The Virtue And Weakness Of Conservatism


Conservatisms greatest strength, as well as its most important defining principle, can also unfortunately be its Achilles Heel. The very foundation on which true-conservatism is built and rooted in, and that from which it draws its inherent strength and virtue, can at the same time be its greatest vulnerability and weakness. This weakness and vulnerability can greatly cripple conservatisms ability to successfully wage the political and cultural wars that are being fought against progressivism today in post-modern America, and at the same time can also be a threat to conservatism and liberty’s very survival. The weakness which I am referring to, is true-conservatism’s unwavering belief in the power and inalienable rights of the individual, or simply the concept of individualism as a whole.

The Strength And Virtue Of Conservatism

Inspired by the philosophical and political ideals of the Age of Enlightenment, as well as the classical-liberal tradition, true-conservatism is the fundamental belief in the power of individual. At its core, true-conservatism is an appreciation and protection of the individual, as well as the protection of individual rights, liberty, and property. Along with this spirit of individualism, is also the steadfast belief in personal responsibility, accountability, merit, and self-determination, all of which are critically necessary for the healthy functioning of a free and civil society.

Conservatism is therefore the belief in the free individual, free in his inalienable rights, free in his inherent liberty, free in his will, and free from unnecessary or punitive government intervention, with equal protection under the law. A free society, comprised of free individuals, may not always be fair or equal in outcomes, but it allows for a man to chart his own destiny upon his own ambition, abilities, and merits, with the knowledge that he is free from government oppression. The free individual, pursuing his own self-interests, according to his own merits, and accountable for himself, the rule of law, and to the civil society and civic virtues, is the absolute cornerstone of liberty. As such, the free individual is the smallest and most basic unit of any free society.

Due to the fundamental importance that conservatism places on the individual, it is no surprise that conservatism as a philosophy can be as varied as the individual himself. Although conservatism is about teaching and respecting certain basic philosophical principles, it does not require the cult like indoctrination or the mandatory and practically total submission and acceptance of ideological dogma that progressivism does. Conservatism teaches and respects certain fundamental principles, but it is also a philosophy that is open to debate, discourse, and a variety of differing ideas on various policies or issues.

Conservatism can therefore encompass a wide and diverse range of camps or schools of thought, along with limitless individual influences and variations on each, with no one right or wrong answer on the matter. Conservatives can respectfully agree to disagree. True-conservatism is therefore not about forcing or indoctrinating people to accept its principles, it is about teaching, guiding, and explaining to people that liberty and individualism is the better choice and path. Conservatism is inherently opposed to the intimidation, threats, coercion, and silencing of debate and opposition, like that which we see on the left.

Conservatism, by its very nature, is also non-systemic. True-conservatism is generally not eager or seeking to legislate or expand the government and system in order to solve issues, but rather is looking to decrease and de-regulate it, in order to further promote individualism and liberty. On that same token, contrary to popular belief, conservatism is actually far less concerned and focused on economics as it is with promoting and protecting individual liberty. It just so happens that free-market and conservative economic principles and solutions—imagine that—are the ones most conducive towards protecting individual liberty, limiting government, and ensuring a free society.

Lastly, conservatism is a philosophy grounded in reason, logic, realism, fundamental and natural truths, historic fact, and empirical evidence, facts, and data. Leftism, on the other hand, requires none of these things, and in reality is quite outwardly opposed and hostile to them. Leftism is grounded solely in the desire to promote whatever narrative suits their purpose at the moment, or that which is required to achieve their end goals. These narratives are generally devoid of any actual facts or data, and driven solely by emotion and their Machiavellian ends.

I intend to go into far more detail in a later article about the nature and philosophy of conservatism, so stay tuned.

Modern Leftism Is The Absolute Opposite

So then if conservatism is the philosophy of protecting the individual and individualism, than modern leftism is its polar opposite. It is everything that true-conservatism is not. Leftism—an umbrella term in this case for the liberal, progressive, Marxist, cultural Marxist, socialist agenda—is a totalitarian, collectivist movement, totally reliant on group-think, mob mentality, identity politics, victimization, government dependency, and the total devotion and submission of mindless indoctrinated sheep. Progressivism is the cultural and social apparatus of the power elite’s Marxist political agenda, and is comprised of useful idiots, bleeding hearts, social justice warriors, feminists, and all other manner of misguided malcontents seeking validation from the herd. They are nothing more than pawns in an authoritarian political master plan.

As the cultural and social apparatus of Marxism, progressivism is the key driving force—whether those involved know it or not—behind the establishment of the centralized authoritarian state. As such, progressivism is purposefully about the group and collective identity over that of the individual. It is about the needs, concerns, and best interests of the group, over that of the individual, quite often at the expense of the individual. Instead of a belief in personal responsibility and merit, progressivism is a false belief in “equality”, “fairness”, “compassion”, and the perpetual victimization of various identity groups and “protected classes”. Rather than concern themselves with respecting the inherent rights of the individual, progressives care only about the benefits and entitlements to which they believe various groups are owed by the state, once again, often at the expense of the individual. Furthermore, progressivism is the undying faith in the power of the centrally planned state to manage and solve all problems over that of the liberty of the individual.

Progressivism also requires the absolute unity of thought and message. Since it is a collectivist movement, progressivism draws its strength from this repeating of the massed message. This unity of thought and message is achieved through educational indoctrination, media and cultural propaganda, and identity politics. Progressivism is also more than willing to ensure that the content and narrative of the message is whatever they need it to be at that moment, facts be damned. Grounded in their belief that the “ends justifies the means”, and the knowledge that the schools, colleges, media, and pop-culture will promote any false narrative they choose, progressives can be as unscrupulous as they please in the tactics that they use.

Conservatism—as I have discussed above—grounded in the principles of individualism and debate, does not require this totalitarian unity of thought, nor does it promote or require the collectivist mob mentality, or the identity politics of dividing and labeling people into various groups or blocs. And therein lies the problem. That is unfortunately the problem and weakness of conservatism in the face of current cultural and political wars. It is the individual versus the mob.

The Weakness Of Conservatism, And The Power Of The Mob

Progressivism inherently requires the group dynamic, because progressivism is far more than just a political or philosophical ideology, it is a collectivist movement with an authoritarian agenda. Better yet then, progressivism is the group dynamic, it is the mob. As such, it draws its strength from the group, from mass numbers, and from the mob. Although the movement may be comprised of various different sub-movements, with different activists and social justice warriors advocating for various causes, progressivism has an innate ability to unite sometimes disparate groups under the mass message and umbrella of progressivism.

This is because progressivism, cultural Marxism, and liberalism, on top of being a mob, is nothing more than totalitarianesque group-think, and a cult like “hive” mentality. The progressive movement as a whole is structured as to where the power elites, leaders, academics, and financiers can set the agenda, cause or protest de jour, or narrative, knowing full well that a mob of mindless, indoctrinated, useful idiot sheep stand ready to crawl out of the wood work at a moment’s notice to spread the message and propaganda, or to provide whatever functional actions may be required at the time. The mob is always willing and able to “carry the water” so to speak for the academic and political leaders of the left. Like a hive of bees or a colony of ants, the progressive horde takes their marching orders from the top, yet each “worker bee” also instinctively knows their roles and duties when it comes to swarming, attacking, or protecting the hive.

This hive mentality is especially obvious and visible during any large scale protest, rally, or march, where regardless of the cause—anti-police rally, occupy Wall Street, anti-war protest, anti-conservative rally, etc—a mob of progressive activists, social justice warriors, and opportunists are ready at a moment’s notice to swarm the streets to create havoc, often instinctively without direct orders. Yet it can often be much more subtle than that. While the group-think hive does often take their orders directly from the so-called “leaders” of the progressive movement, the average liberal, driven by indoctrination, instinct, and the inherent need to defend the hive, is still able to instinctively swarm to the defense or furtherance of progressivism on their own initiative.

Whether it is on an internet message board or blog, or a college campus, a swarm of likeminded liberals stand ready to instinctively swarm to the cause. It does not matter whether it is an individual liberal, a small group of liberals, or a large protest mob, they are all driven by the same hive mind mentality, spouting the same indoctrinated platitudes and propaganda, instinctively ready to do what they must to advance the cause. There is no individuality in thought, beliefs, or action, only the hive and mob.

There have been many studies, and much research done, about the power and dangers of mob mentality and group-think, as well as the power and influence that the system, the situation, and authority can have over the individual. I have already discussed this topic before in detail, and I plan to again in a future article, so therefore I am not going to go into too much extensive detail here. However, if one is to be academically honest, it is impossible to deny that progressivism is the cultural and systemic equivalent to group-think, hive mind, and mob mentality—due to its very nature of collectivism, identity politics, and group victimization mentality—and therefore inherently possess the same powers and dangers of an out of control mob.

So then why is the progressive mob or hive so powerful and dangerous? Simply put, there is safety in numbers. The radicals, activists, social justice warriors, and malcontents are already in, but there is always going to be a natural temptation for the less “die-hard” people to become a part of something that is perceived as culturally popular, cool, and larger than themselves. It also doesn’t hurt that aside from the “popular” angle, progressivism has also been successful at indoctrinating and portraying itself as a noble, compassionate, and benevolent force, while at the same time successfully painting conservativism and conservatives as evil, racist, xenophobic, or pick the slur of your choosing. So, between the perceptions of popularity, culture, and false benevolence, the progressive mob has been quite successful at increasing its ranks. The vulnerability of the individual and self-interest to identity politics, victimization, and group-think cannot be overstated.

Once securely within the mob, and successfully indoctrinated into the hive group-think, changes begin to occur in a person. They begin to no longer see themselves as an individual—like conservatives do—and they begin to take on the group identity. This concept is especially prevalent in the progressive tactics of identity politics, and the breaking of people down into victimized protected classes. The process of losing your individual identity to the group or mob is called deindividuation, and it is the cornerstone of collectivist progressivism. After that occurs, group identity and thought replaces self-interest, and anonymity emboldens mob behavior.

And so, the mob continues to grow. Feeding off the vulnerable, enticing the willing and the malcontented, and convincing the weak that they are helpless without it, the mob continues to grow. The weakness of conservatism is that it is the separate individuals against the mob.


For true-conservatives, the power lies in the individual, not the group, horde, or mob. The guiding principles are those which promote and protect individual rights and liberty, not sacrificing them in the name of the collective. In conservatism, there are fundamental truths and principles, but there is no top down message or talking points to follow, there is no mandatory party approved doctrine, and there is no cult like submission. There is only the diversity in thought of the individual. Only free individuals can comprise a free society. Yet this is the weakness of conservatism.

There is power, temptation, and comfort in absolving ones individuality in place of the mob. Individuals are susceptible to the siren song of victimization, identity politics, and the collective group identity. Progressivism is nothing more than the group and collective identity, and they prey upon the individual. So while conservativism is about protecting the individual, progressivism is about absorbing him. This group dynamic creates a mob, and a hive mind of indoctrinated sheep, all uniformly toeing the line, ready to advance the cause at any given moment.

In a culture war for the minds and culture of the people, the weakness of conservatism comes down to a battle between individuals guided by principles, standing against an army of interchangeable zombies guided by indoctrination, group identity, and hive mind group-think, ready and willing to use whatever means necessary to advance their cause.

© 2015 By AB Nihilist, All Rights Reserved

Read More: Conservatism, Progressivism, And Rights



This entry was posted in Culture, Society, And Political Theory. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.