Conservativism and Fear…

Ideologies, I think, are based on positive and negative emotions. Marxism is based on optimism and anger: optimism for a bright egalitarian future and anger towards those who are held to stand against it. Conservatism is based on love and fear: love of what one has, or has had, and fear of its destruction. For obvious reasons conservatives emphasise the former but the latter always lurks in the conservative subconscious or they would be more amenable to ideas for change. A critical analyst might reduce this fear to a hoarding of power and wealth and doubtless this has been and will continue to be true for some people. Nonetheless, I think there can be darker fears in the minds of some. Indeed, I know this to be true because they are in mine: not simply fear of tax hikes and traffic regulations but of broken homes, decaying cultures, shattered economies, environmental devastation, social conflict, epidemics, tyrants and the end of civilisation. This might seem paranoid and, indeed, it often is. The advantage that conservative fear has over Marxist optimism, however, is that humanity, for all of its efforts, has never reached a bright egalitarian future while it has spent thousands of years occupied in bloody, famished struggle.

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About bsixsmith

I am a writer of stories and poems - published by Every Day Fiction, The London Journal of Fiction, 365 Tomorrows and Det Poetiske Bureau - and a columnist for Quillette, Areo and Bombs & Dollars.
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