I am of the persuasion that there is no such thing as conservatism. I mean this based on the simplest sense of the word, which is the commitment to the “conservation” of traditional values.
Unlike many intellectuals, I do believe, at least for now, that the totality of human history* is teleological. By this, I mean that human history is a dialectical process which is moving towards a certain, fixed direction. This implies that human history, in essence, never repeats itself.
As a result, while universal values and virtues may appear similar in form, they are never constituted by the same substance at any given point in time. Such description also goes for traditional, conservative values. Conservative values may not be conserved if they do not exist to begin with.
This is because as we move forward and advance, so does knowledge. And this ever-changing knowledge will always inform our collective consciousness that drives human history.
As Heraclitus said, “You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on.”
But let me be clear that by no means am I saying that the views of those people who label themselves as conservatives are invalid. In fact, I personally agree and subscribe to many of them. That is definitely not the point. I am basically just saying that maybe the use of the term conservative to describe their ideas is inaccurate.
Anyway, this thinking could have several implications. For starters, the good news is we will never see another Hitler. The bad news, we might see the emergence of something worse, and they could emanate from an unexpected camp.
But let me save a more elaborate discussion on this for another post because I need to wash my ass now.
* While the totality of human history may appear to be linear based on this view, our individual perception of history (or history on a subjective level), which is informed by our personal experiences, is nonlinear in that our present could retroactively inform our past, giving us “more” freedom to decide which causes will determine our future.