Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Personal Clarification

I believe that I have always been a conservative in that I have great admiration and respect for the foundations that underpin Western Society. It is this basis, rooted in Judeo-Christian ethics, that have contributed to the success of the civilization in the political, scientific, cultural and judicial spheres. It also has provided the guarantees upon which the democratic freedoms that we enjoy today are anchored. I am therefore supportive of the notion of tradition not as a complete rigidity but as a framework for growth and meaningful progress. My conservatism is one of Classic Liberalism that respects the right of the individual against the horde of the collective. It is a philosophy that has emerged from history as a bulwark against the totalitarianism and frivolities of radicalism and I believe it is the only long term mechanism we have to counteract the emerging barbarisms.

While there is a certain idealism to my belief there is also a strong recourse to a pragmatism that seeks workable solution within the construct of absolute morality. It is not one of pacifism and abstract equivalencies but a thinking that remains rooted to our proven avenues of survival and overall betterment.

In the contemporary world I am aware that my views are to the right of the political spectrum and I have no qualms of classifying them a such (especially as the center today remains adrift in a sea of relativism). For it is with the right (in particular the new right) that such keystones as freedom of speech, private property and meritocracy are most likely to be protected.

Conservatism however is a broad field and the variations as expanded on by numerous thinkers have certainly enriched the dynamic. I take pleasure in this differentiation as I seek to mold from its richness a better understanding of the world. This is not to say that I have ignored the landscape of political thought that exists outside this milieu. Indeed I have spent much time studying the thinking of leftist and left-liberal thinkers and while there have been some convincing arguments especially in the regions of health care and the environment I have for the most part found these ideological pursuits, at best lacking in sound thinking and at worst dangerous to the plight of humanity.
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