Úr umfjöllun um bók Corey Robins, The Reactionary Mind, á intellektúalablogginu The Crooked Timber of Humanity:

[...] Consider the standard claim about conservatism put forward by Michael Oakeshott in 1956 (also cited by Robin):

“To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.”

Now consider how someone who actually held these views in the Britain of 1956 ought to have regarded trade unions. Of all British institutions, they were surely amongst the most familiar and factual, embodying the preference for actual present benefits over utopian projects. Yet that was not, as far as I can tell Oakeshott’s position at all (though his refusal of an honour from the Thatcher government may suggest some reconsideration later in life).

Robin’s thesis is that claims like Oakeshott’s about conservatism (and also, those of Hayek about classical liberalism) are nothing more than a mask for attempts to resist, and where possible, roll back the claims of the working class against their rulers.

I think this is broadly correct. Although there are people with the conservative disposition described above (and also, people who are attracted by radicalism as such), there is no inherent correlation between conservatism as a [character] disposition and support for the political views commonly associated with conservatism.

Ég er hjartanlega sammála. T.a.m. þá er nýfrjálshyggja okkar tíma byltingar-hugmyndafræði með það markmið að umbreyta samfélaginu á radical hátt, ekki að halda í hið gamalgróna, örugga og kunnuga.

Á norðurlöndunum eru það í raun kratarnir sem eru "íhaldið". Ég fjallaði stuttlega um nákvæmlega þetta í grein minni í safnritinu Eilífðarvélin: Uppgjör við nýfrjálshyggjuna, ritstj. Kolbeinn Stefánsson, Háskólaútgáfan 2010.

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Sveinbjörn | 4.1.2012 kl. 18:01

Fyrsta athugasemdin við þessa umfjöllun er nokkuð góð:

There might have been some points in time when conservatives actually preferred facts and the actual. That has not been the case since at least the time of Reagan and Thatcher.

Look at the U.S. Republican party now. Their disconnect from reality is nothing short of stunning. The idea that vacuous know-nothings like Palin and Bachmann, and fatuous fools like Cain and Perry – or G. W. Bush, for that matter, could be seriously put forth as candidates for the presidency vividly illustrates the intellectual wasteland that pseudo-conservatism has degenerated into.

Still – though this situation is extreme, it is not really out of the bounds of normal conservatism. I’ve never been able to make it to Pg 40 of Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind,” but that is enough to observe that Kirk openly and enthusiastically embraces ignorance and prejudice as pillars of the conservative mental process. After all, they spare one all that tedious mucking around with actual thought.

My own observation of Conservatives suggests that the other two pillars are magical thinking (the “invisible hand” of the free market) and various forms of denying or negating reality (weapons of mass destruction, Obama is a foreign born Muslim who hates Whitey, Ricardian Equivalence, New Deal Denialism.)

Much of conservatism rises from the function of the cerebral cortex, and displays a lack of empathy for other humans, an overt hostility to intelligence and sophistication, and an utter inability to learn from mistakes.

Consider conservative crowds cheering at the thought of someone without health care actually dying from a curable medical situation. This is sociopathic.

This is conservatism in the early 21st century.

Eiki | 4.1.2012 kl. 19:35

Chomsky lýsir nútíma-libertarianisma í Ameríku sem "extreme advocacy of total tyranny" sem ekki fjarri lagi ef maður hugsar um frambjóðendurna í prófkjöri repúblíkana. Mér fannst þetta frekar krassandi orðalag fyrst en finnst það býsna nákvæmt.

Steinn | 5.1.2012 kl. 15:14

Mega gott orðalag, kudos og like og thumbs up og hvað eitt og annað. Jú og líka og. OG