improve peoples quality of life, i just don't believe any straight, white male that voted Labour in 2017 or 2019 can really say they were doing that with a straight face (republicanism, pacifism, higher taxes, higher deficits, minority pandering).
Last edited by Rakas21; 3 days ago
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Rakas21
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
The best definition that I ever heard of conservatives vs progressives is this:

(and this doesn't mean the parties, because the UK conservative party isn't overly conservative in many ways, and equally there are plenty of ways where Labour aren't very progressive, this just talking about the notions of conservativism and progressiveness)

Progressive people inherently see the problems in todays society at the forefront, and when they see potential change, they are optimists and see the good that it could bring

Conservative people inherently see the good that we already have, even if its not perfect, and when they see potential change, they are worried about it backfiring and any damage it could do to their current society.

---

This plays out very well when you look at who is progressive and who is conservative in society.

Generally, proressive people fit into two camps - they are either struggling, and as desperatly need change/reform, or they are well off enough to not fear the effects of change because they know that they are seccure enough to weather the storm. So you get the alliance between the metropolitan rich types, and the working class. They also skew heavily towards the young, because young people are inherently more optimistic and creative in their thinking, and they also have less wealth/assets to risk if change goes wrong.

Conservatives though tend to occupy the middle/upper middle. They are people who are pretty comfortable in life, and happy with how society is functioning, but generally speaking not so secure that they couldn't be hurt. Pensioners are a great example of this, they are comfortalbe and society is good for them currently, but they are also highly vulnerable to change. They also skew older, because as we get older we accumilate more wealth, possessions and family, which all mean we become more risk adverse and more happy with our current state. Its no surprise that there is a natural shift to more conservative thinking when men get married and when women have children (although recently enviromentalism is upending this a bit).

----

What this does mean though is that conservativism will never 'win', we will never be static, and that's not the societal function of conservativsm. True good conservatism is meant to A, slow down the rate of change so that people can handle it, and B, filter the changes so that only the good ones make an impact on society. Progressive ideas will always win, but not all of them. Take the 20th century. Socialism/Communism? A progressive idea, largely failed in western societies.. but equality and human rights? Succeeded. That's the function of conservatism, to loose.. but to only loose to the ideas that will actually help society, not hurt it.

(all of this is how its been explained by conservative thinkers in the past, none of it is my own ideas)
I think this is contextually dependent.

Although your correct that those of us with a conservative mindset often essentially subscribe to the Disraelian attitude that our duty is not to oppose change but to absolutely oppose needless change i think that the attitude that we only dilute ever lasting liberalism is heavily dependent on the sanity of liberals. If we look at the 1950's onward then it's true to say that bar the 1960's this has largely been the case and (though being young i may be biased to support for our new social order) i can't say there are many minor things which people wish to reverse. Like the 1960's however (there are still people who wish to reverse in part abortion and capital punishment laws) i believe that we have now reached another crux in the liberal movement that necessitates stronger action. The liberals of today have been infested with 'progressives' who actively seek the destruction of gender norms, of censorship over free speech, who have no strain of respect or pragmatism and indeed we see today that just as the alt-left has become much more mainstream (Momentum) the views of the alt-right garner increasing sympathy from the milder right (Trump being its champion in the US most notably). That is not a mark of sickness upon the right but upon revulsion to what we are presented with from the (now) liberal left.

(Original post by bigblockofcheese)
Although I am not totally a conservative, I consider myself to be part-way between a libertarian and a conservative, this is how I would define my conservative side.

-I believe that the traditional nuclear family model is the most effective way of producing healthy, more responsible adults, and I believe the current system we have in place does not provide enough of an incentive for couples to stay together after bearing children.
-I believe some religious values can be important for the health of our society, without these values, our society will deteriorate (Family structure etc.)
-I believe protectionism may sometimes be necessary in global trade in order to protect British goods (And by extension, British jobs and businesses) from cheap foreign goods (Often made using cheap labour), through the raising of tariffs on specific goods, even if this means higher prices for those goods.
-Although I support the free-market for the most part, I believe the government should step in to limit drug use (With the exception of cannabis, which I believe should be legalised, but not promoted.) and pornography from being viewed by those who are underage.
-I believe patriotism should be encouraged, not shunned.
Can certainly agree with most of these. Not a fan of tarrif protectionism (though i would actively discriminate in favour of British business) and would make drug possession a fixed penalty offense but still illegal but the rest of this i agree with.
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L i b
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I do struggle a bit with the "Conservative" label - for many, I don't feel that's a particularly good descriptor of the core of their politics. Then again, I suppose we could consider things like "Republican" and "Democrat" in the United States, which are pretty meaningless in a democratic republic.

I'm more comfortable identifying as a Liberal. I do, however, generally support the Conservative Party. Up in Scotland especially, there is a long Liberal Unionist traditional within the Tory Party - when the Scottish Tories made the (as yet unbeaten) record of winning over 50% of the popular vote in 1955, candidates were standing under banners of "Liberal Unionist", "National Liberal and Conservative", "Unionist" and so on - while at local government level, they stood as "Progressives" and "Moderates". I suppose putting labels on things isn't terribly easy.

My politics have a good dose of "be sensible and don't act like a bloody idiot" centrism. But at there core, I suppose it's a belief that market capitalism in a liberal democratic framework has done more than anything else to raise the standard of living for people, not only in this country but globally. I suppose I share with the socialists a bit of a materialistic view of politics - I don't buy into nationalism, identity politics and all those other things people sometimes go into politics to push. Broadly my objective would be to see an affluent society where people's lives are made easier, and with the resources to fund public services that can address social problems effectively.

On a more practical level, I believe in that economic growth is a good thing, that we should create societies where even the poorest can enjoy the fruits of our achievements, that people should be expected to exercise responsibility in their actions, that a level of inequality improves things for everyone, that politics based around social class distinctions are nonsense, that improving productivity is a key measure to boost people's incomes.
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