Conservatism is the aesthetic, cultural, social, and political outlook that embodies the desire to conserve existing things, held to be either good in themselves, or better than the likely alternatives, or at least safe, familiar, and the objects of trust and affection.
The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the traditions and values of the culture and civilization in which it appears. In Western culture, conservatives seek to conserve a range of things such as organized religion, property rights, parliamentary government, family values, the natural environment, and classical and vernacular architecture. Adherents of conservatism often oppose modernism and seek a return to traditional values.
The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Conservative thought has varied considerably as it has adapted itself to existing traditions and national cultures. For example, some conservatives advocate for greater government intervention in the economy while others advocate for a more laissez faire free market economic system. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution, but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in the 1790s. (Full article...)
The Bricker Amendment
is the collective name of a series of proposed amendments
to the United States Constitution
considered by the United States Senate
in the 1950s. These amendments would have placed restrictions on the scope and ratification of treaties
and executive agreements
entered into by the United States and are named for their sponsor, Senator John W. Bricker
, a conservative Republican
The best-known version of the Bricker Amendment, considered by the Senate in 1953–54, declared that no treaty could be made by the United States that conflicted with the Constitution, was self-executing without the passage of separate enabling legislation through Congress, or which granted Congress legislative powers beyond those specified in the Constitution. It also limited the president's power to enter into executive agreements with foreign powers. Despite initial support, the Bricker Amendment was blocked through the intervention of President Eisenhower and failed in the Senate by a single vote in 1954.
The struggle between the opponents and defenders of capitalism is a struggle between innovators who do not know what innovation to make and conservatives who do not know what to conserve.
— Simone Weil, "The Power of Words" in Selected Essays 1934-1943 (1957)