How I judge if a book is conservative

How to judge if something is conservative?

So I talk a lot about movies and books. And I claim that a lot of them have conservative themes.  And this confuses some people because they can’t quite figure out what I mean when the movie/book isn’t explicitly endorsing America, capitalism, and limited government.  It’s sometimes hard to remember that there are more basic principles at the heart of this movement than just the form it takes now in the news.

So here to help everyone here are principles I look for on whether or not to call something conservative.

First and foremost it has to coincide with those Aristotelian cardinal virtues:

Prudence: The Wisdom to know what course should be taken

Temperateness: The control to know and act in the right degree

Fortitude: The courage and will to do what is right

Justice: Giving people what they have earned

And with the theological virtues

Faith

Hope

Charity

Most often these virtues are seen (or not seen) in the heroes of the story.  For instance most Bond films would not be considered conservative because our hero over indulges in everything (booze, women, gambling, cheap theatrics), nor would Le Carr’s Smilely who under indulges in just about everything, both lack certain sense of temperance and prudence.

Now in terms of more thematic material I look for a few things:

The power of faith and redemption (the two have to go together for it be conservative)

The importance of Happiness in human life (but only if it’s a full Aristotelian vision of happiness)

The importance of natural rights (not made up rights)

Anything that praises reason

The power of personal charity and compassion

That there is good and evil in the world and evil need to be fought and defeated

And anything dealing with the following government issues:

The power of liberty

The stupidity/corruption of government

The need to stand up against tyranny (but it is not enough to oppose tyranny if you have no indication of what you’re going to replace it with, or if you’re going to replace it with something worse, like the pro-Anarchy themes of V for Vendetta) .

Anything that praises capitalism

And obviously no liberal ideology is endorsed.

So if anyone wonders, this is how I determine if a movie or book is conservative or not.

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3 responses to “How I judge if a book is conservative

  1. Pingback: I, Conservative: Conservatives and Fiction | Damn Straight Politics

  2. Pingback: Book Review @ Damn Straight Politics: I, Conservative: Conservatives and Fiction | The Conservative New Ager

  3. Pingback: I, Conservative: Conservatives and Fiction | Elementary Politics

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