Stone Pigs

undeniable underlying truths

Conservatism Stands Tall

Posted By Alan Partis on January 3, 2010

Throughout human history, people have argued about how a society should be run. At one end of the spectrum is a strong central authority (king, lord, dictator, etc.) that essentially enslaves its people.  Some of those people may well be very happy to be so enslaved while others will resent the lack of freedoms.  I call this end of the spectrum "tyranny."  The other end of the spectrum is no authority AKA anarchy.  At this end, violence quickly ensues as people fight over life sustaining resources with the eventual result being a strong central authority that rules by force and threat of violence.  This too is tyranny since it will lead directly to tyranny.

What remains is an orderly society with a government that gets it authority from the people and is granted limited rights to operate.  The people must have the power to control and limit government, not the other way around.  Problems are not solved by granting more power to government (or by proxy through big business), but by people freely working together.

Even with this self-evident truth, some don’t seem to get it:

Maybe you think the ‘tyrannical government’ shouldn’t be in control of the military as well?

I think the founders of this nation were incredibly thoughtful and well-read people.  I think they laid out a template for our society unlike anything the World had ever seen and has proven to be quite extraordinary.  The Constitution clearly mandates that the federal government shall provide for the common defense.

The debator is conflating issues in an attempt to somehow invalidate the idea of capitalism.  Capitalism is an economic system that has brought about more good for mankind in a shorter period of time than any other social/economic system in human history.  Every other system with lesser degrees of freedom that has ever been put in place has already proven to be woefully incapable of producing similar results in terms of either happiness or advances.

Still others argue against the foundational building blocks of our society by citing the failures of so-called "big business" as evidence.

I agree that very large businesses often do not operate in the best interests of their customers.  Monopolistic companies even less so.  These companies that have been deemed "too big to fail" are precisely the ones that NEED to fail.  This is economic fertilizer for free markets.

In my view, there is very little difference between big business and tyrannical government.  Big business is all too happy to support big government programs because it helps eliminate competition from smaller companies.  Governments love big businesses because they can act as their proxies to implement socialist policies.  This is precisely the definition of facism.

To the extent that many folks complain about the "evil capitalists" I maintain that they are complaining about creeping facism.  On this, I agree with my critics — that free markets DO need fewer big companies and more competition from smaller players.  Introducing the US Government as a player into any marketplace isn’t a move in the right direction, it’s an opposite move … it’s another behemoth!


I’m in favor of freedom and liberty.  I would like for my fellow citizens and I to be left alone to make our own decisions and to live with the consequences, whether good or bad.  Some people will make bad decisions, but good-hearted folks have proven that they will help those people who are truly in need and worthy of help via local churches and charities.  There will also be those people who prove to be incorrigible and beyond help.  They must be allowed continue living as they wish.

For a tyrannical government to step in and take freedom from everyone and force some people to labor for the benefit of others (also known as slavery) in the name of helping those who have proven unwilling even to help themselves is both immoral and foolish.

And from the near-sighted school of debate:

How did the original framers of the Constitution view the role of women in government?  How about people who did not own property?  How about who should decide who becomes a Senator?

Is this supposed to be some sort of gotcha retort?  With this we get to impugn their entire character and discard the Constitution altogether and revert to some other proven failure form of government?

The founders did incorporate a mechanism for amending the Constitution.  In fact, they very quickly amended it 10 times for the "Bill of Rights."

That said, I think their views toward women holding positions in government were very much in line with everyone else’s at the time given that women also did not hold positions of authority anywhere else in the world (other than in royalty, a tyrannical form of government).  Using the logic implied above, we should then also invalidate every other government system for the same reasons.

What about non-property owners?  It was felt that non-property owners didn’t have as much of a stake in their society, therefore they wouldn’t be as interested in doing what was best for society.  This same thought process is employed today by those who advocate "diversity" i.e. people who have not lived a certain kind of life are disqualified from making decisions that affect people who live those lives.  It was silly then, and it is silly now.  Background or social standing has no bearing on ones ability to understand a situation and act accordingly.

As for how Senators get into office, that seems to be a question that gets answered differently all the time.  Originally Senators where appointed by State governors (who were, in turn, elected).  The "Power to the people" movement changed this in the early 1900′s and most Senators are now directly elected.  Interestingly, there are still a number of Senators in office today who have been appointed by their State’s governors.  Senator Burress of Illinois is one.  Senator Gillibrand of New York is another as is Massachussets’ new Senator now that Ted Kennedy was granted his dying wish.  Florida Governor Charlie Crist also just appointed George LeMieux to be Senator.  That’s already 4% of the Senate, but I’m sure there’s more I couldn’t think of off the top of my head.

Do YOU think that conservatism is flawed and an inferior philosophy when compared to modern liberalism?  Leave your comments below!


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