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  • Thursday, November 11, 2004


    What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

    Tip of the hat to MyDD where I caught a reference to this essay. This is the opening of What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It? by Philip E. Agre:

    Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:

    Q: What is conservatism?
    A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

    Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
    A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.

    These ideas are not new. Indeed they were common sense until recently. Nowadays, though, most of the people who call themselves 'conservatives' have little notion of what conservatism even is. They have been deceived by one of the great public relations campaigns of human history. Only by analyzing this deception will it become possible to revive democracy in the United States.

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