Government and Traditional Conservatism
Socialism believes that the Government is the saviour of Mankind and that it can solve the problems and inequities that Business create. On the other hand, Anarchy and Libertarianism believe that little or no Government is best. So what should the Traditional Conservative position on Government be?
First we must accept something that is all around us, but which we can often fail to see and that is that Government provides something that no other Human institution can provide, stability to an entire society. It is this stability that makes Government vital and important. All of it's functions revolve (or should revolve) around this ability to provide stability. It allows groups bigger than Families or Tribes to work and build a Nation together. That makes it both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it enables greater protection and opportunity than if it did not exist. A curse because it's strengths can allow it to be an agent against it's own people.
There are functions that Government perform better than the family or Business. War, Justice, Administration, Large scale projects, Maintenance, Foreign Affairs. These are all big areas and the fact is Government does them better than anyone. The mistake is to believe that because Government are good at some things that will make them good at all things, or conversely that because Government doesn't always do a good job that means they can never do a good job.
The Traditional Conservative believes that the relationship between the Government and the people is like a marriage. A union which should be of mutual benefit, a union that provides security and stability, that helps the creation of wealth and a surplus. A union that provides protection when times are bad. A union that see's the Government and the people supporting each other and excluding others. The people should be loyal to only one Government and the Government should be loyal to only one people, it's own.
I am not suggesting that you must pick sides between different levels of Government, what I am saying is that you should be loyal and have that loyalty returned by one Government at each level.
In all ages Government has sort more power, it is what allows it to do the good works it performs. But of course it is not a conscious being, it is not alive, it has no soul, it has no conscience, all of that must be provided for it. It comes from the people as a whole as well as those specific people who work within the Government. The Government functions and indeed exists for one reason, to serve it's people, for without it's people it cannot exist. The relationship is symbiotic, one of mutual benefit and survival. If one dies the other may very well die.
It should go without saying that many Governments have not lived up to their side of the bargain. They believe that they are above the people, instead of being one part of the people. They believe that the Government being strong, should prey upon the people who are weaker. But one thing that history shows again and again is a vampire Government will die. It will be destroyed, either by foreign enemies or by the people, whether that brings happiness or unhappiness.
The people must broadly speaking believe that the Government is on their side, once they come to believe otherwise then that is the definition of a tyranny.
Another issue that has been much debated is who is supreme, the Government or the people. That one is easy for Traditional Conservatives. The Government serves the people, the people serve not the Government but the Nation. Because the people and the Nation are one and the Government is merely the representative of the Nation. The people can change the Government, even the system of Government but the Government has no right to change the people.
You might argue that the Government is more powerful than the people, but there is a downside to power for Government and that is that for a Government to function it must be seen as legitimate. It may survive for a time being seen as illegitimate but it cannot survive indefinitely. Legitimacy is the language of Government, once it loses that it may never recover. The only thing that may save it is that there is nothing viable to replace it. It is surprising how long this problem can haunt Governments.
For the Traditional Conservative the Government is a servant of the people and the Nation, it may function otherwise but it's true purpose is to be the peoples representative and not to be the peoples Master.
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future