I have indicated earlier that there still might be some conservatives who have a glimmering of humanity and social responsibility, but their numbers have declined during the past few decades. The neoconservatives are now “the conservatives”, and this note applies to them.
Conservatives want there to be no advantage accruing to a person for merely being a citizen, native or naturalized. While claiming that this is a land of equal opportunity, conservatives know that it certainly is not, and work to ensure that it never will be.
Conservatives want ordinary people to be responsible for their own welfare, regardless of their means. They do not want others to get more than they pay for directly. All forms of public welfare are to be eliminated.
Although poverty is a kind of economic pollution produced by those who hoard the nation’s wealth, conservatives want us to believe that the poor are responsible for their own poverty.
Conservatives want middle- and low-income people to bear most or all of the tax burden. They know that public funding, and therefore taxation, is necessary to support their standard of living, but they do not want to pay for it themselves.
Conservatives want other people’s savings to be available for speculation, by way of private health and retirement accounts.
Conservatives want to promote any opportunity for private interests to make money; they abhor public enterprises, and covet publicly held funds. They avidly support privatization because it channels public funds into private hands; it has nothing to do with efficiency.
Conservatives dislike democracy, and wish to destroy it, because they know that they are taking advantage of the majority, and that democracy empowers the majority to resist.
Conservatives want limited government in the sense that government policies are limited to giving them advantages over others, rather than serving the interests of all.
Thus, conservatives want to be the arbiters of who runs for office, who gets elected, and the policies they enact.
To help keep democracy at bay, conservatives want to prevent people from uniting to promote common causes. They thus want everyone to be distrusting of, isolated from, and jealous of their fellow citizens. Conservatives exaggerate foreign and domestic threats to help achieve this goal.
Conservatives want to diminish or destroy public schools. They do not want to help pay for other children’s educations, they want school choice based on race and class, and they know that public schooling tends to promote egalitarianism and democracy.
Conservatives do not want working people to have a fair share of the wealth that their work produces; conservatives want not only to skim this wealth, they want the lion’s share of it.
In particular, conservatives are opposed to existing unions and further unionization because they want working people to be at the mercy of employers, rather than having any say in their own incomes, benefits, or destinies.
Conservatives want to eliminate all forms of business and financial regulation (as if there were no business people who are dishonest or incompetent), so that they will be free to take greatest advantage of business and financial opportunities, whether or not these are ethical or even rational.
Conservatives want to eliminate environmental, health, and safety regulations, since these force the costs of compliance to be internalized. They feel that they can protect themselves from environmental degradation, and they do not participate in the unhealthy or dangerous activities themselves.
Conservatives do not want free markets, since genuinely free markets are more democratic and harder to manipulate to their advantage.
In summary, conservatives do not want an enlightened, liberal, supportive, democratic, egalitarian, and secure society, if these conditions in any way diminish their own opportunities for wealth and power. The evidence for this is all around us. Too often it is unrecognized by a population living in a fantasy world created by propaganda and trivial diversions. But this, too, is what conservatives want.