by Hénock Gugsa
Perhaps the question should be: What is true conservatism?
At present, what goes for conservatism is only a splintered, loud, and maniacal devotion to "moral authoritarianism." There is also the hypocrisy of adopting JFK' s "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" mantra as a conservative ideal. In reality, we have seen how a great many of the privileged have avoided military duty while others less fortunate served and died for their country.
According to the late William F Buckley, Jr., true conservatism is not sponsorship of the utter destruction of establishments, but of their reform. Buckley, a true conservative, believed in "hierarchy, tradition, and authority, but not personal revelation. " The latter is a direct reference to moral authoritarianism which evangelical groups espouse. And another point ... Buckley also did not believe in a "Wilsonian crusade ... of fighting wars to create peace." Our recent preemptive wars are, therefore, just manifestations of "bellicosity". They are, furthermore, delusional.
Other aspects of conservatism can be gathered from George F Will. According to Mr. Will, conservatism is about "freedom", which readily accepts inequalities of outcome. Conservatives would prefer the market place to have the upper hand in "allocating wealth and opportunity." There is a sense of Darwinistic determinism to the conservative political establishment. It is opposed to any form of "authoritarian" intervention to force equality of opportunity.
Most importantly, true conservatives believe that, "...excessively benevolent government is not a benefactor, ...capitalism does not merely make people better off, it makes them better."