Letter to NS
The description of many socialists and social democrats as being essentially conservative is a not a new concept, but conservatism needs to be properly defined. Maurice Glasman (NS 3 April 2011) seems to confuse this with ‘blue’ Conservatism. Many on the left wish to see the reinstatement of the essential human values of community, solidarity and equality of opportunity – all conservative values. The so-called Conservatives are the real revolutionary wreckers because they are prepared to destroy any sense of society, of social cohesion and human progress in their worship of market forces and the profit motive. We have allowed them to hijack the conservative idea with our own amour fou for revolution. The majority of citizens want, above all, stability and security in their lives, not revolutionary turmoil. The Conservatives can never offer that because their belief in the sanctity of market forces means that life will be continual turmoil, marked by financial crises, job insecurity and destructive individualism. Socialism, based more on co-operatives than state-run enterprises, can offer that security and stability, as long as the necessary checks and balances are in place to prevent state domination, as happened in Eastern Europe.