The Weakness of American Conservatism

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The Alex Jones social media ban across a plethora of platforms reminded me of the problems that I have with American conservatism. Quite a while ago Steve Bannon suggested to “regulate social media like a public utility.” Whatever that means it is trying to make regulation palatable to a conservative/libertarian audience.

 

As a European onlooker I see the twists and turns this argument makes. Every dollar that makes it from the government to the companies is used to “explain” to conservatives that the tech companies are quasi Hitler…sorry I was just in the mood of criticizing conservatives …quasi the government.

 

The logic is that if Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on are the government, they would have to guarantee First Amendment neutrality. I hate to break it to my dear conservative friends, but Google is not your government.

 

It also does not have to be your government just to pass a law that requests political neutrality. All companies are regulated. Only because you dislike regulations in general does not mean that there should be NO regulation. The issue is treated as if “companies can do what they like” was a statute of the constitution. It isn’t. It is your general preference.

 

Congress spews out tons of laws week after week and feeble conservatives have a moral breakdown over a potential one-liner that says something like “Social media platforms must not discriminate against their users based on their political views.” Geezes, look at the laws that regulate your business. There is also a fine line between conservatism and anarchy. You cannot just declare yourself a business and “do whatever you want.” Private businesses cannot do whatever they want.

 

The most annoying thing is that conservatives don’t see the wider reaching global ramifications. If the government would require neutrality, they would put up a fight against other, less free countries abroad. Facebook would not give up the rich American market only to serve Iran. They would insist that Iran either respects whatever is put up on Facebook or block the service. At the moments less free countries, spearheaded by Germany, are forcing social media into a censorship regime. Their mentality adapt to the German mentality and the consequences in the home market are a taste of that.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if America stood up for its values again? Some conservatives also insist that the First Amendment does only protect you from your government. The problem is that they confuse it with freedom of speech itself. The First Amendment is only the legal materialization of the moral principle to create a free market of ideas. The principle is more important than the words in the constitution which – being the constitution – do only materialize the idea to restrain the government. It is also not enough to look only at what entities do that are legally a part of the state. In practice it makes no difference if a king encroaches on your rights or if he rents a private torture chamber to have somebody else do it for him.

 

A last, more separate flaw of American conservatism is the futile discussion on individuality versus collectivism. Freedom is not decided on this line. Ayn Rand is an interesting intellectual, but her ideas are not necessarily true only because they are popular. People need to guide their lives and rights belong to them individually, but we must also acknowledge that these rights are protected by the community. It is not sophisticated self-interest if one sacrifices himself for others and the “wisdom” is even that we shouldn’t do that. Without people doing something against their own interests, no large fire would be put out, no enemy troops defeated, no scientific breakthrough would come to be.

 

The last flaw is alleviated in the movement because more religious groups are having a momentum at the moment and set a counterpoint to Rand’s “objectivism”, which I believe will ultimately disappear.

Comments

Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 2:27pm
Alex Jones and Steve Bannon are NOT conservatives.  Basing your opinions on things they say is a flawed premise.
 
No one says there should be no regulations.  The amount of over-regulation we have is absurd however.  The real problem with them is that of your faulty next premise.  Congress isn't passing "tons of laws week in and week out".  Unelected agencies full of bureaucrats are writing unconstitutional regulations.  They are unconstitutional because congress may not delegate its law making authority to a 3rd body.  There is no part of the constitution that allows that.  Any regulation forced upon American people or companies must go through congress.
 
The first Amendment DOES only protect you from the government, as with the entire bill of rights.   interactions between 2 individuals is not covered, nor should it be.  You are not required to associate with an individual or specific company.  You cannot avoid the federal government, which is why the constitution is primarily a list of what the federal government CANNOT do to you.  Anything not covered in the enumerated powers is subject to state laws.
 
You blow out your entire argument about individual rights for collective rights when you talk about fires and enemies.  Considering America has an all-volunteer armed forces and all volunteer police/fire.  They"sacrifice" by their own choice".  People are far more willing to do their best when it is their choice, not w hen they are told to do something - the entire failure of Socialism and marxism is because of this human nature.
 
That would be like saying "paying federal taxes is charity".  Well, no it isn't.  Americans are the most generous people in the history of the world on top of forced redistribution of wealth that is taxation.  It is charity when we give to the causes we choose to give to.  Which we do without being compelled.
 
You really have a very limited understanding of what American conservatism is and what it means.  Understandable as you are admittedly not an American, however Not reasonable if you are going to critique American conservatism without even understanding what it is at its fundamental core.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Aug 31, 2018 - 3:57pm
Ken, I go through your comment by numbered paragraphs.
1) Steve Bannon is quite representative of the conservative movement. I don't know about Jones. My argument is not based on what he says, but you must have noticed that the particular "public utility" talk has become popular in the conservative movement. I would guess that you are a conservative with a stronger libertarian leaning. Yet, both you and Bannon are actually quite representative of the subcultures of the conservative movement.
 
2) Congress is passing the laws. The third parties prepare them. In any event it does not contradict anything I say. The point is that there are so many laws that this tiny addition shouldn't freak everybody out.
 
3) Congress has the authority to pass laws concerning trade and commerce.
 
4) Collective does not mean "by force." You just strawman my argument.
 
5) ? Are we talking about the same text?
 
6) Don't be snobbish!
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 5:27pm
Steve Bannon is NOT part of the conservative movement at all.  In fact, before he was on the campaign he was editor of Breitbart.  A website that proudly promotes itself as "the voice of the alt-right" (or at least it did while he was editor).  The alt-right is NOT conservatism.  It is populism.  Conservatism is constitutionalism.
 
Congress is passing laws that create the agencies.  The agencies are then creating the regulations (which are bureaucratic laws).  This is unconstitutional passing the constitutional obligation on to unelected bureaucrats that are not accountable to the electorate.  You don't understand how agencies like the EPA, HUD, NOAA, OSHA, USDA, etc work.  Congress passed a law creating these agencies (in some cases, not all cases, some were just created as part of the executive branch, with slightly less authority).  a bunch of civil servants are hired for life and they then write the regulations that become law.  This is unconstitutional.  This "tiny addition"?  during the Obama administration alone, these bureaucrats added 20,642 regulations were passed in 8 years of Obama alone, with thousands of those in the final year to stack them up before leaving.
 
congress also has the right to pass laws on immigration, national defense and approves treaties.  You missed the entire point of what I wrote.  I was rebutting your argument about the first amendment and pointed out the entire bill of rights was what the government cannot do to you.  You were stating that was not what it was about when it came to freedom of speech.  that is EXACTLY what it is about.  I rebutted your point about one part of the bill of rights and expended it to the entire first amendment then the entire bill of rights, so suddenly you jump to article 2?
 
Collectivism is "the individual does not succeed unless the collective succeeds".  You do not have individual liberty to do what you want.  You must do what is needed for the collective to succeed.  How is that not being forced?
 
I was using taxation vs. charity as an example of forced collective redistribution vs individual choice.  It is a perfect illustration of exactly why you are wrong
 
There is nothing snobbish about pointing out that you posted an article from a distant land criticizing a system that you clearly don't have much knowledge on.  When you use Alex Jones and Steve Bannon as your conservative examples, you have already failed your premise and it went downhill from there.  You couldn't clearly explain any of your points because you really don't understand what american conservatism is.  The right and left in America have very different meaning than the right and left in Europe.  You seem to have no context for the point you are trying to make.
John Minehan Added Aug 31, 2018 - 5:31pm
"Collective does not mean "by force." You just strawman my argument."
 
It, however, CAN mean 'by force,' the deeper question is whether something done collectively is done voluntarily by cooperation or involuntarily by coercion.
 
The first is common in functional societies, the second is the norm in totalitarian societies.
 
The thing to avoid is "That which is not forbidden in compulsory." (To quote T.H. White.)
 
"Congress isn't passing 'tons of laws week in and week out'.  Unelected agencies full of bureaucrats are writing unconstitutional regulations.  They are unconstitutional because congress may not delegate its law making authority to a 3rd body.  There is no part of the constitution that allows that.  Any regulation forced upon American people or companies must go through congress."
 
Ipso dixit.  ("It is because I say so.") 
 
Oddly, no one whose opinion is binding has agreed with that since the Federal Administrative Procedure Act was passed in the 1930s.  
John Minehan Added Aug 31, 2018 - 5:50pm
"Anything not covered in the enumerated powers is subject to state laws."
 
I refer you to the Federalist Papers  and to John Marshall's opinion in M'Culloch v. Maryland and to Marshall and Spencer Roan's anonymous colloquy in the Richmond papers in the summer of 1819. 
 
The Constitution is NOT the Articles.
 
The Congress is NOT limited to its Enumerated Powers (as the Congress had been under the Articles, which limited Congress's powers to those things specifically mentioned). 
 
The "Necessary and Proper Clause" gives the Congress the power to do things needed to effectuate its enumerated powers, for example, under the holding in M'Culloch, charter a bank. 
 
We have the "Necessary and Proper" Clause to address a perceived weakness in the Articles.
 
Some things done by Congress are probably too attenuated from the Enumerated Powers to be "Necessary and Proper."  These things are ultra vires in my opinion. 
 
But courts have passed on these issues and have disagreed with me (e.g., United States v. Butler which upheld  Social Security as part of the "general welfare"), so my opinion is not the current state of the law.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Aug 31, 2018 - 6:16pm
Ken: The word "alt-right" made a short career as meaning Philly-Schlafly-kinda conservatism. That was very short and into this timeframe falls the often quoted self-description by Bannon. That was based on a misunderstanding because the term was coined by Richard Spencer who is a neonazi.
 
Breitbart is conservative. And I'm losing a bit my patience here. Firstly, you do not have a copyright on conservativism. Conservativism is the objectively observable characteristics of the people who call themselves conservative. I cannot define it like I want and you can't. The total group of people who do identify with the movement give the word its meaning.
 
This "tiny addition"?  during the Obama administration alone, these bureaucrats added 20,642 regulations were passed in 8 years of Obama alone, with thousands of those in the final year to stack them up before leaving.
Please, scroll up to the original article and reflect whether you still talk about the same thing. The tiny addition is not some Obama stuff. I was referring to a law that requires social media simply not to discriminate users because of their views. As I said, it takes little more than one line, the rest can be fought through the courts so the executives learn to taw the line.
 
You missed the entire point of what I wrote.  I was rebutting your argument about the first amendment and pointed out the entire bill of rights was what the government cannot do to you. 
Scroll up again. I will not read back my own text again and again. I wrote exactly what you say here. You just repeat it and claim that you made a counter-argument. (Sorry that I start sounding arrogant. I noticed a while ago that this is not ReaderBeat).
 
You were stating that was not what it was about when it came to freedom of speech.
I did not say that the first amendment is not about freedom of speech. I just say that the principle goes beyond the constitution. Now, I am reading my text back. Hmmm. Okay. The constitution uga uga only applies principles to you government uga uga. Apart from that uga uga people also live by principles uga uga.
 
so suddenly you jump to article 2?
I did not suddenly jump. I was referring with paragraph number to your objection that the constitution only allows entities like the Congress to do the things that it provides for. So I say, it isn't the first Amendment, it is a simple law and Congress has the right to pass it. Facebook is commerce.
 
You don't make an argument against my suggestion that freedom is not decided along the line collectivism vs. individualism when you handpick an example where individualism is better than collectivism. (And charities are collectives, too, BTW). I find the notoriety about this discussion already absurd.
 
There is nothing snobbish about pointing out that you posted an article from a distant land criticizing a system that you clearly don't have much knowledge on. 
First conservatvism isn't a system, but a movement and second given that you don't even grasp that it is very rich to suggest I understand the matter less. If you feel you know something or you have a logic I should be aware of say so without claiming superior wisdom.
 
I have a very good grasp about the right and left both in Europe and in America.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Aug 31, 2018 - 6:24pm
As always everybody please ignore my spellies including extra syllables. Conservatism. *cough*
John Minehan Added Aug 31, 2018 - 6:31pm
"Collectivism is 'the individual does not succeed unless the collective succeeds'.  You do not have individual liberty to do what you want.  You must do what is needed for the collective to succeed.  How is that not being forced?"
 
You don't "have individual liberty to do what you want" in any event.  That is not liberty, that is license. 
 
Unless you are a hermit, you have to fit your liberty into everyone else's (equally valid and legitimate) liberty.  That is why we have law, so that (at its most basic), everyone knows who has the right of way at the five-way stop.
 
You can overburden a society with law and regulation, but since we live in groups, as you stated you need at least some.
 
Further, even an individualist can only succeed if he offers something to others.  You can have the greatest idea in the world but if you can't convince others to buy your product or service or if you can't convince a bank or a VC or an "Angle Investor" to fund your idea or people to work for you, you are going to fail.
 
A lot of positive things in human society (markets, industries, polities, movements and nations, for example) are "collective."  This "collectivism" only becomes problematic if we lose sight of the fact these collective groups are made of individuals or if we coerce people instead of giving them good reasons (enlightened self-interest) to work together.       
  
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 8:55pm
John - Which Federalist are you referring to specifically?  I have read them but I don't know which is which off the top of my head in most cases.  I have to refer to them to read what they have to say in full context.  And how do you reconcile that vs the 10th amendment?
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:10pm
John - you again make some good points, and you are right that there are limits on personal liberty.  My liberty ends where I infringe upon yours.  There are certain inalienable rights that we all have in common.  When I endanger your right to life, I am potentially forfeiting mine.  There are of course situations like this.  Where you have rights you also have responsibilities that go along with those rights.  Too few don't take that into consideration. 
 
As I have quoted before, Madison said (in federalist 27, I believe but I could be wrong, I didn't look up the paper he said it in)
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  This is also why I argue in my defense of the 1st amendment that the father of our constitution and primary writer of the bill of rights never intended separation of church and state.
 
An Individualist may only succeed if he offers something of value to others.  He also may succeed by offering nothing to others, but simply supports himself on his own merits as a hermit or survivalist or whatever.  Either way it is his choice as to how he chooses to expend his energy.  Not "what is best for the collective".  I believe we are discussing along the same lines here, I simply have no formal legal education, I am simply self-learned and have studied the founders and the constitution pretty extensively (I am not infallible, I may have misinterpreted some, but I think you will see from my Article V post, my 1st Amendment post,and other posts, I have a pretty good grasp on it and the intent behind it to make sure I write about it in context.
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:23pm
Benjamin - It feels like you keep moving the goal posts in your assertions and do a lot of deflecting.  Either you are intentionally being obtuse or you just don't get what I am trying to explain.  I feel like I have been quite clear in rebutting your assertions, especially your assertion about the 1st amendment.  Conservatism isn't a "movement"  It is simply people wishing to uphold the constitution as it was written, and if you disagree with it, change it through the processes you are granted in the constitution, don't go through the courts.
 
You are correct in the inventor of the "alt-right" term, yet I am also right that Bannon identified Breitbart as "the voice of the alt-right"  neither of which point to Bannon as being na conservative.
 
My jump to article 2 wasn't about your paragraph coding it was about us talking about the bill of rights and you suddenly started talking about things the government could do such as concerning trade and comerce, where I pointed yes, and it can also approve treaties, make laws concerning immigration and national security.  All of which is enumerated in article 2.  You jump out of discussing freedom of speech and the fact that it was defining what the government could have done to article 2 enumerating in a completely different area what the government can.
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:26pm
Jon - "because I said so" - I am unaware of any decision other than in very limited ways where the courts have allowed anyone to have standing to challenge the actual congressional delegation of their responsibility asserted by the constitution to pass laws.  They have allowed standing on certain regulation impacts, but I don't believe a single case has ever been adjudicated as whether the entire concept of creating bureaucratic regulatory agencies that can write regulations (that are basically laws as we have no choice to to obey them) is legal.  Is there a case that has specifically challenged this that has been given standing?
Ken Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:41pm
As I have quoted before, Madison said (in federalist 27, I believe but I could be wrong, I didn't look up the paper he said it in)
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other
 
Correction, that was John Adams, not Madison in the federalists, I was mixing up quotes.
Flying Junior Added Sep 1, 2018 - 2:06am
I'll say conservatives in the U.S.A. are weak.  At least the ones that let Trump speak for them and bully them into accepting lies as truth.  Did you read about the nutcase in California who was so upset about the Boston Globe that he made threats of gun violence to Globe employees?  Frightening.  Enemy of the People, indeed.
 
Being a German, surely you see some parallels to the Third Reich and their propaganda machines.  In some ways it seems worse today in the U.S.  Everyone has access to so much information yet they choose to reject truth at the behest of a dictator.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 1, 2018 - 2:11am
Ken
It feels like you keep moving the goal posts in your assertions and do a lot of deflecting.
From where to where did I move the goalpost and from what did I deflect?
 
I feel like I have been quite clear in rebutting your assertions, especially your assertion about the 1st amendment. 
Wrong feeling. Can you quote what you rebutted? We both say that the 1st amendment just applies freedom of speech to the government. I say it in the article. You repeat it. What is it that you have rebutted?
 
It is simply people wishing to uphold the constitution as it was written, and if you disagree with it, change it through the processes you are granted in the constitution, don't go through the courts.
That is not the definition of conservatism, but of originalism. There are plenty of liberals (e.g. Glen Greenwald or Nadine Strossen) and other people who don't call themselves conservatives (libertarians, independents) who happen to be originalists. But even if you claim that conservatism and originalism is one and the same thing, how do you come to think that Breitbart and Bannon are NOT originalists. Please, quote them because I think you make a big allegation against them.
 
I'm actually not jumping. I was talking about American conservatives. One point of criticism is that many of you try to make the case that Google, Facebook and Twitter were somehow the government. The thing they want can be done simply by the power of the Congress who is entitled to legislate commerce. You, Ken, are unable to separate freedom of speech, an idea that predates the United States, from the 1st amendment that applies this idea to the government. In addition to the 1st, you can also protect the natural right of a human being to free speech if you require private entities by ordinary legislation not to discriminate based on viewpoints.
Stephen Hunter Added Sep 1, 2018 - 7:46am
You make a lot of good points Benjamin. Regulation is a must regardless of political leaning. The whole less government thing is more for keeping politicians from gaining too much power, and should not be confused with having enough government workers. We need more administrators in government, to just do fact checking and check up on Companies who cheat the system. Or to go and find the illegal immigrants who come into the country legally but outstay their visas. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 1, 2018 - 8:49am
Thank you, Stephan. Yes, there used to be a consenus even with libertarians that the state must take care for a small number of core duties to make society function. While I agree that the current situation is absurdly bloated and we need to cut back state power both in the US and much more so in Europe, I think we must discuss the basic functions a republic must provide.
 
The very basic thing is a shared forum. The times when you could plaster your posters everywhere are gone. People have to pay a lot for the spaces now and it depends on the political proclivity of those who market billboards or other spaces whether you have a say or not. What is more, the masses have moved to the digital sphere. Posters are largely ignored because they tend to be commercial. The place where discussions take place are now online and no group should try to push others out of the common forum.
 
This used to be a bipartisan issue. Bill Maher, Nadine Strossen and (I think) Glen Greenwald understand this. Most on the right also do.
 
At the moment the term "internet bill of rights" circles around. I don't know what people mean. But I think that it might also include something like forcing Google not to skrew the search order. I am against such a regulation. (regulation would be cumbersome)
 
Google search, unlike the social media platforms like Google's Youtube, is not a natural monopoly. The product of the platforms are their user base. You cannot leave and keep the reach. Google search will decrease in popularity when people just make some more advertising for the alternatives. When unpolitical users use bing without paying attention, Google search is over. Google is the CocaCola of the internet. Overrated.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 1, 2018 - 9:13am
 Civil debate should be encouraged across the political spectrum, while censorship ought to be limited to criminals and terrorists.  Let the ideas flourish and spread!
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 1, 2018 - 10:31am
Dino: I want everybody to see the terrorists and criminals. Expose them! Don't hide them!
Jeff Michka Added Sep 1, 2018 - 1:54pm
BG: the phrase "internet bill of rights" has been peddled since the 90s.  Never got much notice and no regulatory traction.  Never will.  Googlistas see themselves as "the state."  Just ask 'em.  Apple also see itself as "the state."  Facebook sees itself as the state and social register of the World.  Twitter sees itself as "the state," and has Trump to support the notion.  And it's just "notions" all these entities have.  Given Facebook has a bigger grasp on people than heroin, how can't it be true.  These folks will never regulate themselves as long as they rake in the cash, and are given power by their users.  Try and change that latter, it's easier, you know users...
John Howard Added Sep 1, 2018 - 3:03pm
I fail to see how the discussion on individuality vs collectivism is "futile". Every political evil is promoted and excused by collectivism and refuting it is a necessary part of ending tyranny and arriving at peace and prosperity. The concept of rights is merely a peculiar rhetorical construct to express what is right. Saying what is right does not require community, nor does the right necessarily require that the community agree or give aid or defense, though we can certainly hope for that.
 
To suggest that large fires, enemy troops, and scientific breakthroughs all require self-sacrifice is utterly false unless we are going to equate investing and risk-taking with sacrificing.  What Ayn Rand was criticizing was altruism, the moral code that shames self-interest. But it is not for others to tell a man what is or is not in his self-interest. Maybe putting out the fire, defeating the enemy and discovering the cure are his ideas of very selfish acts performed for very selfish reasons.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 1, 2018 - 3:27pm
Jeff Michka: Thx. I did not know that the phrase is already so old and much less so what it includes. I certainly think that big tech must be brought down. Ann Coulter has mentioned that technically people could already sue the platforms on the basis of the 1st amendment because there were already a law that requires "natural monopolies" to uphold it. I wouldn't know any details and I think a new unambiguous law enforcing net neutrality on these places would be preferable.
 
JH: Removing all collectivism is like removing all property: a pipedream of people who haven't thought things through. We are by nature tribal. You can convince yourself and some of your friends to ignore the forces that makes us work together, doing things we don't like, but eventually you will be subjugated by those collectives who don't share your ideals. You have to join a collective that grants a certain level of individuality inside so that you are protected against the groups outside. And while evil demands a group pulling together, so does also all what is good.
John Howard Added Sep 1, 2018 - 4:03pm
BG:  Collectives do not exist, except in the minds of collectivists.  Only individuals do.  You may be tribal, but do learn to speak for yourself only.  There is no need for force to make us work together. 
 
No collective will ever subjugate me, since collectives don't exist. Some parasitic gunslinger may catch me at a disadvantage someday.  And as he forces himself upon me, I don't doubt he will be blabbing about the collective that lives between his ears and sanctions his behavior.  But I will just see him and his gun. 
 
Good and evil are entirely about the relationship between two individuals.  Groups do not exist.  Good is the voluntary.  Evil is the forced.
 
Removing collectivism is a pipedream?  No, it's a rather simple epistemological realization that mental collections are not objects.  They have no feelings, no needs, no rights, no purposes.  Individuals have those.  
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 1, 2018 - 4:16pm
John Howard: All large apes are tribal and I speak for all.
 
The rest of your post is a kinky religion of sorts. You literally cannot see the forest for the trees.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 1, 2018 - 9:29pm
Ken: Steve Bannon is NOT part of the conservative movement at all.  In fact, before he was on the campaign he was editor of Breitbart.  A website that proudly promotes itself as "the voice of the alt-right" (or at least it did while he was editor).  The alt-right is NOT conservatism.  It is populism.  Conservatism is constitutionalism.
 
Ken. Do a word search for "conservatism", would you please! Please. Because you look like an ignoramus!
 
The word "conservatism" is a French word to describe those in France that defended Throne And Altar!  HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SACRED "constitutionalism!  
 
You are just another dumb stupid American!  American conservatives are idiots!  Creating definitions that apply ONLY to themselves!
Johnny Fever Added Sep 2, 2018 - 5:35am
I’m aware of no legislation by conservatives that would address their stated concerns about bias and the big tech companies.  All you’ve been hearing, Bannon included, is griping. By alerting the public to these biases, prominent conservatives are merely using their right to speak freely and should be encouraged to continue to do so.  In other words, everything you accuse conservatives of in this article is false.  If conservatives did attempt to pass legislation, this article would have some truth.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 2, 2018 - 7:44am
Lindsey: Nobody understands the word "conservative" as to mean conserving a throne.
 
Johnny: The first half of your comment does not contradict what I say and then you follow it with "In other words, everything you accuse conservatives of in this article is false." ?!?
I did not say that Congress is introducing a bill. I referred to the discussion about how to tackle the problem and a law would be a potential solution.
John Howard Added Sep 2, 2018 - 8:43am
B.J.,
I see what you mean. Other than your absurd misuse of the terms tribal, kinky and religion, it's a very impressive response.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 2, 2018 - 8:47am
Goldstein---You are NOT a European. You don't speak for Europeans!  You have absolutely NO connection to Western Culture. 
 
What is the Virtue of Righteousness?  To preserve ancient customs and institutions of one's tribe!  Preserve, Conserve, Conserve, Preserve, same word meaning. 
 
Then, people need to start learning the right meaning of the word conservative!
 
[quote] "the word conservative is not found in his writing. It was coined by his French disciples (such as Chateaubriand, who titled his journal defending clerical and political restoration "Le Conservateur").[/quote] (Etymological meaning)
 
How a bunch of American REVOLUTIONARIES based on the Atheist culturally deconstructionist project, the Enlightenment, can call themselves "conservative" is beyond me. They are deluded. First they deny, deceit, delusion. American "conservatives" are deluded following a dellusion. 
 
Flying Junior Added Sep 3, 2018 - 5:25am
Well fuck you Benjamin.  It's not like I didn't read your article.  I only pointed out that nothing is weaker than letting a RW hate media serve you up your daily talking points.
 
Dam right the U.S. conservative Trump-consumers are weak.
 
They are weaker than sick kittens.
 
Let us all hope with everything that we have that this temporary weakness will be just that.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 3, 2018 - 5:49am
John Howard: Thank you. Yes, I was abusing the words a bit to make a point quickly.
Wheeler: Etymology is not semantics. A hedgehog is neither a hedge nor a hog, a butterfly isn't a fly-shaped piece of butter, and conservatives don't conserve a throne.
FJ: I did not response to your post because I don't know about the wicket caller. But to answer your question. In the Third Reich nobody would have dared to make hostile calls to the newspapers. He would have been sent to concentration camps for "antisocial behavior." The press was under state control and being oppositional to them got you into big trouble.
 
Don Allen Added Sep 3, 2018 - 9:51am
When you say "The most annoying thing is that conservatives don’t see the wider reaching global ramifications," I suggest a companion expression.  "The most annoying thing about liberals is their total self-confidence that whatever they utter is correct and beyond discussion."    
 
This suggests any form of conciliation is beyond hope.  The only chance is that one will fade and die away. It happened to the Soviet Communists, at least for a while.  It happened to the Nazis, at least in Germany. It happened to the Peronists. It happened in Chili with the demise of Pinochet. 
 
Looks like modern politics has become a game of "last man standing."  Machiavelli needs to write a supplement.
John Howard Added Sep 3, 2018 - 10:35am
Don Allen,
 
Also, "having the last word":  I win if I can get him to shut up.
Cullen Kehoe Added Sep 3, 2018 - 9:46pm
I had some trouble following this post. 
 
Does it imply in one paragraph that Internet companies are not government and, thus, not subject to respecting the First Amendment. Then two paragraphs lower say "Private business cannot do whatever they want." 
 
Taking the negatives out...are you not arguing against yourself? Internet companies can do whatever they want but conservatives are stupid because they want private businesses to do whatever they want? Can't the label you give conservatives be directed back at you then (regarding Internet Companies)? 
 
I don't believe Conservatism is against all collectivism. 
 
Here's the thing, the U.S. has always been big. Whenever government takes over something, they have to create a BIG process to manage it. This results in ridiculous elements of paperwork, of process, of individuals who do X regardless of how silly it is. The law says they have to do it. And everyone has seen how inefficient that is at times. 

There are some things the government has to do. Postal service, Armed forces, tax service, diplomacy, law enforcement, fire service, schools. But other things it doesn't have to do. And I think the idea of conservatism is why keep adding to the list of what the government must do if you don't have to? 
 
Also, there is another problem with government in that it tends to become corrupt over time. You can change the leader but as is the case with Trump, sometimes the beast is more powerful than it's head. Do you want a corrupt entity having tentacles into every aspect of your life? At least traditionally in the U.S., it's been broken up into local, state, and federal which keeps the federal government away from your daily life. Many people like it that way. 
Flying Junior Added Sep 4, 2018 - 12:53am
Vergib mir.
John Howard Added Sep 4, 2018 - 10:21am
Mr. Kehoe writes that,
 
"There are some things the government has to do. Postal service, Armed forces, tax service, diplomacy, law enforcement, fire service, schools."
 
I don't propose that we debate that in this thread, but for the record I disagree completely. Especially Orwellian is the idea that taxation is a service. And the most horrific decision Americans ever made was to turn over their own children to the gang of parasites called government for what is euphemistically called "education".
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 4, 2018 - 12:28pm
CK
Does it imply in one paragraph that Internet companies are not government and, thus, not subject to respecting the First Amendment. Then two paragraphs lower say "Private business cannot do whatever they want." 
It says so.
 
Taking the negatives out
What does that mean?
 
are you not arguing against yourself?
No
 
Internet companies can do whatever they want but conservatives are stupid because they want private businesses to do whatever they want?
Yes, they overdo it when it comes to the IT companies. I don't know how to straighten your paragraph. I explained above that no business can do what it wants and IT companies should not be treated with kit gloves.
 
Do you want a corrupt entity having tentacles into every aspect of your life? 
No. I speak of a potential one-liner law that gets everybody freaked out over big government.
 
FJ: Never mind. Thx for reading.
 
JH: Especially Orwellian is the idea that taxation is a service.
A nefarious wording indeed. ;-)
In the UK the mundane tax office has the regal name "Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs."
 
 
John Minehan Added Sep 7, 2018 - 8:24pm
"I don't believe Conservatism is against all collectivism."
 
I think the general consensus is to be in favor of voluntary association, as opposed to compelled collective action.
 
They might not agree with being compelled to join a union but might favor letting those who wanted to form one try to organize like minded people, for example. 

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