Statement # 22
"“… Hold fast that which is good "
On the new conservatism in the Netherlands
After the pull to the right in the Netherlands, and already before, people with conservative opinions saw their chance to step forward. Whereas before ‘conservative’ was equal to ‘not good’, now ‘the new conservatism’, or also known as ‘neo-conservatism’, was launched with great enthusiasm.
What are then the ideas of this new conservatism?
Do they demand any kind of Counter Weight, and if yes, what kind?
Conservatism and neo-conservatism appear in difference shapes and sizes. What is
(neo)conservative to one is not so to another. Also the words and concepts that are used in relation to this in Dutch have a completely different meaning from from Anglophone countries, especially the US.
A survey of the diverse ideas results in an aversion and a preference. The aversion concerns the American fundamentalist-Christian conservatism, though also the fundamentalist-Islamic conservatism. The preference goes to the
critical conservatism. This appears to exist as well.
Critical conservatives do not attach a certain belief or opinion to this. They research what is attached to old and new opinions and then keep themselves to the wisdom of the apostle Paul:
“Prove all things and hold fast that which is good”
It is only meaningful to listen to ‘the conservatives’, as far as these are critical, ‘worldly’ and conserving (and thus not reactionary).
The jump we must make is that we accept that man is emancipated and has become autonomous. We must not reverse this, but use it. Therefore it can be of no harm to at times look back to the valuable things that the history of our culture has delivered to date. That can very well compensate for the inadequacies in our current culture; the culture of the dissatisfied, spoiled, consuming and zapping citizen.
We may compensate for the present individualism by looking more to the communal, by becoming a community of autonomous people who are in dialogue with one another. Who therefore listen to one another, who do not forcibly lay down their opinions, but lay it before a critical audience.
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