I have set myself forth as a “conservative Star Wars scholar,” and I think I have shown what I mean by “Star Wars scholar.” Now I speak on “conservatism.”
The roots of the term go back to the 1800s, when Europe was deciding what to do with kings. Those who wished to keep the governmental system the same (keep the kings) were called conservatives, while those who wanted a change were called liberal.
I am an American conservative, wanting not kings, but a republic. We in the United States have a republic, and so I am a conservative. I like what we have.
But conservatism in America has taken on a bit more meaning. Conservatives, as I have found, generally favor a multifaceted society, with different structures to handle different tasks. Business to produce, Philanthropy to care for the poor, Government to protect rights, etc. The other major ideology is Progressivism (often mistakenly called Liberalism) which seeks to form a society in which Government is the overlord, as it were, of the other social constructs. They believe that social ills can be made illegal. Prohibition, as well as the policies of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, are good examples. I (a conservative) do not believe this to be true. History backs me up to a great extent.
As I have mentioned, Government is there to protect Rights. But what are Rights. That is the question that has been asked every time a person has devised a government. As I see it, rights are as follows:
- A person has a right to themselves, their time, health, and liberty.
- A person has a right to their ideas, to express such ideas, act upon such ideas in such a way that does not inevitably impinge on another’s right to themselves. This right also makes immoral plagiarism and other intellectual property theft.
- A person has a right to that which he has worked for insomuch as the above rights are not infringed
- A person has a right to their own legacy, as is expressed in the ideals and property passed onto their children.
- A person has a right to be justly treated under the law, with no law crafted to abet one party while abasing another. A person charged with crime is to be given due process.
There. Five things, free to be had. Those are rights. As a conservative, I believe that the only proper governmental function is to protect those rights. That is what I mean by “Conservatism.”