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What Is Conservatism ?

This is the introductory chapter of Public Private Relationships and The New Owners of the Means of Production in which I identify my own political philosophy
There is much talk in today's American political landscape about conservatism. This is my view.

Conservatism is Individualism

The purpose of American conservatism is to preserve the political philosophy of the founders of the United States, as documented in The United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers and The Declaration of Independence. The fundamental principal of that philosophy is individual liberty. A conservative considers policy within the framework of the United States Constitution. A progressive regards the Constitution as outdated and no longer suitable for today's world. A conservative rejects policy if it is inconsistent with the Constitution. A progressive devises ways around the Constitution and the statutes if they pose obstacles to what the progressive wants. The progressive prioritizes policy and finds a way to make the Constitution fit policy- or as in the case of the Maine Legislature, just ignores the Constitution all together as it has been said in high circles that no one reads the Maine1 Constitution, perhaps because the Maine Constitution is absent in the Maine educational system.
The United States Constitution was created by men who believed in God. Most were Christian, but the founding documents do not speak of Christianity for while the United States Constitution is founded on a philosophy accepting the existence of God, the United States Constitution protects and provides for religious freedom.
Throughout metaphysical thought God is conceived as wholeness and includes and is within everything that is. Oriental philosophy speaks of Oneness. In the new physics that broke into human awareness at the dawn of the twentieth century, the scientific paradigm evolved to include numerous theories positing non-locality (wholeness) as the hidden variable at work in the quantum leap so inexplicable by classical physics laws of nature.2 The concept of God, or wholeness, is common to the world's religions, but is not itself a religion. The belief in the existence of God is a philosophical premise. One takes either the existence of God or the non-existence of God to be self evident. Neither view can be objectively proven for there is no perspective outside of everything that is and it is impossible to prove a negative
In esoteric Christianity, Christ is wholeness within individual man. The path to discovery of the Christ within the individual is unique for each individual and so the founding philosophy of the United States, in placing individual freedom at its center, is resonate with Hermetic Christian philosophy and identifies America as a Christian nation.
In placing individual freedom as central to our governing philosophy, the United States political philosophy is built upon a spiritual – or non-materialistic foundation.

Conservatism is Fundamentally Spiritual

In Federalist Paper #10, James Madison writes:
" The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.”
In Madisonian thought, the first object of government is the protection of the faculties of men- that which is inherent to each individual, our own talents and skills out of which is grown the fruit of our own labor which is the means through which each individual acquires property. Some may argue that some inherit wealth and that is not earned wealth, to which I say that the circumstances into which each individual is born is God's will and whatever one makes of those circumstances is the fruit of one's own labor. Martin Buber wrote lucidly about the events of our own lives being a conversation with God3, which begins its earthly manifestation when we are born into this world.
The Constitution of the United States of America is a design of a process intended to protect individual liberty to the degree that such liberty can be retained within a larger society. It is a process inclusive of all factions and as such every faction must negotiate and sometimes compromise with other factions.

Contemporary Dialogue on Conservatism

There exists today a newly emergent political faction which often calls its self “We the People”. Until all the people of the United States are of one collective mind sharing one collective ideology, there can be no one faction which represents the voice of We the People. However such a condition assumes an annihilation of individuality and as such is oppositional to the fundamental philosophy of the United States Constitution. The United States electoral process represents the many voices of We the People.
The fore mentioned contemporary faction, refers to itself casually as “true conservatives” and seeks to bring down the establishment conservative party, the Republicans, by which they mean those who currently serve in our government as a result of our electoral process. This faction has not formed its own political party but seeks to win the Republican nomination despite the fact of having spent many years attacking Republicans mercilessly and I might add with a great deal of dis-information. Claims are repeated over and again, that the representatives elected by the people have lied to the people and broken their promises, but the claims are generalized and applied with shotgun precision to everyone and anyone who stands in the way of the newly formed political faction's agenda, which is to rise to power themselves. If playing by the rules of fairness, the new political faction would form their own political party and run their own primaries but their chosen means of achieving power is identity theft. This political faction uses as the measure of conservatism their own political policies. Their most sacrosanct issue is immigration policy by which antiestablishmentarians call for the deportation of all current resident illegals.
As a member of the original Tea Party movement, I have been a witness to the emergence of said faction on my social media portals for many years. My first political social media friends were those who also were members of the original Tea Party movement. I have witnessed the transformation of the Tea Party movement into something entirely different. For a while I became the minority arguing against the politics that populated my social media walls but as I added friends who sympathized with my subjective views the voice of “We the People” transformed. In social media every subject creates a version of what may be mistakenly taken as an objective view of popular opinion. Quoting the physicist Niels Bohr, “Naturally, it still makes no difference whether the observer is a man, an animal, or a piece of apparatus, but it is no longer possible to make predictions without reference to the observer or the means of observation” and so the observer is inseparable from what is observed and as such there is no objective view point. One can take a similar view of polling, particularly when manifested in our new data driven culture- which is to say polls are subjective interpretations as well, although presented as “scientific” ignoring the fact that In the new scientific paradigm heralded in at the beginning of the twentieth century, objectivity is but an illusion.
As I set out to record the historical narrative unraveled through six years of researching Maine economic development statutes, the currently perceived front runner of the Republican primaries, is Donald Trump who has turned his polling numbers into a campaign strategy, reminding the listener on almost every speaking occasion that candidate Trump is leading in the polls, as if intending to exercise a subliminal mind control technique. The antiestablishmentarians became Mr Trumps pre-fabricated political base the instant that candidate Trump entered the race and never get tired of telling the electorate about Mr Trumps poll numbers as if to say we have no other choice but to accept Mr Trump as our next president so early in the Republican primary race.

Policy vs Philosophy

It is arguable that immigration policy is the definitive antiestablishmentarian measure of conservatism for the reason that it is the most divisive issue among conservatives. All conservatives agree that the order of the illegal immigration process is to first secure the border before instituting solutions about the problem of millions of resident illegal aliens. The foundational difference in opinion among conservatives is about what to do about the millions of resident illegal aliens. The antiestablishmentarian defines conservatism in accordance with conformity to their “right” view on the resident illegal alien issue, which is to deport all current resident illegal aliens. Given that border security is first accomplished, as all agree it should be, the problem of the current resident aliens is a temporary issue of these times. In terms of conservatism's elementary purpose, to preserve the American political philosophy, the contemporary illegal immigration issue, given that the border is secured, does not threaten that philosophy. Some say it threatens the preservation of Americanism because it is said that new immigration weighs the electorate to the left, but I do not see that as a core issue to preserving the American political philosophy as it is not a philosophical issue but a political one.
Antiestablishmentarians shout loudly about upholding the rule of law and give no further consideration to the many contingent public issues. Most of the establishment conservatives are for a path to legal status with robust conditions attached. The United States Constitution provides for a presidential pardon, the purpose of a which is for the public good.
Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist Paper #74 ,
"in seasons of insurrection or rebellion there are often critical moments when a welltimed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquility of the commonwealth; and which, if suffered to pass unimproved, it may never be possible after wards to recall."
The problem of what to do with millions of resident illegal aliens is a similar issue. The establishment conservatives argue that deporting all resident illegal aliens would have a disruptive effect on many lives, not only those directly deported. It could have a disturbing affect as well as on the American psyche. The intention of the presidential pardon is to balance justice and mercy, which is to say it takes into account multifarious considerations affecting human society. A pardon of the act of entering the United States illegally is not a grant of citizenship. It grants only a legal status and is within the rule of law of our Constitution.
Conservatism is a philosophy. Immigration is a policy. In conservatism the first measure of policy is that it be consistent with the Constitution. The Constitution does not dictate policy, it defines a philosophy and a structure for government concordant with constitutional philosophy. It can be that divergent policies are each consistent with the Constitution. That is why the antiestablishmentarian movement is wrong when if chooses immigration policy as the measure of conservatism. The true measure of conservatism is constitutional consistency. The solution advocated by establishment conservatives is a path way to legal status which is constitutionally consistent with the presidential power of pardon.

Conservatism believes that small government is the best government. I submit that the conservative measure of the right size of government is that it be limited to serving the common good, by which I mean good which is commonly shared by all.

Conservatism is for Small Government

Preamble United States Constitution:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 

The phrases “common good”. “general welfare” and are similar sounding phrases that has caused much debate over how they are to be interpreted. In The United States Constitution, the adjective “common” is applied to Defense, while the adjective “general” is applied to Welfare. The phrase “common good” is not actually used, but has been used abundantly in discussions of the meaning of the phrase “general welfare” I submit that the use of the term “common good” is derivative of the conflation of the terms “common defense” and “general welfare”.

In contemporary times the term “welfare’ is associated with government assistance but at the time of the United States founding fathers, there were no government assistance programs and so the meaning must have been “for the general good- or for the general well being”

The founders of the United States Constitution wrote a great deal about the problem of fairness and factions. The solution was a system designed with internal checks against tyranny and totalitarianism. In that context the term “general” takes on the meaning of “that which is common to all factions- or individuals”. National defense is such a common good and so the term “common” has been used in the Constitution as a qualifier of Defense. All of the colonies benefited by the Union of the States in shared defense making national defense a “common welfare”, 

Today the terms “common good” and “general welfare” are often times replaced with “public benefit”, a term which removes the reference to something commonly shared and replaces it with the concept of something which is “public”. “Public” is related to the terms “common” and “general” but does not require that all factions share in the benefit. A public benefit need not be a common good but a common good is always a public benefit. A common good leaves much less to interpretation than does public benefit. Public roads are a common good because one way or another everyone benefits by public roads even those that never drive on them receive mail and goods that have been delivered on a public road. Job creation by the government is declared to be a public benefit but it is a benefit for some while its cost is a burden for others.

There are many ways that one can interpret almost anything as a public benefit and likewise argue that it is a common good to the point that one could say that everything and anything that does not do the public harm is a public and common good. In the strictest sense of conservatism, the size of government should be restricted to serving the common good and let the private sector develop ways to serve the public benefit. On that note I would say that providing a net for the most unfortunate in society is a public benefit and I could even argue that it is a common good but there in lies my own interpretation. It was because there exist people at the bottom who rely on government services that the founding fathers of Maine’s corporate state declared that it is likewise appropriate for them to avail themselves to public funds and that is how it came to be that Maine is a state that provides rations entitlements for the bottom and opportunity entitlements for the top, where the gap between the haves and the have nots has been steadily increasing and the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. General welfare roles have grown along side of the expansion in corporate welfare. The middle class which is the opportunity zone for those on the bottom has been gradually withering away in Maine and the USA.

The Preamble to Maine’s Constitution is written with similar words as the United States Constitution and includes the philosophical premise of a Sovereign Ruler of the Universe possessing the quality of goodness which will aid and direct in the accomplishment of justice, tranquility, mutual defense , common welfare and liberty. The term ”general welfare” has been transposed as “common welfare” .The individual states follow the United States Constitution as the premise of state constitutions and were influenced as well by other states Constitutions. It is reasonable to speculate that at the time the Maine State Constitution was created that the term “general welfare” had been discovered to be a term with a wide range of interpretation. The term common welfare is more specific. The Maine State Constitution identifies the object of government as limited to promoting welfare which is shared commonly by all. The goodness of God is called upon as a guide in achieving the objects of government.
Preamble Maine Constitution:
Objects of government. We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God's aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same.

Conservatism is Free Enterprise

There are many standards for measuring conservatism. The definition of conservatism that I articulate here must include protecting a free enterprise system and clearly distinguishing free enterprise from a centrally managed economy. State capitalism is found in the two most influential political systems which rose to power during the twentieth century, communism (and by extension socialism), and fascism. The current political development which has transformed Maine and other parts of the USA is called in contemporary terms “public private relationships” Where as state ownership of the means of production is communism, public private relationships are fascism. In Benito Mussolini's vision private business was allowed but the private sector had to serve the purposes of the state4. I submit that within the public private relationship, there will always exist a power struggle between the state and the private corporation. When in 1977 the public private relationships were codified into Maine law with a glorifying rhetoric worthy of Mussolini himself, the Legislature assigned a leadership role to the private sector but as the corporate state expanded, the state acquired it's own ownership of the means of production mainly through the university system.
The Maine Legislature has jurisdiction over the educational curricula in Maine and uses the educational system as a component of its centrally managed economy serving the interests of state capitalism. Since the early 2000's the Legislature has entrenched a minor in Marxist and Socialist Studies which dominates the Southern University of Maine's political science department. One does not find fascism as a subject in the educational curricula. It is neither taught nor talked about. It merely proliferates in practice, unnamed and abundant. There is a taboo surrounding the identification of fascism. Both fascism and Marxism have historically resulted in genocidal dictatorships, but it is only fascism which one cannot identify within contemporary political culture without being accused of having broken a rule of politically correct conduct. Many a person who abhors President Obama's refusal to use the words “radical Islam” or “terrorism”, will adamantly insist that the use of the term or symbol of fascism is socially and politically unacceptable. How ever it is as true for fascism as it is for radical Islam, if we cannot identify the enemy we cannot fight it. I submit that conservatives who believe in preserving the American political philosophy must reject the ban against identifying fascism as a political ideology. We must understand the underpinnings of fascism in its political structure is separate from the acts of barbarism to which it led. Fascism did not come into being with popular acceptance as an ideology advocating genocide and militarism, that is only how it evolved under the Nazi’s in the twentieth century. Fascism is growing right under our noses even as it is anti-theoretical to the American political philosophy. In its economic manifestation fascism is state corporatism partnering with private corporatism.
The Constitution of Maine forbids the Legislature from chartering corporations for state purposes5 but that has been ignored as the Maine Legislature has entrenched an ever expanding network of state corporations over the last four decades. The states are said to be the experimental laboratories of government. By the consent of the governed, the state of Maine should be an experiment in the free enterprise economic system but Maine is no longer a state governed by its Constitution and in that sense Maine is no longer a state but has become a colony of a corporation run by public-private relationships.

Donald Trump and Kelo vs New London

State capitalism in relationship with private capitalism is the economic system advocated for by the antiestablishmentarian's leading candidate, Donald Trump. By the standards of conservatism put forth in this narrative, the antiestablishmentarian movement is not a conservative movement in its support of candidate Trump. State capitalism is a progressive movement, relying on a collectivists philosophy inconsistent with that of American individualism.
Donald Trump echoes the rhetoric used to sell state capitalism to the people of Maine. The key selling point is job creation by the government. It was only a few years ago that my social network walls were filled with posts opposing the concept that the state picks winners and losers as well as the concept that the private sector and not the government creates jobs but in the 2016 election season those ideas have receded into history. The self proclaimed true conservatives are all praise and adulation for candidate Trump celebrating the idea that President Trump will run the government like a business.
Mere similarity in rhetoric is not enough to conclude that Trump intends to create jobs by expanding the corporate state. It is when Donald Trump says in an interview broadcast on the Fox News Channel's “Special Report” that eminent domain used for private projects that “employ thousands of people” is “a wonderful thing” that Donald Trump confirms that he is a state capitalist and advocates a collectivist political philosophy characteristic of a Marxist or fascist political system in which a class of overlords designs society for everyone else. This may not have been Marx's intent but it has consistently been the result of attempts to implement Marxism. It is clearly the intent of fascism as documented in The DOCTRINE OF FASCISM, 1932 by Benito Mussolini. Once collectivism is institutionalized, be it in a communist or fascist system, a well to do bureaucratic class emerges, which has historically evolved into public private relationships functioning as channels for redistributing public wealth to private and/or state owners of the means of production6. In Maine it has become a system in which the taxpayer subsidizes an upper crust of the economy.

Kelo vs New London, United States Supreme Court Decision

The form of eminent domain praised by Donald Trump was legally established in 2005 by a decision made by the United States Supreme Court:
Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)[1] was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
6"Over the ensuing decades, particularly in the 1990s when massive investment poured into China, the families of CCP bureaucrats utilized political power and links with foreign capital to transform
themselves into a new property-owning capitalist elite. CCP-connected entrepreneurs, executives,
outsourcing contractors, import and export traders and professionals have emerged as the junior partners of major transnational corporations in ruthlessly exploiting the working class."
Supreme Court of Connecticut
Argued December 2, 2002
Officially released March 9, 2004
The principal issue in this appeal is whether the public use clauses of the federal and state Constitutions authorize the exercise of the eminent domain power in furtherance of a significant economic development plan that is projected to create in excess of 1000 jobs, to increase tax and other revenues, and to revitalize an economically distressed city, including its downtown and waterfront areas.
The court ruled in favor of the defendants, the City of New London and the New London Development Corporation.Together they comprise a public-private relationship and so this United States Supreme Court ruling, so consequential to the United States constitutional right to individual property ownership is a case of that new and fluid form of government called the public private relationship against the private individual, whose individual rights the United States Constitution was formed to protect.
I came across two papers discussing the lack of transparency of the public private relationship, a fluid institutional identity that behaves in a chameleon fashion, sometimes taking on the identity of a public entity while at other times enjoying the privacy of a private entity. One paper is called LOOKING FOR AN INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT by Mitchell W Pearlman, former director of the Connecticut Freedom of information. This paper is not dated. The second is an independent study on the Baltimore Development Corporation by Maximilan Tonro, written in December 2010.The paper by Maximilan Tonro discusses the Kelo vs New London decision and makes particular note of the fact that the Supreme Court justices failed to take in the distinction that the City of New London and the New London Development Corporation are separate entities. The City of New London is a public entity. The New London Development Corporation was described by Justice Stevens as a “private non-profit entity”, which Mr Tonro notes that after an initial discussion recognizing the distinction of two separate and differently formed entities, Justice Stevens treated both as one and the same entity with the exception of a foot note. According to Mr Tonro, Justice Kennedy never distinguished the two entities as having separate legal natures or separate identities but treated both as the City of New London. Justice O'Connor wrote the dissenting opinion in which attention was made to the lack of accountability of the New London Development Corporation but nonetheless throughout the opinion continued to conflate The New London Development Corporation with the City of New London “under the rubric of “sovereign”. Mr Tonro makes note of the fact that the Connecticut Legislature has authorized pubic institutions to assign authority to private institutions but since the decision in Kelo v. New London hinges on defining a public purpose argues at length that this is insufficient to justify that a private economic development project serves a public purpose under the rule of law in the United States Constitution.
The concept that a private corporation serves a public purpose is straight from the mouth of Benito Mussolini when he says:
The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State. Benito Mussolini- The Doctrine of Fascism 1932
Mussolini describes fascism as allowing private enterprise but all must serve the purposes of the state, which in today's terms is called a public-private relationship. The United States Supreme Court Kelo vs New London decision is based in the collectivist political ideology of fascism and does not consider the American Constitution principal of individual liberty, which Mussolini railed against
If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government.
Fascism desires the State to be strong and organic, based on broad foundations of popular support. The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporative, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their respective associations, circulate within the State.
To make the legal identity of the New London Development Corporation even more confusing, according to a report on the New London Development Corporation prepared for The American Assembly by Peggy Cosgrove, The New London Development Corporation was established by the Connecticut Legislature in 1978. That makes the New London Development Corporation a private non-profit entity established by the State of Connecticut and conflated with the Municipality of New London in a United States Supreme Court decision affecting the right to private property ownership. Three levels of governmental power conspire against the constitutional property rights of the private individual.
The New London Development Corporation was established by the Connecticut Legislature in 1978 around the same time that the Maine Legislature chartered the Maine Development Foundation as a non-profit corporation. There exists a fundamental difference in the state Constitutions of Connecticut and Maine. The Connecticut Constitution does not have a provision forbidding the Legislature from chartering corporations for state purposes as is found in the Maine Constitution.
The report on the New London Development Corporation prepared for The American Assembly by Peggy Cosgrove ends with these words:
Don't expect to be popular or thanked. Economic development is as much political change as it is economic change. It will be vigorously resisted by the standing political system even though they stand to gain economically. The shifts are perceived as threats to the old power structure, and probably are “
Indeed public private relationships formed in the interests of centrally managing the economy do represent a political change. In Maine that change has been from a state responsible to the consent of the governed as codified in the Maine State Constitution to a public corporation working in conjunction with private interests and ultimately serving the masters of global capitalism.
This story is about the fundamental transformation of the State of Maine, focusing on the years commencing in 1977 when the Maine Legislature chartered the Maine Development Foundation- a non-profit corporation, declaring as they did so that centrally managing the economy is an essential government function and thus initiating a political as well as an economic change without ever asking for the consent of the governed in a state once identifed with rugged individualism.
1 The Maine Constitution A Reference Guide by Marshall J Tinkle, Preface, first page, quoting Professor Edward F Dow; “Nobody, but nobody reads the state Constitution”
2 David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order
3 Between Man and Man by Martin Buber 1947

5 Maine Constitution Article IV Part Third Sections 13 & 14

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