Home > Philosophy, Politics > Taking the Ideo out of Ideology?

Taking the Ideo out of Ideology?

Is the defining characteristic of American conservatism the belief in a tangible common enemy?

Communists, hippies, homosexuals, middle easterners, immigrants… ask a conservative what the challenges are that America is facing, and it is only a matter of time before one the aforementioned comes up. Ask some liberals the same question, and you might get “Republicans” as an answer, but most likely you will hear about the environment, ending the wars, and social equality.

In my mind, liberalism has primarily been driven by new ideas.

President Lincoln wrote that  conservatism is “the adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried.” In other words, no new ideas.

I don’t consider myself a conservative or liberal, but a scientist. And as a scientist, I believe in experimentation and the subsequential growth of knowledge within a society that comes from experimentation. This is an inherently progressive process. If Albert Einstein had never dared to attempt something “new and untried” because Isaac Newton’s version of classical physics was old and tested, we would have a very incomplete understanding of the universe and existence.

Categories: Philosophy, Politics
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