If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve witnessed me going through a number of journeys. A music journey, a personal journey, a political journey, a spiritual journey, and so on. I’ve covered important books, funny conspiracy theories, biased news, and a whole range of other topics. I’ve shared stories from my own life, my thoughts and predictions, memes, you name it.
For quite a while I’ve been contemplating my own definition or my own take on what it means to actually be a conservative.
First of all: what does the word conservative mean?
According to a quick Goggle search it means the following:
- averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.
- (in a political context) favouring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.
The first definition makes it sound like creativity and conservatism are incompatible, that you would somehow burn your phone and declare war on silicon valley, moving into a cave somewhere. The second one is also of interest. What if I decided to barter? Would bartering exclude me from being a conservative? Or what about non-governmental voluntary redistribution of wealth on a small limited scale? Would that also exclude me from the conservative label?
If people were to ask me about conservatism what springs into my mind are these things in the following order:
- Heritage: population groups, family trees, buildings, artworks, stories, history, languages, museums, music, flags, food, etc;
- The environment: plastic, emballage, air pollution, food pollution, water pollution, deforestation, extinction, honey bees, etc;
- God: a proper religious alignment and a realisation that humans are not at the centre of the universe in terms of importance. We are not God, we are bellow God striving to be better. This could in theory be lumped into the first category, but that wouldn’t ring true for Scandinavian Christians, South American Muslims, or African Jews. If you acknowledge the world of spirit and choose to live your life in accordance with such things (regardless of religion or spiritual tradition) it is a major deviance from “secularism” or “atheism” where you would deny the existence of the other worldly (in most cases). You would probably deem it irrational due to lack of tangible evidence and credit any religious feelings to “severe superstitions.” Any stories of supernatural phenomenons would be dismissed as manifestations of mental disorders or sensationalism in order to attract attention. Those who hate religion hate it with feverous passion and would probably be very happy to stomp it out permanently.
To me this list makes sense because it all boils down to the act of conservation. You don’t want your natural habitat to be destroyed, nor do you want the cultural markers of your group to be eviscerated. You acknowledge the world of spirit, following in the footsteps of countless ancestors, rather than declaring yourself (or any other human) for God.
I think a great number of people would disagree however with my list since declaring oneself a conservative seems to mean that your core value is money worship in this day and age. I however disagree with this notion.
If you are a Christian, for example, you must be well-aware of how money-worship is not supposed to be the focal point of your existence. Sharing equally with your brothers and sisters in Christ is an overarching theme….
In terms of freedom, a much cherished value on the conservative side, I have this to say:
You genuinely owning your own property makes you empowered. If you don’t want your house to be confiscated by the bank or the government, you would not only have to own your own land, but you would also need the ability to defend your land.
You owning the means of production would also make you empowered in terms of your own business. Under all other circumstances you are not.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle would also empower you. Owning your own farm, being energy independent, owning your own water, would put you on top of your own pyramid. No water bills to pay, no electricity bills to pay, no antibiotics or poisonous chemicals in your steak, etc;
The issue is exploitation and insatiable greed. It is currently impossible to not be somehow complicit in the global abuse of labour. Everyone has to make money somehow, the question is whether you will build someone else’s dream or your own.
If you choose to construct something for yourself you’ll have to have quite a start capital in order to be truly “in control.” In most cases you won’t, which means that you’ll depend on infrastructure controlled by others. Even if you were to be perfectly empowered, monopolies could potentially squeeze you out of business in the long run. When huge companies create a habit in people where they get used to franchise merchandise costing close to nothing, it will force other lesser known “brands” to lower their prices due to the expectations that have been implanted into the heads of consumers.
This in turn fuels “wage slavery” and “sweat shops” regardless of whether or not the merchandise features the face of an outspoken celebrity vehemently opposed to such activities. Unless you control the means of production, you control nothing.
Consumers in turn might think that they have a million options when all of the different roads are essentially controlled by the exact same people. I guess the key is to create the illusion of diversity, with few corporations gaining massively on people’s innate tribalism: like record labels.
“Hip Hop stinks” or “my artist is 10X better than your artist” are manifestations of tribalism regardless of whether or not it all comes down the same conveyor belt.
Those who are smart would make a profit of those on the left and those on the right, arm tribe A and tribe B, offer high-end products to the wealthy while simultaneously selling low-end products to the poor.
Most wouldn’t be able to do this however, so trying to empower oneself on a small-scale is in most cases a challenge great enough.
If you choose to grow your own produce you are indeed empowering yourself in addition to helping the planet. Not only will you get vegetables free from poisonous pesticides, they will also be plastic-free, transport-free, more nutritious, tastier and cheaper. Ironically enough you’ll not be growing the economy if you end up being self-sufficient in terms of your greens.
Likewise if you were to ask a relative to help you with something it would amount to an exchange of favours, hopefully beneficial to both parties. Much of “running-a-family” falls into the category of bartering. One member will handle one task, another member another task, and so on and so on, depending on how big the household is. This will also fail to grow the economy since you are not hiring outside help.
It will be cheaper for you to keep things inside the family, but in terms of “the economy” it would be much better if every single interaction you had throughout your life was based on nothing but financial transactions. The ultimate extreme-capitalist Utopia would be one where there was a charge for everything and no human relations came free of charge.
This sounds cold and “inhuman.” Another variation of extreme-capitalist Utopia could be one where no workers are needed and the working class is permanently removed. No one will probably write or say these type of things in the mainstream media for the simple reason that if thousands or millions of people figured out that their replacement and eventual removal was the end-game of technological automation there is a danger that they might attempt to “kill the machine” right now. There is no justification for keeping excessive hordes of people around on a planet with limited resources but for now you are not supposed to dwell on that fact. What if you were to rebel?
It is virtually impossible to not spend money or cost money if you are simply alive.
Let’s say that you were to spend your entire day in your house. Bedridden.
This uninspiring activity would still cost you.
Going to the toilet is not free.
Drinking out of the tap: not free.
Flushing the toilet: not free.
Keeping food in your fridge, even if you choose not to eat anything: not free.
A cup of tea: not free.
Turning on the light: not free.
Charging your phone: not free.
Wifi: not free.
Even laying in a house half-dead isn’t free since you’ll be charged for the luxury of having a roof over your head in one way or another. Even if you are co-living with others there might be other expenses or activities that you are contributing to. So no, dying a slow death in your bed will still cost you and in most cases if you don’t pay up you’ll be kicked out of your bed. So is the bed ever really yours? Probably not.
None of this sounds like freedom because none of it is.
If anything it sounds like a great pitch for family values, because if everything costs and freedom is unobtainable you can at least share the burden and the struggle with your own tribe. This would probably make everyone’s life way better than everyone being atomised and on their own. In theory it would enhance your tribe’s survival chances since these are greatly reduced if you are one lone person.
If you collect rainwater and have access to your own water well you will be empowered.
If you somehow create your own plumbing and sewage system, you will be in charge.
If you can create your own energy, you will not be subservient.
If you can produce some or all of your own food you will be your own master.
If obtaining freedom is of importance to you it will be imperative to become independent from both private businesses and government institutions.
Only then will you be free to sit in your own house without anyone billing you regardless of your own productivity.
Only then will you be free…
….but you will still not be free from God.