Portal:Conservatism

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Introduction

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more traditional elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution, but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s.

According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself".

Selected article

John A. Macdonald

Antonin Gregory Scalia (1936-2016) was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia was the Senior Associate Justice. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia had been described as the intellectual anchor of the Court's conservative wing.

In his quarter-century on the Court, Scalia had staked out a conservative ideology in his opinions, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation. He was a strong defender of the powers of the executive branch, believing presidential power should be paramount in many areas. He opposed affirmative action and other policies that treat minorities as groups. He filed separate opinions in large numbers of cases, and, in his minority opinions, often castigated the Court's majority in scathing language.

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Conservative: One who admires radicals a century after they're dead.

— Leo Rosten, in R.L. Woods's The Modern Handbook of Humor (1967)

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Churchill V sign HU 55521.jpg

On January 14, 1941, Victor de Laveleye, former Belgian Minister of Justice and director of the Belgian French-speaking broadcasts on the BBC (1940–1944), suggested in a broadcast that Belgians use a V for victoire (French: “victory”) and vrijheid (Dutch: "freedom") as a rallying emblem during World War II. By July 1941, the emblematic use of the letter V had spread through occupied Europe, and on July 19, Winston Churchill put the British government’s stamp of approval on the V for Victory campaign in a speech, from which point he started using the V hand sign.

Credit: G-Man

Did you know...

  • ... that Eugène Olaussen, a one-time personal acquaintance of Lenin, shifted views and wrote in Nazi publications during WWII?

Selected anniversaries in August

18th
29th


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