About

Conservative tendency has been my personal blog since 2010.

Clearly there are different personality types and some individuals are more conservative (psychologically speaking) than others. We are what we are...

But there is also a sense in which all human brains operate, at least in certain significant respects, according to conservative principles.* To the extent that they recognize this, those on the left are necessarily condemned to a degree of cognitive dissonance as they typically see conservative tendencies in a very negative light – as being intrinsically bad in fact – and so needing to be somehow eliminated if social goals are to be achieved.**

I am not taking a social Darwinist line here, claiming that the mechanisms of the evolutionary process and/or the natural tendencies of the products of this process define what is right and moral. But nor am I inclined to go to the opposite extreme and characterize fundamental mechanisms of cognition and behaviour as intrinsically immoral or anti-moral. To the extent that such mechanisms are fundamental (and universal) surely they are best envisaged as morally neutral givens to be managed and accommodated rather than as alien elements to be exorcised or overcome.


Also, for what it's worth, I should perhaps explain – as the historical allusion is somewhat obscure – that the blog title was conceived (in part) as an oblique and ironical counterpoint to the Trotskyist Militant tendency, a group which influenced the British Labour Party for about thirty years in the latter part of the 20th century.



* A paradigmatic example of the way our concepts are formed and affect the way we see new things is sketched out in Marcel Proust's great novel about time and memory. The narrator's concept of a flower was based on the flowers he saw in his childhood walks in the French countryside and exotic forms encountered in later life – like orchids – were never quite real flowers for him. Such patterns of thinking can obviously relate also to social and cultural questions. Another universal which comes to mind – this one more specifically social – is the tendency to form (and by extension to think in terms of) hierarchies of various kinds (cf. elite theory).

** This is the kind of thinking that can lead to noxious ideas like 're-education'.