I’ve been reading a lot of articles and quotes from people who continually pretend that conservatism and libertarianism really are ‘two peas in a pod’ of some kind. How it should not only be easy to form alliances between the two against the demonic left, but that it is imperative. How libertarians belong in the Republican Party if they belong anywhere. How small government ideas fit with the GOP.
To which i say: HOGWASH.
It would be a fairly big project (for me anyways), but one of these days I’d like to write a series of articles that show why it is, indeed, hogwash.
I would do this by writing about:
– The History of Conservatism in various eras and regions in the world.
– How conservatism has used (or tried to use) the role of the state to impose ‘conservative’ values on society.
– How American conservatives tout values that in practice they don’t seem to support all that much (as a subset, how they pretend to be what they really aren’t, either through deliberate or unintentional ignorance of the facts, historical or otherwise)
– How what many conservatives (especially Americans) hold to be conservative heroes of the past were in fact radical liberals (such as Thomas Jefferson).
– How the general definition of conservatism (status quo maintaining or gradual “organic” change of society) is opposed to libertarianism (radical change toward individual freedom)
– How conservatives of various types hold beliefs that are antithetical to genuine individual liberty and free markets.
– How there is no more reason for libertarians to trust conservatives than there is to trust modern liberals.
– How, if you believe in individual freedom, personal responsibility and free markets, libertarians cannot be conservatives but conservatives must be libertarians.
I would try to show the above by using the general definitions of conservatism; the history of conservative thought in various regions; the politics of various conservative icons such as Edmund Burke, Benjamin Disraeli, Otto Von Bismarck, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan; the various beliefs of conservatives that require a state; how relying on traditions and institutions that came about ‘organically’ both ignores how culture was formed by collectivism and statism; and how increasing liberty deliberately is impossible through “organic” change when mentalities are consistently growing to be pro-authoritarianism and pro-government; how the status quo currently is collectivist and statist and therefore contradictory to liberty. How conservatives’ conception of the free market is ignorant because what they regard as the free market is in fact protectionist corporatism; how their nationalism and patriotism feeds war and empire, which in turn domestically feed the state, massive civil rights violations and debt. And so on, and so forth.
Honestly, it is impossible for me to see how some continue to believe that libertarians can have alliances with what conservatives have *really* been about historically.