Of the five sites that I link to, 3 have expressed to me either a rejection or a reluctance to being called Conservative. The Author of Another Politically Incorrect Blog, calls himself Conservative from time to time but other times rejects the name, I think it is far to say he finds the term conflicting. Right Wing Fighter isn't conflicted he rejects the term and calls himself Right Wing. Over at Oz Conservative Mr. Richardson uses the term but he has in the past questioned it's usefulness. I think it is fair to say that Conservatism has acquired some baggage along the way.
The word Conservative originally meant to "to conserve" and it is in that meaning that the Frenchman Franois-Rene de Chateaubriand first used it in a political context in 1818. As an aside the word Liberal has been in use since the 1300's but only gained it's political meaning at around the same time as the word Conservative did. The original Liberals were those Spaniards who supported the Liberal Constitution of 1815, The political word Conservative comes from France but is not French, the political word Liberal comes from Spain but is not Spanish. Since that time the Western World has divided itself into Conservative and Liberal camps, although the meaning of the two terms has been anything but consistent.
Even today, while many other political philosophies exist, most people think in terms of the two sides, Conservatives on one side and Liberals on the other. It's why you get various meanings of the two words. In the 1800's Conservatives were Conservative, they believed in tradition, order and family, they were trying conserve. But due to Liberalism's need to constantly change what tended to happen was Liberals who had gone so far but could no longer believe in going any further went over to the other side, and started to call themselves and believe themselves, to be Conservatives. Over time young people grew up with a more Liberal society and saw that society as the one they had to conserve. Both of which diluted the idea's of tradition, order and family.
In the Twentieth Century both of those trends continued, even accelerated. The Conservatives became more and more Liberal. They even took up Classical Liberal economic ideas and started to call it Conservative!
Today we are left with every Right of Centre party calling itself Conservative, and most of them believe that they are. The media calls them Conservatives, even their enemies think they are Conservatives, in a way it is quite bizarre.
So is the term Conservative still useful?
I believe that it is and here's why. First of all we need a name, you cannot go around without a name because over time someone else will give you a name and then your stuck. Secondly it's a name everyone knows, sure it has it's baggage but it is still respectable (I'll come back to this point). Thirdly it still has it's original meaning, to conserve.
The real problem with the term Conservative is that it's too broad and it has picked up too many meanings. That can be fixed by attacking Liberalism, when Liberals call themselves Conservatives point out why they are Liberals. When Liberal policies are called Conservative point out how they are really Liberal policies. The British Conservative Party legalised Homosexual marriage because it supports the family. Conservative? No of course it isn't, you cannot defend the family by redefining it, you cannot defend marriage by redefining it. The policy is Liberalism supported by Liberals, no real Conservative would ever support it, this is the type of thing that needs to be pointed out and attacked. Just because it is now law does not mean it is anymore worthy than it was before. The policy is not tradition, therefore it is not Conservative. The policy is not order, you cannot refine order as that is the road to chaos, therefore it is not Conservative. The policy is not Family because you not defend the family by redefining it, therefore it is not Conservative.
One mistake people make is to think that as we support tradition then we support every tradition, we support everything that has happened in the whole of history. Of course we do not, supporting tradition means supporting the best traditions not the worst, it means supporting the natural order of things, not inventing "better" ways, artificial ways.
If we did change our name what would it be, Alternative-Right, Neoreactionary, Manosphereian or some other term? The truth is that they have their own baggage, as is only natural, to try to invent a name with no baggage is to invent something no one objects to. If you invent a political name or philosophy that no one objects to then we will all start calling you the God-Emperor of the Universe, because that is what you would be. Sadly I do not see that happening for you or for anyone else.
Conservatism is still respectable and unlike Liberalism it will remain respectable. Liberalism keeps changing it's name, one decade it's Progressive, the next it's Liberal and on it goes, why? Because it uses up it's good name and goes searching for a new one. That has happened to Conservatism as well, when Liberals reject any further Liberalism they call themselves Conservatives, why? Because we are still respectable, for all of Conservatism's up's and downs we are still respectable after two centuries. Liberalism cannot say that.
Further to that point is that if we did change our name we would not escape. They would still accuse us of everything that they do now, their deserters would still try to join our ranks and dilute it. We could call ourselves anything we wanted, we could call ourselves the Insane Clown Posse, we could call ourselves Rapist-Murders and in 50 years time we would have Liberals claiming that they are the real Rapist-Murders and that we should stop calling ourselves that as we are destroying their good name. And what would we do then? Start a completely new name or pley the Liberal game and go back to the old one?
If you believe in tradition, order and family your a Conservative, get used to it.
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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