PhilAgre on what it is : http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html
Reading Edmund Burke Shows That Conservatism Is All About Defending Traditional Hierarchies :
Writing in the late 18th century, EdmundBurke founded modern conservatism by convening an ideological coalition between the aristocracy and church – traditional social elites who wished to conserve a static social order of deference and authority – and the emergent merchant class – who wished to encourage a dynamic social order of commerce. Burke's project was not universally embraced in its day – far from it. But it has not disappeared, and it is currently the ascendent political movement in the United States. Like any coalition, the conservative coalition is not entirely stable. The interface between the dynamic and static components of its ideology must be constantly reworked and constantly smoothed over. Some of Burke's followers emphasize his themes of liberty; others his themes of order; and sometimes the themes are combined in ways that downplay their intrinsic tension. In any event, the point is that the explanatory schemata of hierarchy and self-organization are not always at war. Their relationship is complex and variable. Both schemata are woven throughout Western culture, and both are capable of coming to the surface in a wide variety of ways when conditions are right.
See TheArchitectureOfComplexity (worth reading in a political context)
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
Basically "conservatism" is just along the tribalism continuum.
Proposal for a post neo-con, big government conservatism, post-Bush : http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/312korit.asp
Is this like OneNationTory?
- Conservatives and diversity : http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/article/heykidsequalityortrillingandkirkdothediversitydosey_do/
BradDeLong calls for "smart" conservatives : http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/12/whereohwhere_.html
Quora Answer : Non-conservatives: Are there any Conservative thinkers/philosophers/writers that you admire and/or have a certain degree of respect for?
I think Burke's basic insight ... that you should make changes slowly, pragmatically, paying attention to their effects ... not rush out in revolutionary fervour and smash things up without having grown the alternative to put in their place, is 100% correct. We shouldn't be reckless with society and its institutions.
If that's all Conservatism was, then I'd be in favour of it. It's when that becomes an excuse for NEVER making changes and improvements in society that it becomes obnoxious.
I'm a follower of Karl Popper. I describe myself as a Critical Rationalist. Popper is usually claimed by the right as one of theirs, because of his strong anti-Marxism. (Though I believe he described himself as a social democrat) Once again, its about respect for evidence, pragmatic evolution and piecemeal social engineering.
Of course, as a software developer I believe iterative / agile development methodologies are actually a faster way to get where you really need to go than Big Upfront Design and waterfalls. So there's not much contradiction. I'm an extreme-left, radical progressive, and I think that constant forward motion in small increments with continual feedback and correction is going to get us to the glorious future FASTER than making huge bets, big mistakes and suffering counter-revolutionary setbacks.