Is there a difference between American and European Conservatism?

Asked by: BenjaminJC
  • More differences than similarities

    European conservatism is diverse, British Toryism with its emphasis on small government and individual rather than collective responsibility, is different from Central European Christian Democracy and different from nationalist conservative movements in Greece, Ireland and Eastern Europe. US Republicanism is a hybrid of all these traditions. What's of interest of Americans is that these movements have seen convergence on freedom of capital and on the freedom of the individual. Apart from the occasional outlier, European conservative parties have been ditching their traditional roles as moral arbiters, driven by rapid social change and increasing voter distaste for hypocrisy. It is curious that at the same time American Republicanism allied itself so readily with the Christian Right, Europe's governments peeled back their welfare states and privatized their state concerns along American lines. Europe's Churches, if they have allegiances, often find themselves on the left of the government of the day, supporting social justice and government responsibility for the welfare of the vulnerable.

  • The difference is massive

    You`re basically asking a more profound question is there a difference between the US and Europe?

    There`s a huge difference: First of all most European countries have more than 3 parties. That means that the hardcore conservativism (like the american one) has always to compromise (and rightly so).

    Secondly: Europeans in general are much more liberal then americans and that`s due to history, mentality , culture and education.....Not to mention the welfare state (almost every european country is a welfare state). Conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann would be seen here as extremists and expelled from their own party.

    It`s basically easier to fool the american public to vote against their economic interests (it`s almost incredible from my perspective how 50 percent of the US voted for a republican elitist...) and that`s due to many factors among which, race and religion are predominant. In fact religion doesn`t play a big role in European politics (many prime ministers are openly atheists/agnostics) although some states have a national religion (England is formally a christian nation.... Whereas de facto tending to atheism). In the US religion is everywhere and politician have to lie about it in order not to lose the vote of the local/state/national religious group.

    Another major factor is the race: Although the US elected its first non-white president, minorities tend to be treated better and fairer here in Europe. We certainly have our problems but we usually tend to treat every person under the same rules.

    I could go on and on and on about how NON SACRED the constitution is (depending on the nation, we change it every now and then.... In opposite to americans conservatives who reliy on an old book written by white men slaveowners talking about freedom and equalit....Oooh the irony...).

  • Yes, of course there is.

    American conservatism wants to keep everything as it is with very little change, even though many such ideals and policies are quite controversial e.g. abortion or supporting the existence of guns here, there and everywhere. Whereas European conservatism progresses faster than American conservatism, and tends to be more influenced over moral issues without disasters such as the Connecticut school shooting (for example) being a necessary catalyst for such change.

  • European Conservatism is focused on the consolidation of power in a central government where as American Conservatism is focused on preserving the constitution.

    For most of Europe's history, its countries have been ruled by monarchs and emperors. This consolidation of power is very familiar to them and, up until World War Two, very popular. Now American conservatism is different. The founders of America broke always from that dogma to form a government for the people, by the people. That is the basis of American conservatism. It is not a doctrine to consolidate power, as some would provoke you to believe; it is rather a protectorate of the constitution and the power and responsibility of the individual. The consolidation of power occurs with liberalism, not conservatism. Sadly many individuals associate both forms of conservatism as one movement, a false assumption. If that logic is true, then the radical liberals of revolutionary France who slaughtered thousands are connected to today's liberals--something they will outright deny. Luckily neither connections between the old and new conservatism and the old and new liberalism exist beside the names. This problem with distinguishing is quite frequent and truly sad. Please vote honestly.

  • No not really

    I think that maybe conservatism is pretty much the same in both countries and they should not be considered different because in doing so one might argue that one would be splitting hairs on the subject and causing unnecessary confusion on the matter when they should just consider them both the same type of conservatism.

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