Are the Sedition Gang "real" conservatives?

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Nova, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. Nova

    Nova livin on the edge of the ledge Writer

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    this is as succinct and spot on as any discussion of the topic you are likely to find...

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1337858179930025985.html

    When I talk about what contemporary US conservatives are doing (to wit: being f'ing horrible), I'm frequently told, "don't call them conservatives. They are fascists/thugs/racists/etc." Let's talk about that.
    thread
    The impulse behind the response is to separate what people think of as philosophical conservatism -- small gov't, strong defense, traditional values -- from the kind of incoherent morass of resentments & cruelties we see on the right today.

    But that's the wrong way to think about it. The nationalism, anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, resentment, cruelty, & lust for authoritarianism did not, at some point, displace conservatism. They are simply what conservatism becomes in the face of demographic change.

    At root, conservatism is an impulse of those on the inside -- racially, economically, etc. -- to protect the status quo that privileges them. It is an impulse in every society that has an inside -- ie, all of them.
    When the insiders feel comfortable & relatively secure in their position, justifications for the status quo tend to take on a high-minded philosophical character, to express in terms of principles, immutable truths, etc. And when insiders feel secure, they can be *magnanimous* about allowing various Others to enjoy some of society's fruits. This is "compassionate conservatism" & "economic opportunity zones" & etc. "We at the top are broad-minded, we are willing to extend some largesse to the subalterns."

    But when the status quo comes under real threat, when the demographic & class groups on the inside feel real pressure, when other groups show signs of obtaining & wielding real power ... the high-mindedness & magnanimity rapidly evaporate. The more threatened those on this inside feel, the less they invoke principles & philosophy. They revert to their instinctive zero-sum thinking -- every advance for the Other is a loss for them. Efforts to exclude & punish Others become more raw, naked, & cruel.

    We're seeing this play out. Principle & policy have all but vanished on the right. (The GOP *has no party platform*.) It has become a cult of power, united behind a strongman, fighting rabidly to prevent the cultural & economic advance of Others. It's all out in the open now. The notion that something else displaced conservatism is too flattering to conservatism. What we're seeing now is the raw impulses that are *always at the core of conservatism*, in all times & places. This is just what they look like when they are longer confidently on top.

    The reason I'm constantly beating this drum is that some people () have been warning about exactly this trajectory for decades now. But mainstream Dems, centrist, pundits, & other VSPs have run interference for conservatism, helped give it a veneer of philosophical legitimacy. For years & years, WAY too long, they dismissed the raw impulses of conservatism as the "fringe," as though the stuffy, tie-wearing, faux-philosophical, DC-think-tank version were the real thing. They ignored the warning signs & dismissed those who didn't as partisan alarmists.

    But now the trajectory is reaching its inevitable conclusion: raw ethnonationalism, violence, & authoritarianism. It is crucial that everyone understands, this is not a break from conservatism. This IS conservatism when the status quo is threatened. This was always it.

    So, yeah, I'm gonna keep calling them conservatives
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  2. Diacanu

    Diacanu Comicmike. Writer

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    And they cry about black women inching towards the captaincy in Star Trek!
    *Waves to Media Central*
    :diacanu:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  3. Diacanu

    Diacanu Comicmike. Writer

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    Short version, the 60's hippies were fucking right.
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  4. Tererune

    Tererune Troll princess and Magical Girl

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    I agree with you @Nova . It is the very definition of the terms which makes conservatives more likely to go fascist. liberal means being more accepting of other opinions. When Cancel culture becomes a fascist problem on the left it is because they have become less liberal in how they view things. Certain things only fall on the liberal or conservative side of the scale based on history and practice. The acceptance of christianity might be liberal in a conservative muslim society. You can go into some very strict GLBT communities that are fascist to the point of excluding straight participation.

    It is really people who are conservative or liberal in how they apply their philosophies. The only reason those labels are applied in the present system is due to what group has a history to be conservative with.