Conservatism

The word for today is conservatism.

Conservatism
Pronunciation: k&n-'s&r-v&-"ti-z&m
Function: noun
1 a : the principles and policies of a Conservative party b : the Conservative party
2 a : disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change
3 : the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

I've highlighted the third definition because it seems the most true as an underlying principle.

Conserve
Pronunciation: k&n-'s&rv
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): con·served; con·serv·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French conserver, from Latin conservare, from com- + servare to keep, guard, observe; akin to Avestan haurvaiti he guards
1 : to keep in a safe or sound state ::he conserved his inheritance:: especially : to avoid wasteful or destructive use of ::conserve natural resources::
2 : to preserve with sugar
3 : to maintain (a quantity) constant during a process of chemical, physical, or evolutionary change

Which raises the question: Conserve what?

I see two two conservation threads on the right wing. Conserve their own views of Christian morality. And second, conserve the institutions they admire. Ironically, they have little concern for conserving natural resources, the environment or any other dimensions of the common good that don't serve their personal self-interests. And the truth is, conservatives are hard to find these days, having sold their souls to the Republican party and their allegiance to the Bush regime.

Which brings us to another set of definitions.

Main Entry: 1pro·gres·sive
Pronunciation: pr&-'gre-siv
Function: adjective
1 a : of, relating to, or characterized by progress b : making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities c : of, relating to, or constituting an educational theory marked by emphasis on the individual child, informality of classroom procedure, and encouragement of self-expression
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by progression
3 : moving forward or onward : ADVANCING
4 a : increasing in extent or severity ::a progressive disease:: b : increasing in rate as the base increases ::a progressive tax::
5 often capitalized : of or relating to political Progressives
6 : of, relating to, or constituting a verb form that expresses action or state in progress at the time of speaking or a time spoken of

And this one:

Main Entry: 1prog·ress
Pronunciation: 'prä-gr&s, -"gres, US also and British usually 'prO-"gres
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin progressus advance, from progredi to go forth, from pro- forward + gradi to go -- more at PRO-, GRADE
1 a (1) : a royal journey marked by pomp and pageant (2) : a state procession b : a tour or circuit made by an official (as a judge) c : an expedition, journey, or march through a region
2 : a forward or onward movement (as to an objective or to a goal) : ADVANCE
3 : gradual betterment; especially : the progressive development of mankind

.

In other countries, there are parties with oxymoronic labels like "Progressive Conservative" and "Conservative Progressive." But we live in a country where things are more simple. As Dear Leader would say, you're either with us or against us.

Take a moment to re-read the definitions. You'd have to be a fool to reject the promise of progressive politics.

Comments

Conservatism as simulacrum

It's always seemed to me that when viewed through the definitions you highlighted, the right is trying to conserve a reality that never was: the suburban reality of the 50s sit-com. But I guess "morning in America" sounded better than "let's get back to Leave it to Beaver!"

Extra credit for simulacrum!

Main Entry: sim·u·la·crum
Pronunciation: "sim-y&-'la-kr&m, -'lA-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural sim·u·la·cra /-kr&/; also -crums
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, from simulare
1 : IMAGE, REPRESENTATION
2 : an insubstantial form or semblance of something

A

PS I always thought it was "mourning" in America.