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Is Conservatism better than Marxism?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,461 times Debate No: 6285
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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The origin of Conservatism (and indeed the left right spectrum) lies in the French revolution, where proponents of Monarchism, Aristocracy and the Ancien R�gime sat on the right of the throne and supporters of the revolution on its left.

Since then, Conservatism has transcended the simple definition bestowed upon it during its conception and has come to represent a great many things to a great many people. However, conservatism remains the ideology opposed to radical change, the disruption of the status quo without good cause and the defender of personal liberties.

Conservatism has always defended the right of individuals to act as they please, but has advised a context of morality (provided by faith and the family) as a means for conducting oneself as respectful and dutiful member of society.

Marxism on the other hand, destroys individuality and lumps men of all classes into one untidy mess; where we are indoctrinated to think the same in order to maintain the privileges of the party elite. As stated by Engels "Revolution is the most dictatorial thing there is... it must be maintained through terror".

Simply ask yourself... which of the two above conditions would one prefer?


I feel that to fully answer the question you bestowed upon me, i must first correct your statements. While the foundations of the formal politcal identity stem from the events surrounding the French revolution in 1789, i believe that we must instead review the Ideologies which have transcended throughout Human history.

Engles was always clear (using a letter sent to Feargus O'Connor during the time of the British chartist movement as evidence) that his (and Marx's) beleifs had stemmed from the class struggles seen throughout human history (notably actions such as the peasants revolt) whereas the working classes ( proletariat) have struggled to gain rights against their opressors. In theory Marxism creates a system whereas it removes degeneration within society such as Exploitation (marx Believed wherever there was a free market, exploitation of the working class would take place), Alienation (Not persoanl alienation but alienation in the sense that the items they created will have most of its income given to a "Capitalist Swine whom has not worked an honest day in years")

Are you trying to suggest that, when the Working classes have been responsible for so much which you yourself hold so dear in British history (such as the industrial revolution), they should be exploited out of money and health?

Marxism and general left ideaologies remove exploitation and create, in theory, a utopia for every man and woman. While you may argue that modern examples of left wing politics have ended in a disaray, this debate, as far as i am aware, is focusing on political theory and not modern practice and even the most right wing of people will disclose that Marxism "is nice in theory".

On the other hand we have conservatism, a political ideaology by the upper class, for the upper class. this ideaology seems to disregard, quite heavily, the working class whom, when any major step in a nations history takes place, are at its for-front. I also feel it is important to point out how the conservatives often change their 'Ideas' before elections, such as the "Thamworth manifesto" which made the conservatives more appealing to the working class and even Disreali's first ministry brought mass social reform which is a left and Marxist idea. If the conservatives stayed to their traditional beliefs, Cameron would want the removal of the NHS, he would want a standardised tax, but like Churchill and Disreali, he realises that conservatism is a politics for days gone by.

How can you justify a ideaology which bases its law off it culture? ythis surely would undermine any law making body like parliament as fromwhever your elected, you must base your laws off 'The great British Culutre'. This is in contrast to Left wing ideaolgy whom base their culture off their law, creating a stable and fair nation.
Debate Round No. 1


You have failed to understand both your own ideology and conservatism.

First of all, it is inaccurate to describe conservatism as an ideology, given that it supports the status quo rather than a set of distinct principles.

Secondly, you forget to mention that Marxism attempts to achieve equality by removing the class system and therefore the context for discrimination. However, you fail to realise that the general conservative take on this point is that classes are a fact of life, and to remove them would be a catastrophic mistake for society.

Furthermore, the notion that conservatism ignores the needs of the working classes and supports merely that of the wealthier among us is pure folly. Who was it that brought about the greatest period of reforms in British history? Who was it that defined paternalism? Why of course the conservatives of Disraeli and Peel's day.

Lastly, conservatism promotes gradual change. Evolution not revolution. Hence the great acts of reform carried out by the Conservative party in the 19th century. To suggest that it is a stagnant theory which has a stringent doctrine is not accurate in the slightest.

P.S. How can one base culture off law??? Law is defined by the morals of society, and culture is accessible to all, even if law is not available. Culture define slaw, not the other way around; Islamic culture created sharia law, not the other way around.


To answer your question, English Culture has been heavily influenced by Saxon, norman and even later laws. many see the monachy as part of British culture. This, along with parliament, were both established by laws before they were formally used. It was a law which allows parliament to create new laws, it is a law which allows us to keep a monachy (Something many see as outdated). It is the law which allows us to have many quirky, country or borough based by-laws which create the magic of english culture. I feel that you have misunderstood quite what law is. It is not just about catching criminals, its not just about courts and judges, its about how we live our everyday lives. When you go to school, you will be governed by law. when you work, you will be governed by law, when you eat you are governend by law. Law makes a nation different to its neighbour, law gives us a national identity and overall, law does give us culture. What i was suggesting in my first argument is that, like Britain in many ways, left ideaolgy will create laws which over time create their own cultures. this allows a healthy amount of social development. The conservatives on the other hand will often base their law from the culture they see around them. Due to this the culture is unable to change and adapt and will ultiamtely isolate the populace from the modern, ever changing world.

In response to your point that conservatism is not an ideology. Thi is clearly wrong and shows a lack of knowledge on your part. In a legal and literal defintion from the dictionary, Ideology is a set of beliefs, aims and ideas. Are you trying to suggest that conservatism has no ideas? are you suggesting conservatism has no beliefs? I know to many of us the conservatives may not seem to have a coherent belief or idea, but im sure that somewhere they will have a set, although i suppose this has been lost over the last decade within the party.

in response to your claim on classes, i did not mention the Marxist idea of the removal of classes as i assumed that the general populace knew this as common place fact. I however would like to apologise if this is not the case. Secondly, regarding your point on conservatism and removal of classes. You are now suggesting that they do have beliefs and thus are an ideaology and in turn you are severly contraditing yourself. Secondly, the conservatives may belief this would be catastrophic, but when that comes from the upper class i am not suprised. The removal of classes would allow all men to feel equal. No classes would allow all men to feel free of social bonds and anyway, classes were originally established in England by saxon law after the culture had developed, clearly proving your latter point void.

To your next point, i suggest you actually read my responses before commenting on them. I clearly noted Disrealis mass social reforms and that it is strongly accepted by historians that this was purely for self means of gaining the working class vote (which failed anyhow with gladstone gaining office) and not an accepted practice within the conservatives. Secondly you are classing Disreali and Peel as a collective force. Good sir, do you not know the split between Disreali and the Peelites over free and closed trade (Left vs Right). One of the strongest original Peelites was William Ernsest Gladstone, Disreali's greatest rival and later Liberal Prime Minster.

Finally, you mention 'The Great Reform' of the 19th century. Is this like Disreali's 2nd Great Reform Act which sealed the fate for the Consrvatives by allowing the Liberals to be elected? is this the Reform which had tried so badly to trick the working classes into thinking they had the vote, when only liberal strongholds had working class voters in the hope that they would vote conservative and give the Tories even more seats. Ultiamtely this failed and the Tory strongholds voted liberal as they belived giving the working class the vote was "against their ideology"
Debate Round No. 2


You have become detracted from the point. Laws are obviously defined clearly from the context of the cuture in which it mannifests itself, though I shall dwell no further on this point.

A stict ideology conservatism is not. If you were to observe conservative sentiment between nations you will find it applies to the cultural and historic context of the country in question. There is no coservative mannifesto that adorns the walls of conservative parties world wide. Instead it is a collective ideal in preserving the tried and tested and cherishing shared values which bring us together.
Marxism on the other hand is a world wide movement which relfects a strict doctrine to all parties. The cultural factors within each nation are disregarded in favour of a working class based notion of absolutism, despotism and terror.

The fact you refer to the time old divide between free trade and protectionism shows clearly there is no defined conservative doctrine and that there needn't be,given it is a collection of like minded individuals rather than a gaggle of brain-washed, Godless thugs.


You do not seem to understand what I am saying. Many culture's have been created by law (a more simple, and not the best example would be the EU and as you know it can be seen in this country as creating a new sub-culture, although the EU never looked at our culture before writing their treaties and directives which are laws).

I would like to jump to your last point before responding to your central points. Many historians (including E.P Thompson, the leading historian on 19th century British politics) see the Peelites as a less 'radical' liberal party and often show them clearly defined from the Conservative.

To respond to your comment on a worldwide Conservative manifesto. Many parties will share similar basics (including the conservative party) but will adapt to the country they are in. This is just as true as Marxists. We saw in Russia a Leninism and later a Stalinist ideology. These are massively different from Maoism, Trotskyism and all the other varying communist split off's in Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. In the space of a few minutes, I found 16 variations of communism and that is just in states which either have or do have a communism government. If we take into account all of the communist parties all around the world, we will see that most of these have their own variations. To suggest that communist is one idea is fool hearted and clearly and wish for your 'anti-left' mentality.
Debate Round No. 3


CaptainDanno forfeited this round.


sclee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by sclee 8 years ago
People have to stop interpreting the Soviet Union as communism. Communism was much much more than the soviet union. I would also like to say that in reference to the last commenter, i am, as it happen, in the process of reading 1984 and it clearly shows a western fear of what communism would be like. Why? because the west is run by the capitalists whom have the most to loose if a communist government was installed and thus use anticommunist literature and information to lose its support across the world. I would also just like to say that i am not a communist, i am left wing all right, but not that radical xD
Posted by EugeneZ 8 years ago

Conservatism in the United States

... Communism can be conservative... but capitalism is better then communism unless: we'd like to have "1984"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Both debaters lacked a clear understanding of Marxist philosophy. Con would have better focused on historical materialism which states that internal contradictions within an economic system invariably give way to revolutionary overthrow of the system. That would have saved the debate from basically comparing apples and oranges. Pro was supporting gradualism, Con was supporting liberal economics basically. Con should have drawn on Marxian conception of necessity of revolution. Slight win to Pro.