Conservatism on Patriarchal Control of Family & State

“In order to keep the state out of the hands of the people, it is necessary to keep the family out of the hands of women and children”
—Louis de Bonald, French counterrevolutionary

Conservative End of History Rhetoric

Conservative argumentation strategy shifts, depending on the achieved distribution of hegemony and the degree to which conservatives and liberals are coalescing around shared interest (absolute private property right). Conservatives insist that inegalitarian institutions should not be altered to alter dispositions, for example in the contrarian conservative argument that badness births goodness. Smith took Mandeville’s broad conservative Fable of the Bees argument, that vice produces social benefits, and specified that individual economic self-interest is transformed by the market into aggregate social benefit. The conservative argument here is that it doesn’t matter if the origins and micro-components of society are brutal, random, and irrational. They make a system, and that’s good for everyone.

Conservatives reject distributed (non-elite) sovereign agency for human development tout court, though non-elites may have delegated agency, often as exclusive culpability and physical mobility, see Hobbes.

When there’s still a hegemonic contest between aristocrats and democrats, conservative argumentation declares that history is always over, and everything is fixed and polar for all time—social winners are superhuman embodiments of True human virtue and social losers are the subhuman embodiments of humanity’s flaws; other thoughts are unreasonable. Nietzsche argued, from within a contested hegemonic position, that we can see traces of social contestation in language, but that encoded contestation just muddies thought. It would be better, more philosophical, if there were not ongoing social conflict over the distribution of social power and instead everyone just recognized, and codified in language, once and for all that the decisionism of the social victors (the elite) is wholly good and losers are wholly bad for all time. Then we would at last know True reason, defined as representation of an anti-comparative, ahistorical, elite-perspective logical discursive structure, Thomas Friedman’s flat Earth. Similarly, Burke argued that the only social contract or responsibility people (non-philosophers) have is to continue to hoe the social, political and economic furrows laid down in the past. Burke declared that based on this, the people of England renounced democracy for all time.

In his comparative examination of Oakeshott, Strauss, Schmitt & Hayek, P. Anderson (2005) sociologically indicates that within inegalitarian parameters as above (see also Corey Robin’s 2011 political science theory analysis), pillars of conservative theory slightly vary by geography, regional class relations (not just relations over time, in historical moment).


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