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Conservatism is the ultimate opposition to progress.

A reactionary stance to change limits the potential for progress more than a proactive stance. An example (although not the centre of the argument) being drugs: being reactive i.e placing laws and trying to force the problem backwards wouldn't work as well as allowing the use of drugs within reason and with reasonable restrictions as this would eliminate a source of funding for many of the world's gangs and ultimately increase global security. (Again this example shouldn't be the main focus of the argument/idea)

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    Dec 13 2012: In a debate all Argument must be based on premises which support a conclusion. You start with a conclusion but offer no premises to support it. Your conclusion, which is a sweeping generalization (a fallacy of Logic), insists that the ultimate (greatest or highest possible) opposition to progress is rooted in Conservative political doctrine.
    Thus you are proposing that Conservatives consistently and habitually stand against the development of superior, more beneficial methods of governmental, and social functioning. Maybe your first premise is: "Conservatives oppose progress." I cannot find a second, necessary, premise. Then your unsupported conclusion claims nothing is more prohibitive of progress than Conservatives. If you wish to broadcast your opinion you should post in TED Ideas. If you want to make a formal, logical Argument, aka a Debate, you must do your homework, and you must expect to be held accountable for your conclusion(s). By the way, I am a typical Conservative and I strongly support progress.
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    Gail .

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    Dec 19 2012: The word "conservativism" has many meanings. There is a large vocal group that thinks it means christian values and strong nationalism. (Facism) There is another large but not vocal group that thinks it means fiscal economy and social liberalism. (Libertarian)

    Conservatism has traditionally gone with the second group, but the Tea Party types (1st group) have hijacked it in the last 20 years, so now conservatism is expressed with hate, fear, and anger and suppression of rights. Now there is great discord within the movement. With this discord have come others who define conservatism even differently.

    If the "conservatives" who fear legalizing drugs would simply study the history of abolition, they would see that we have created the exact same circumstances that abolition created, and those social problems actually forced the repeal of abolition. Today we simply spend more money that we don't have to make the problem worse. So now, we have drug abolition that is not constitutional and functionally uneducated zealots demanding that we continue what has been proven to not work - all in the name of conservatism.

    They want to violate the constitution in order to save it. Go figure! But that's the theocratic part of that which is falsely seen as a movement. How can it be a movement when so many believe it to be very different things.
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    Dec 13 2012: I prefer to think of conservatism as being the ultimate don't throw the baby out with the bath water philosophy.

    The old school definition of liberal would align with the founders of this country and modern day conservatives.
    • Dec 13 2012: I'm not from the US, explain?
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        Dec 13 2012: It means keep the things that work.
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    Dec 12 2012: How about narrow-mindedness? Not considering options, perhaps because of who put them forward, would be a major factor interfering with progress. (By "progress" I understand you specifically to mean positive change).
  • Dec 12 2012: I really hate your use of words.

    The ultimate opposition to progress might be violent revolution or terrorism; perhaps the bombing of progressive universities and think tanks. In comparison, conservatism is a mild response to progress.

    And what do you mean by progress? Your statement precludes any possibility of progress in the conservative cause.

    Conservatism is certainly not the ultimate opposition to progress. It is a different view of how to conduct public affairs. If you consider conservatism as the enemy, it would be a better use of your time to learn about it and understand it, rather than using this forum to write a wild statement demeaning it.

    We all want progress. We want everything to progress the way we think it should.
    • Dec 13 2012: I fully understand the concepts, it is a topic for discussion, not some trolling comment or even my actual view. Present an argument rather than bashing the question.
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    Dec 14 2012: Change is desirable. There are times when change is expedient and even wise. But change just for the sake of it, is foolish.
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    Dec 14 2012: It depends on what kind of progress, if you mean it as advancement then conservatism is half the reason why we actually progress and not go off in some path that is not advancement. Without conservatism progress is rampant.
  • Dec 13 2012: Narrow mindedness certainly but I would assert that being reactionary (that is, to try and force the problem backwards) is more inhibiting than being proactive: moving the goalposts so that the problem is no longer a problem.
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    Dec 13 2012: Mike I see you have not posted a bio ..... where are you from so that we could discuss specifics.

    Why have you decided that this must be a good versus evil issue. Mike do you really think that if some drugs are made legal that it will stop illegal drugs from entering a country?

    Here are definations from the web:

    American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, "the rule of law and the Christian religion", and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments

    American liberal causes include voting rights for African Americans, abortion rights for women, gay rights and government entitlements such as education and health care. Modern liberalism stands in opposition to Conservatism in the United States on most issues, but its relationship to progressivism is debated. Keynesian economic theory has played a central role in the economic philosophy of modern American liberals. The argument has been that national prosperity requires government management of the macroeconomy, to keep unemployment low, inflation in check, and growth high.

    So once again what is evil about one and good about the other. Of particular importance is the reference to Keynesian economic theory with emphasis on "government management" .... You also need to read on Ben Berneke and his application of this theory while at the Fed

    Mike it makes no difference if you are a conservative, liberal, or (like me) a independent .... a political and economic train wreck looks the same.
    • Dec 13 2012: I haven't posted a bio for a good reason which is that people will automatically make assumptions as to what I think or what my level of knowledge is which irritates me when those who do that judgement can rarely make coherrant argument themselves
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    Dec 12 2012: .
    Conservatism itself is ultimately an argument of
    'I want to enact policies that I think should work in the illusionary world I like to choose to live in, rather than what does work in the actual world';
    A clinging to old-school principals that didn't work or in some cases never even existed during the time period the conservatives cling to (the illegality of cannabis or the nuclear family, for example) .

    This is why the concepts of 'Abstinence over sexual education' and the 'war on drugs', de-regulation, trickledown economics (among others) continue to be major talking points for conservatives and/or continued multi-billion dollar policies despite all evidence demonstrating that neither work and ultimately do more harm (or simply waste our money) than good.

    This leads to the observable bias, lying, skewing and logically fallacious reasoning that we see both in the right-wing media and our supossed representatives, something which SHOULD lead to a revoking of their ability to practice in said careers/roles/outlets.

    I would say that conservatism is without a doubt the ultimate opposition to progress and holds us back as a people. When in a group, we don't allow the least qualified, the idiots, those in denial or the liars to decide how we progress, so why allow it with politics..
    The first 55 seconds for a quick rundown on the mentality of the people in question.
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      Dec 12 2012: Xavier, I must have missed something .... Could you tell me what you think .... this time without the sugar coating .... I'm not sure where you stand.