Comparison of Conservatism and Radical Islamism
Conservatism was originally born in the late 1700s, out of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. However, time has brought about several other variations of Burke’s classical view of conservatism. These variations include individualist conservatism, neoconservatism, and the religious right (with the two major being classical and individualist).
All conservatives view humans as always being deeply flawed both intellectually and morally, thus the bolder an attempt to do good, the greater harm is done; this also serves as their explanation in the four functions of an ideology. Under this same theory, the organic conception of society explains the classical conservative view of human orientation, where members of society are connected to each other through their dependence upon each person’s role, and the society as a whole is greater than its parts or separate individuals. In contrast, modern-day individualist conservatives believe in competition, especially in the economy, thus empowering individuals to strive to be their best. Conservatism as a whole can be evaluated by peace and harmony among levels of stratification; if there is conflict and disloyalty, then action must be taken to repair the social fabric. The program all adherents need to follow to accomplish their goal is to take things slowly and proceed carefully; it’s better to do a little good than a lot of harm.
Additionally, classics believe freedom can be good, but doesn’t have to be, so if it is controlled through government laws or learned values in schools it becomes very valuable. Individualists, on the other hand, view freedom as the freedom of individuals to compete, especially in the free market and enterprise.
According to the triadic model of freedom, the agents of classical conservatism are the interconnected individuals of society, while individualists hone self-supporting individuals; the obstacles for both are radical ideas, innovation, passions, desires, and lack of restraint; the goal is order stability, harmony and continuity.
In modern day politics, all conservatives believe that the government should protect its citizens, thus they support military spending and the wars on terrorism. Contrary to their usual beliefs, they currently support big government; as they learned during the Cold War, you can’t minimize government in times of international war (2, p.126). However, they don’t support policies such as “Obamacare”, saying that it’s an encroachment on people’s freedom by the government. There are also disagreements within conservatism on issues such as gay/lesbians in the military, gay/lesbian marriage, and legalized abortion. Conservatism in America isn’t what it once was under Ronald Raegan in the 1980’s, unified and concentrated. Today, it continues to divide itself with each controversial political issue that arises. Radical Islamism has been around since the Christian Crusades, but the exact origin is unknown; we can still trace it’s presence throughout history, though, and understand its transformation into its current status. First off, Islam isn’t only a political system or a religion, but it is combined to create a way of life for Muslims. Sharia law has stood as the law of the land and is enforced through theocracy; the Quran serves as their “constitution” (2, p.465). The twentieth century globalized many Muslim-dominated countries, especially regarding separation of religion and state. This sign of secularism, in addition to four waves of occurrences, have fueled the rise of radical Islamism. The four waves of occurrences were: the Christian Crusades that killed many innocent Muslims; European imperial expansion into North Africa and the Middle-East in the late 19th and early 20th century; the official European acknowledgement of the Jewish state of Israel in