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The

Graphic Guide to Conservatism

Olivier Ballou

The

Graphic Guide to Conservatism

A visual primer on the conservative worldview

To Adrienne

graphicguidetoconservatism.com

olivierballou.com

You may freely share and modify this work for any purpose – but please credit me. I would love to hear how it is being used. Send a note to .

creative commons

Published in 2011

Index

POLITICAL COMPASS p.10

...................

Three conservative types p.20

TRADITIONALIST p.25

FREE MARKETEER p.33

LIBERTARIAN p.41

......................... .......

PRIVATE PROPERTY p.109

About the author p.117

. ..................... ........ ......... . ........

SELF-RELIANCE p.91

.

LAW AND ORDER p.81

. .. .

IMPERFECTIBILITY p.63

..

MERITOCRACY p.51

... ... ... ............. . ......... . ....... . . ......

..

. ......

....

Seven conservative ideas p.50

INVISIBLE HAND p.73

NATIONAL SECURITY p.101

5

About the book Full disclosure: I’m a conservative. I started thinking about this project while in university, where I found that conservative ideas were either misunderstood or simply ignored. I didn’t want to write a big book, a historical book, a book filled with statistics, or a book about politicians. Others have already done so. Instead, I wanted to describe the conservative “vision.” I would condense ideas I’ve picked up over time, and use visuals to bring them to life. “Less is more” was my guiding principle.

..............................

6

Why visions matter This book is about a social vision – also known as an ideology, philosophy, or worldview. Visions exist because reality is sometimes too complex for our minds to fully grasp, especially when trying to understand how societies work. Raw reality is like a kaleidoscope with millions of human interactions:

A vision – such as conservatism – works like a map, which must leave out details to be useful:

Once you understand a vision, you can judge how well it matches up with the facts.

7

The scope of the book This graphic guide helps us understand conservatism by breaking it into parts:

PART 1 describes how political opinions can be placed on a chart. This allows us to situate conservatism in relation to other views.

POLITICAL COMPASS

.................

TRADITIONALIST

FREE MARKETEER

LIBERTARIAN

PART 2 describes three conservative “types,” which represent three broad ways of looking at the world and at history.

.............. .....

. ............ .... . .. .... . ....... . ......

. . ..

LAW AND ORDER

. . .

MERITOCRACY

. ... ... .......... . ....... ...... .. .. . ....

. . ...

PART 3 lays out seven ideas that many conservatives share.

IMPERFECTIBILITY INVISIBLE HAND

SELF-RELIANCE

NATIONAL SECURITY

PRIVATE PROPERTY

The guide describes conservatism mostly as it applies to the English-speaking world: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

10

PART 1

Political compass

11

What is a vision? Social visions are proposals for how societies ought to work, and how this might be achieved. They are based on assumptions about humans, the economy, the role of government and culture.

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

HUMAN NATURE What is human nature? Is it fixed, or can it be shaped? Does competition bring out the best or the worst in us?

How should we promote economic growth? What is more important: dynamism and opportunity, or security and equality?

..

..

.. ...

... .

.. ...

...

... .. ... ..

. ...

...

.. ...

...

... . ... .. ... ..

... ... ... ... ...

... ...

...

... ...

...

... ...

...

...

...

...

Should government take an active role? What should that role be?

...

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

...

...

HOW THINGS OUGHT TO BE

CULTURE

Should we preserve traditions? Should we promote certain values?

12

Political compass We often hear that people’s views are “left-wing”, “right-wing” or “centrist”: LEFT-WING SOCIALIST

CENTRIST

RIGHT-WING

CAPITALIST

CONSERVATIVE

PROGRESSIVE

However, this model only tells part of the story. Instead, let’s add a vertical line to form a “political compass” which measures opinions along two axes*:

LESS SOCIAL FREEDOM

MORE ECONOMIC FREEDOM

LESS ECONOMIC FREEDOM

MORE SOCIAL FREEDOM * Learn more at politicalcompass.org.

13

Economic freedom Right = Conservative

The horizontal axis looks at opinions about the role of government in the economy.

$

.................. MORE REDISTRIBUTION

At the far left end, government owns and run all businesses, redistributing wealth equally.

LESS STATE CONTROL OVER BUSINESS

.................. $ LESS REDISTRIBUTION

.....................................................................................

MORE STATE CONTROL OVER BUSINESS

The further right, the more economic freedom (and the more conservative).

......

......

.....................................................................................

The further left, the less economic freedom.

At the far right end, government gives private enterprise completely free reign, with no wealth redistribution.

14

Economic freedom Right = Conservative

Some examples of what each side supports:

LESS CONSERVATIVE

Higher taxes on businesses and the rich

MORE CONSERVATIVE

Lower taxes on businesses and the rich SEE: MERITOCRACY

More generous pensions and welfare

Fewer handouts and more personal responsibility SEE: SELF-RELIANCE

Government-run healthcare and education

Private health care and education SEE: MERITOCRACY

Environmentalism

Economic growth SEE: FREE MARKETEER

Trade barriers to limit competition

Free trade between countries SEE: FREE MARKETEER

15

Social freedom Up = Conservative

Some examples of what each side supports:

Crack down on drug dealers

Expect immigrants to integrate

MORE CONSERVATIVE

Fight terrorism

Limit marriage to one man, one woman

Decriminalize drugs

LESS CONSERVATIVE

Promote multiculturalism

Protect civil liberties

Allow gay marriage

SEE: LAW & ORDER

SEE: TRADITIONALIST

SEE: NATIONAL SECURITY

SEE: TRADITIONALIST

16

Social freedom Up = Conservative

The vertical axis measures the extent to which people value respect for tradition and authority over social freedoms. This includes opinions on a variety of topics, including war, crime and morality.

The higher up, the less social freedom (and the more conservative).

MORE RESPECT FOR TRADITION

MORE RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

The lower down, the more social freedom.

LESS RESPECT FOR TRADITION

LESS RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

17

Who are conservatives? As we have seen, political visions can can be roughly categorized along two lines: economic and social. In reality, most people are somewhere in the middle, and sometimes opinions can cross categories. However, based on the political compass, one can be broadly defined as an economic conservative, a social conservative, or both. Take the quiz at www.politicalcompass.org* to see where you stand.

Economic conservatism MORE ECONOMIC FREEDOM

LESS SOCIAL FREEDOM

Social conservatism

*This guide has no relation to politicalcompass.org.

18

Here is a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at what goes where on the political compass.

LESS SOCIAL FREEDOM The Matrix “1984” China 1966 . . . . . . . .

.......

.......

.......

.......

China 2011

Reagan Thatcher MORE ECONOMIC FREEDOM

LESS ECONOMIC FREEDOM

Gandhi Spring Break in Cancun

Hippie Commune

Amsterdam Wild West

MORE SOCIAL FREEDOM

20

PART 2

Three conservative types 1. THE TRADITIONALIST p.25

2. THE FREE MARKETEER p.33

3. THE LIBERTARIAN p.41

22

Three types We’ve looked at how beliefs can be laid out on the political compass. Now we will look at three conservative “types” or models: the Traditionalist, the Free Marketeer and the Libertarian – see below where they might be expected to land on our chart.

The three types don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. However, though they come about it differently, they largely end up agreeing on a set of conservative ideas – see PART 3. Each type is meant to be a caricature. Conservatives are a diverse bunch, and not everyone fits nicely into one of the three categories.

23

Summary Here are the three types based on the model for a social vision described earlier:

HUMAN NATURE

................

PRIMARY ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

................

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

................

CULTURE

................

OBJECTIVE

24

TRADITIONALIST

FREE MARKETEER

LIBERTARIAN

PRESERVE WAY OF LIFE

MAXIMIZE PROSPERITY

MAXIMIZE FREEDOM

SEE: TRADITION

.......................

(WESTERN CIVILIZATION, NUCLEAR FAMILY)

.......................

....................... PROTECT TRADITION

TRADE IS CIVILIZING

(YOU DON’T FIGHT WITH YOUR CUSTOMER) SEE: TRADE

$

............

CULTURE IS FLUID (NO “RIGHT” MODEL)

SEE: EXPERIMENTATION

CAPITALISM

CAPITALISM

PURE CAPITALISM

(WARY ABOUT TOO MUCH MATERIALISM)

(MOST EFFICIENT)

(ONLY MORALLY JUST SYSTEM)

. ..

.. . . .. . ... ... ......... ... ... ... .. .. .. ... . . . . . . . .. .. . .. ... .. .

..

. . . . .. .

.. .

.

.. .......

.. .... .. ..... .. .. .. .. ....... . .... .... .. ...... ...... . ... .. .... .

.. . .

. . .

SEE: INVISIBLE HAND

. . .. .

SEE: MERITOCRACY

DEFEND AGAINST THREATS

PROTECT PROPERTY

(SECURITY TRUMPS FREEDOM)

(NECESSARY FOR COMMERCE)

HUMANS ARE FLAWED (PERFECT SOCIETY IS IMPOSSIBLE)

HUMANS ARE NATURAL TRADERS

HUMANS ARE BORN TO BE FREE

(PEOPLE RESPOND TO INCENTIVES)

(GOVERNMENT GETS IN THE WAY)

. ..

.. . . .. . ... ... ......... ... ... ... .. .. .. ... . . . . . . . .. .. . .. ... .. .

..

. . . . .. .

.. .

.. . .

. . .

.

SEE: INVISIBLE HAND

. . .. .

SEE: IMPERFECTIBILITY

SEE: PRIVATE PROPERTY

SEE: PRIVATE PROPERTY

.. .......

& NATIONAL SECURITY

AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE (FREEDOM TRUMPS SECURITY)

.. .... .. ..... .. .. .. .. ....... . .... .... .. ...... ...... . ... .. .... .

SEE: LAW & ORDER

SEE: FREEDOM ON PRINCIPLE

SEE: FREEDOM ON PRNCIPLE

25

THREE TYPES

The Traditionalist ......................................

2. THE FREE MARKETEER

3. THE LIBERTARIAN

1. THE TRADITIONALIST

26

The old tree

represents a belief in time-tested values. ALSO KNOWN AS:

Social Conservative Cultural Conservative Paleoconservative KEY FIGURE:

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) British politician and philosopher, known for his opposition to the French Revolution.

27

History as seen by

the Traditionalist “Protestant Ethic” – culture of hard work and thrift. Over thousands of years of trial and error, society learns to function better. Rise of the West – European, Judeo-Christian civilization takes the lead.

Birth of Christianity

PREHISTORIC

ANCIENT

Humans are intrinsically flawed (or sinful, from the Christian perspective). In nature, people are violent and selfish.

Fall of Rome

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

20TH CENTURY

28

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

Collapse of Soviet Union Rise of American power

TODAY

Debt, rise of China and terrorist threat – dominant position of West at risk. Spread of Communism

Decline of marriage

1960s counter-culture – traditional values undermined.

29 THE TRADITIONALIST

Culture Like the Free Marketeer and the Libertarian, the Traditionalist believes in capitalism. However, the Traditionalist sees culture as the true bedrock of society. We’ve inherited a set of social values, which have gotten us to where we are. As the saying goes, “we stand on the shoulders of giants” and we should be careful about trying to fundamentally reshape our society.

30 THE TRADITIONALIST

Stability The Traditionalist sees our way of life as the product of a long social experiment, based on millennia of trial and error. These include institutions like families, churches, local communities and businesses – which keep our society stable and functioning well.

CHURCHES

...

... ..

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

FAMILIES

..

.................................................

BUSINESSES

The Traditionalist disagrees with the Libertarian who promotes unrestrained personal freedom, such as the legalization of drugs. In the long run, it is impossible to maintain a fiscally conservative state with a socially unrestrained one, without sustaining a large welfare state and a costly police system.

HUMANS CAN’T DEAL WITH UNLIMITED FREEDOM

SEE: SELF-RELIANCE

&

LAW AND ORDER

31 THE TRADITIONALIST

Nuclear family The Traditionalist believes that the nuclear family – one man, one woman – is a building block of society. The Traditionalist sees men and women as biologically different, each with their own role in parenting.

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

..

....

....

ECONOMIC GROWTH

... .... ....

....

....

....

....

... ....

....

....

....

....

ORDER

..

..

SELF-RESTRAINT

SELF-RELIANCE

NUCLEAR FAMILY IS LINKED TO CONSERVATIVE VALUES

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

....

..

....

....

....

POVERTY

....

....

.

....

... ....

....

...

....

... ....

....

....

....

....

ADDICTION

.. DEPENDENCY

.. CRIME

SINGLE PARENTHOOD IS LINKED TO SOCIAL ILLS

32 THE TRADITIONALIST

Vigilance While the Free Marketeer and the Libertarian believe in the possibility of continual progress, the Traditionalist thinks our way of life is not as robust. Ancient Rome was weakened by decay from inside, not just foreign invaders.

................................... THE FALL OF ROME: A CAUTIONARY TALE

These days, the Traditionalist is concerned about the West declining due to:

$

GOVERNMENT DEBT

LOW BIRTH RATES

LAX SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

FAMILY BREAKDOWN

INDIVIDUALISM AND MATERIALISM

IMMIGRANTS NOT INTEGRATING

MORAL RELATIVISM*

These trends make the West more vulnerable to outside threats such as Islamic terrorism, and being overtaken by rising powers such as China.

* The idea that moral judgements are only the product of personal opinion or of a certain culture (e.g., there is no such thing as “right and wrong”).

33

THREE TYPES

The Free Marketeer 1. THE TRADITIONALIST

......................................

3. THE LIBERTARIAN

2. THE FREE MARKETEER

34

The economic chart

symbolizes a belief in the benefits of free markets and competition. ALSO KNOWN AS:

Neoliberal Fiscal Conservative KEY FIGURE:

Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher, considered to be the father of modern economics.

35

History as seen by

the Free Marketeer Commerce expands as trade spans countries.

Trade allows people to specialize. If one tribe produces good spears, and the other good baskets, trade benefits both. Life improves as people collaborate more.

PREHISTORIC

ANCIENT

Industrial Revolution – mass production makes goods more affordable.

20TH CENTURY

Without commerce, life is harsh. People spend all day gathering food. There is a high distrust of strangers.

Great Depression – countries put up trade barriers to protect local industries. Move away from free markets. Birth of modern welfare state.

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

36

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

Globalization in full swing – more countries adopt free economies. Living standards improve in countries such as China. Rise of American capitalism – leads the world in industrial production, technology and consumer goods.

TODAY

Financial Crisis, rising government debt

Spread of Communism

Failed experiments – India and other developing countries attempt central economic planning.

Governments make promises they can’t keep. Welfare state expands. Taxes and debt rises.

37 THE FREE MARKETEER

Incentives According to the Free Marketeer, people are rational and naturally act in their self-interest. Therefore, our system should harness people’s desire to further themselves. If you reduce this incentive through excessive taxation or by encouraging dependency, society as a whole suffers.

SAVES TO BUY BIKE

STUDIES HARD TO GET SCHOLARSHIP

IMMIGRATES TO IMPROVE CHILDREN’S FUTURE

TOILS ON HIS RESEARCH TO IMPRESS PEERS

TAKES RISK TO GROW COMPANY

SEEKS A JOB TO EARN GIRLFRIEND’S RESPECT

WORKS LATE TO GET PROMOTED

INVESTS TO PREPARE FOR RETIREMENT

SEE: MERITOCRACY

38 THE FREE MARKETEER

Trade The Free Marketeer sees people as natural traders, and believes that trade should be as free as possible. An employee trades her labour for a salary, which in turn, she trades for goods and services:

$

$

.................

.................

Countries also trade for mutual benefit:

$

.................

Trade not only makes everyone better off materially, but it has a civilizing influence on both individuals and countries – after all, you don’t want to fight your customer.

.. . . .. . ... ... ......... ... ... ... .. .. .. ... . . . . . . . .. .. . .. ... .. .

..

. ..

.. .

. . . . .. .

. . .. .

.

.. .......

.. .... .. ..... .. .. .. .. ....... . .... .... .. ...... ...... . ... .. .... .

.. . .

. . .

SEE: INVISIBLE HAND

39 THE FREE MARKETEER

Creative destruction The Free Marketeer supports “creative destruction”: the rapid changes that come with innovation and capitalism. For example, look at how farming has evolved: ONE PERSON WITH A TRACTOR

TEN PEOPLE NEEDED TO CULTIVATE A FIELD

VS. Creative destruction can mean that industries disappear and people must move or acquire new skills. The Free Marketeer is opposed to labour unions or government schemes that stand in the way of this process. Higher living standards are the direct result of this often unpleasant churn. To illustrate the benefits of creative destruction, see how long someone with an average salary had to work to purchase something in the 1920-30s compared with recently*:

GREAT GRANDPA

Dozen eggs

Mattress and box spring

Coast-to-coast flight

YOU

80 MINS

5 MINS

161 HOURS

24 HOURS

366 HOURS

16 HOURS

HOURS WORKED TO BUY GOODS * Economics: Private and Public Choice By James D. Gwartney, Richard L. Stroup, Russell S. Sobel, David MacPherson

41

THREE TYPES

The Libertarian 1. THE TRADITIONALIST

2. THE FREE MARKETEER

......................................

3. THE LIBERTARIAN

42

The porcupine

with its protective quills, represents the view that people should be free from all forms of coercion. ALSO KNOWN AS:

Classical Liberal Minarchist KEY FIGURE:

Milton Friedman (1912-2006) American economist, championed free market economics and minimal government intervention.

43

History as seen by

the Libertarian Development of global trade, technology and the arts.

Without a government, humans collaborate and trade with each other voluntarily.

PREHISTORIC

The Enlightenment – move towards reason and individual freedom.

ANCIENT

Without laws, property is at risk. Dark Ages – war and superstition.

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

American Revolution – principle of limited government.

20TH CENTURY

44

Positive events (top half) Negative events (bottom half)

Globalization – social and economic freedom spreads around the world.

TODAY

War on Terror – civil liberties at risk.

World War I – expansion of government power. Income taxes introduced in the U.S.

1960-70s – welfare state balloons.

Great Depression – move towards activist government.

45 THE LIBERTARIAN

Freedom on principle Unlike the Free Marketeer who supports free enterprise because it is efficient, the Libertarian believes in freedom on principle. This means total freedom in all fields – both economic and social – as long as you do not harm others.

FREEDOM

The Libertarian believes that people have a right to:

PURE “LAISSEZ-FAIRE” CAPITALISM

UNRESTRICTED GUN OWNERSHIP

LEGALIZED DRUGS

LEGALIZED PROSTITUTION

Even the most benign of government interventions, such as seat belt laws, are seen as breaches of personal freedom.

People must be free to make irresponsible choices – however, these same people cannot expect government to pick up the pieces.

46 THE LIBERTARIAN

Minimal government The Libertarian is the most adamant of all conservatives in insisting that the role of government should be strictly limited to a police force, the military and the courts.

PROTECTING PRIVATE PROPERTY

+

PROTECTING PEOPLE FROM BEING PHYSICALLY HARMED BY OTHERS

+

A MILITARY USED SOLELY FOR DEFENCE

Unlike the Traditionalist, the Libertarian has a natural distrust of government authority. Even if government acts with the best intentions and the consent of the majority, the Libertarian is wary. Government naturally seeks to increase its power. For instance, the War on Terror and the War on Drugs are two examples where government has infringed on people's civil liberties in pursuit of popular goals.

“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING”

47 THE LIBERTARIAN

Experimentation The Libertarian does not promote a particular model of sinful or saintly living. Rather, he or she believes that the choice belongs solely to the individual – not government. However, the Libertarian believes that there is value in experimentation. Here, the Libertarian again differs from the Traditionalist. While the Traditionalist believes in a more or less fixed “code for living,” the Libertarian believes in “experiments in living.”

“EXPERIMENTS IN LIVING”

To the Libertarian, culture is fluid. If you allow for as many lifestyle permutations as possible, you are better able to learn about what works, and what doesn’t.

“LET A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM”

50

PART 3

Seven conservative ideas 1. MERITOCRACY p.51 5. SELF-RELIANCE p.91 2. IMPERFECTIBILITY p.63 . .. ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

..

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

.

.........

3. INVISIBLE HAND p.73

6. NATIONAL SECURITY p.101

4. LAW AND ORDER p.81

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY p.109

...

...

. ....

. . . . ..

.. ...

51

SEVEN IDEAS

Meritocracy .............................................

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

. .. ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . . ...

...

. ....

..

. . . . ..

.. ...

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

4. LAW AND ORDER

5. SELF-RELIANCE

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

1. MERITOCRACY

52

The podium

with different levels (gold, silver, bronze) symbolizes the concept of reward based on merit.

VS.

The level surface

represents equal outcomes for all.

53

Equality of opportunity Throughout life, we take on challenges that involve discipline and the risk of failure.

OPEN TAKING AN EXAM

STARTING A BUSINESS

PLAYING A COMPETITIVE SPORT

Conservatives believe in an even playing field. However, this doesn’t mean that society can guarantee a prize to both winners and losers. Different people have different skills. Some are more hard-working than others. There is also the element of chance. Therefore, different incomes and other inequities are unavoidable.

CONSERVATIVES BELIEVE IN EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY

.................................................. .............................. ......................................................... .................................................................................

HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE EQUALITY OF RESULTS

54

Trickle-down effect Capitalism rewards those who create products that people find useful, such as a life-saving drug or a nice piece of furniture. The success of the entrepreneur then trickles down to the rest of us.

.................................................. Steve Jobs’s personal bank account is a small part of the wealth he created

.............

................................................................................

..........

............................

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple

Allows for communication between friends

Spin-off jobs created when Apple employees buy goods and services

...........

...........................................

Thousands of jobs

.......................

....................

Innovative products

Pushes competitors to improve products

Used to produce creative works

55

Economic pie The economy isn’t like a pie with a fixed number of dollars, jobs or opportunities to be divided up. If John got a job, it doesn’t mean that he took it from Adam. Rather, the pie has infinite room to grow.

.........................................

How could New York City grow so fast over the past century and continue to provide jobs and opportunities to new residents? Thanks to creativity and risk-taking, the economy simply created them out of thin air.

........................

NEW YORK CITY 1880 POP. 1,200,000

NEW YORK CITY 2010 POP. 8,400,000

56

Education There is a debate about whether good students from poor neighbourhoods should be encouraged to attend private schools through scholarships or vouchers.

HOW VOUCHERS WORK

...............................

..................

PUBLIC Government gives parents certificates which can be applied toward tuition at any school

... .... .... ....

Parents choose public or private school

.................................. PRIVATE

Some critics oppose this, arguing that this would lower the level of the public schools by encouraging the best students to leave.

Conservatives would rather not see the students with the most potential dragged down for the sake of equality.

..........

.......................

57

Life can be unfair Though a meritocratic system is best overall, injustices will still occur.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE TERRIBLE CHILDHOODS

SOME CRIMINALS GET AWAY WITH THEIR CRIMES

SOME PEOPLE ARE BORN RICH AND NEVER WORK

Sometimes, life simply isn’t fair. However, that doesn’t mean that society must be re-shaped. Conservatives are more willing to accept these shortcomings and are skeptical of government attempts to solve them.

58

Crabs in a bucket Conservatives admire success. On the flip side, conservatives are wary of envy. The expression “crabs in a bucket” refers to the way crabs prevent each other from escaping a pot. This recalls the human tendency to want to “pull down” those who do better than others.

59

Conservative classic

“Harrison Bergeron� by Kurt Vonnegut In this futuristic world, all inequities are eliminated by force.

Hazel Bergeron is deemed by the government to be perfectly average.

Her husband George is much smarter than average. He is made to wear earphones which ring loudly every few seconds to interrupt his thought process. Weights around his neck compensate for his physical strength.

They watch a ballet in which dancers wear armour-like weights and hideous masks to hide their beautiful faces. The orchestra plays purposely out of key. Suddenly, it is announced that a dangerous fugitive has escaped from prison.

60

The fugitive bursts onto the stage. He has the heaviest weights and ugliest mask of all. Hazel and George realize it is their son, Harrison, who had been taken as a child by the authorities.

Harrison rips off his mask and weights, revealing a heroic figure.

He frees a ballerina from her restraints and orders the orchestra to play in tune. In this act of rebellion, both dance beautifully, flaunting their grace.

And then they are shot down by the authorities.

The story demonstrates how a fully egalitarian society, with equal outcomes for everyone, can only be achieved through government prohibition of individual success. Therefore, everyone can only be equal at the lowest common denominator. Conservatives argue that different incomes and other inequities are unavoidable in a free society.

61

Pursuit of happiness Meritocracy doesn’t guarantee success, but it does offer the “pursuit of happiness”.

“Without dreams, without risk, only a trivial semblance of living can be achieved” -Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

63

SEVEN IDEAS

Imperfectibility 1. MERITOCRACY

.............................................

. .. ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . . ...

...

. ....

..

. . . . ..

.. ...

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

4. LAW AND ORDER

5. SELF-RELIANCE

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

64

The cracked window

symbolizes the innate, unchangeable flaws in humans.

VS.

The lump of clay

represents the belief that people can be moulded and perfected.

65

Humans are imperfect Conservatives believe that humans are naturally flawed, and many unpleasant traits are here to stay, such as:

VIOLENCE

POOR HEALTH CHOICES

PREJUDICE

FRAUD

ADDICTION

BAD PARENTING

This doesn’t mean that people cannot improve. Over time, we have learned from experience. However, human nature has not changed. Conservatives believe that we should live with these imperfections, as they are rooted in humanity.

66

Selfishness Conservatives understand that people are not altruistic. While humans are capable of acts of generosity, they tend to put their own and their families’ interests ahead of those of society as a whole.

................................... If an earthquake killed everyone in a foreign country...

...you would probably sleep fine.

................................... If you lost your little finger...

...you might not.

Therefore, conservatives don’t believe it is possible to build a society which relies only on altruism or a sense of collective duty.

67

............................

Naturally good Some critics disagree with conservative views on human nature. Instead, they think that pre-historic people were egalitarian, tolerant and peaceful. This is known as the concept of the “noble savage.�

............................

According to them, humans later changed for the worse. Modern society made them increasingly violent and selfish. Humans are therefore a product of their environment.

Hence, by changing the structure of society and educating people, you could potentially eliminate these problems.

68

Naturally flawed

............................

Many conservatives believe that the “state of nature” looked more like this*.

............................

Through trial and error, and by imposing law and order, we’ve managed to progress in spite of our flaws.

Conservatives don’t believe that perfect harmony is achievable. At best, we can expect an imperfect society which is relatively free and orderly.

* Philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) famously wrote that life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

69

Good intentions... Starting in the 1950s, many white Americans left the city for the suburbs, leaving the inner cities mostly poor and black. Government planners and modernist architects had a solution to the problem of inner-city poverty: tear down the slums and put up brand new affordable apartment blocks instead. Why did this experiment fail?

70

...gone wrong The buildings – known as “the projects” – soon became run-down and crime-ridden. After having spent fortunes constructing them, governments eventually had them demolished. Conservatives would argue that it was naive to believe you could lift people into middle-classdom simply by building concrete boxes. Conservatives feel that we should tolerate imperfections, such as pockets of poverty. Successful communities evolve gradually on their own.

71

Limited government Conservatives are distrustful of revolutions and other grand schemes to achieve utopia. Rather, government action should be limited. Philosopher Edmund Burke wrote that trying to reshape society is like meddling with the mechanisms of your watch – it’s usually a bad idea.

73

SEVEN IDEAS

Invisible hand 1. MERITOCRACY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

..

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

. . .

5. SELF-RELIANCE

...

4. LAW AND ORDER

....

.. . . ... ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

. ....

.............................................

.. .. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

74

. .... .

... . . ... . . ... .................. . . . . ... ............ . .......... . ....... .

..

..

. .................... ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.

.........

.. . .

. . .

The invisible hand

describes how markets efficiently provide the things people need, without central planning.

VS.

The pointing finger represents government control over the economy.

75

Invisible hand

.........

The economist Adam Smith coined the term “invisible hand.” This means that a free economy works all by itself, as if guided by an invisible force: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest.”

?

If enough people want a certain kind of shirt...

.........

...stores will order them...

.........

...manufacturers will make them, and farmers will grow more cotton...

.........

...more people will attend design school and create new shirts...

The result: a huge range of shirt prices, sizes and styles.

76

Central planning The opposite of free markets is central planning. Planned economies were once used in the Soviet Union, China and India – though they have since been abandoned.

.........

An official sets the style, size and price of shirts to be produced.

.........

? x x

...the store has no incentive to order it, nor the manufacturer to make it, nor the farmer to grow more cotton...

...nor the designer to create new styles...

.........

.........

x

If someone wants a different size or style...

The result: long queues for a poor selection of ill-fitting clothing.

77

Pencils How many people contribute to making a pencil?* 100? 1,000? 10,000? The number is actually in the millions. Let’s look at one tiny part of the process:

..........

To obtain the wood, you must cut a tree.

..........

The chainsaw needs a blade.

To make a blade...

...transformed...

..........

...minerals are mined... ...transported...

...shipped...

...and sold.

Each machine in the blade factory has been...

etc.

etc.

etc.

etc.

...maintained...

..........

...powered...

..........

...transported...

..........

...manufactured..

..........

..........

...designed....

etc.

Every step of the way, countless strangers collaborate, from the farmer who grows the food the lumberjack eats, to the programmer who created the factory’s accounting software. * Based on the essay “I, Pencil” by Leonard Read.

78

Government Since the free market is so efficient, conservatives are wary of government attempts to intervene in the economy.

There are simply too many moving parts to predict or control the economy.

Even if government put the most intelligent person in the world in charge of the economy...

...a baker still knows more about running a bakery.

Conservatives see the role of the government in the economy like that of a traffic officer. The officer makes sure that cars don’t crash into one another, but doesn’t tell them where to go.

79

Cucumbers One day, the government of the Canadian province of Newfoundland learned of a “miracle technology” — a giant, high-tech greenhouse that could grow cucumbers in only six days.

The premier exclaimed:

“Holy smokes — let Newfoundland be first in something!”

However, the cucumbers ended up costing much more than planned, and there was simply not enough demand for them. Many ended up as cow feed.

After pouring millions of tax dollars into the project, the greenhouses were shut down. Conservatives are distrustful of any enterprise which depends heavily on government subsidies. After all, had the cucumber technology been so great, private sector businesspeople would have invested in it.

81

SEVEN IDEAS

Law and order 1. MERITOCRACY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

.. . . ... ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

. ....

...

..

....

.. .. . .

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

.............................................

5. SELF-RELIANCE

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

4. LAW AND ORDER

82

The police badge

represents an approach to crime based on punishment and personal responsibility.

VS.

The flower

represents an approach to crime based on rehabilitation and forgiveness.

83

Personal guilt Conservatives believe that within any society, there will always be people who commit crimes. Since humans are imperfect, the law is there to keep us in check. However, those who break the law should be held personally responsible and punished accordingly.

.................

..

..

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

.................

CRIME

PUNISHMENT

...

...

DECISION

84

Collective guilt Others disagree with conservatives, arguing instead that criminals are products of their environment. In other words, society bears a collective guilt for the criminal behaviour.

POVERTY

.................

..

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

..

ADDICTION

.................

CRIME

REHABILITATION & FORGIVENESS

85

Bad apples Conservatives believe that society has its “bad apples� – those who are so lawless and irredeemable that they will always be a threat and cannot be rehabilitated.

Bad apples must be excluded from society to protect the rest of us...

...and in the most extreme cases, conservatives generally support the death penalty.

86

Guns American conservatives generally support the right to own or carry a firearm. A gun can serve as a person’s last line of defence against a criminal or a madman.

THEN – PREVENT CATTLE THEFT

NOW – STOP SHOOTING SPREE

87

Order Conservatives value order since they see it as a foundation of a well functioning society. When people feel safe, they can better pursue happiness. However, society is not naturally orderly and we must actively keep chaos at bay:

.............

Consider an abandoned building.

.............

It remains untouched for a while, until a vandal breaks a window.

.............

If it isn’t fixed, someone will break a few more. Soon, intruders will enter.

Finally, someone may set fire to it.

88

Order Many conservatives are intolerant of acts that may seem minor or victimless. Some examples include:

GRAFFITI

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

DRUG USE

SQUEEGEE KIDS

People constantly scan their surroundings to judge what is acceptable behaviour. An ordered environment sends the message that criminal acts are not tolerated.*

* Learn more by searching for “Broken windows theory.”

89

Retribution Conservatives also see punishment as retributive.

...................

When a criminal harms someone, he creates an imbalance.

...................

Without a legal system that gives the victim’s family and friends the assurance that the crime will be punished, people may be tempted to commit vigilante justice.

When a judge imposes a punishment, this helps correct this imbalance.

90

Victims Conservatives believe that a criminal must pay a “debt to society.” If someone holds up a store, he harms not only the cashier and the store owner – he also creates a climate of insecurity for their families, other cashiers and storeowners, the entire neighbourhood, and society as a whole.

91

SEVEN IDEAS

Self-reliance 1. MERITOCRACY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

.. . . ... ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

. ....

...

..

....

.. .. . .

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

4. LAW AND ORDER

.............................................

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

5. SELF-RELIANCE

92

The compass

which helps you to find your way when you are lost, represents self-reliance.

VS.

The blanket

that keeps you warm, represents the notion that government should take care of all our needs.

93

Self-reliance Conservatives value hard work and autonomy. On the flip side, conservatives believe that idleness and dependancy are harmful. While government should prevent extreme poverty, able-bodied people have a responsibility to pull their own weight.

“GIVE A MAN A FISH, AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A DAY...

...TEACH A MAN TO FISH, AND YOU FEED HIM FOR A LIFETIME.”

94

Negative rights Conservatives favour “negative” rights over “positive” rights.

Examples of negative rights include:

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL

They are the right to be protected from abuses by government or others. On the other hand, conservatives are critical of positive rights – the idea that people are entitled to something from government.

Conservatives might disagree with positive rights such as:

A GUARANTEED JOB

FREE UNIVERSITY TUITION

RENT CONTROL

95

Nanny state Conservatives believe that government shouldn’t act as a “nanny state.”

Government should instead assume that people are capable of making their own choices and planning their future:

BUYING INSURANCE

RAISING CHILDREN

SAVING FOR RETIREMENT

.................................... ...it can undermine their ability to be self-reliant...

If government shields people too much...

...................

................

.............................. ...which means ever more calls for government involvement.

...which leads to weaker families and communities...

96

The good life Conservatives not only believe that dependancy is costly for society – but that it also harms individuals themselves. To conservatives, self-reliance is part of the “good life.”

SELF-RELIANCE

+ SELF-CONTROL

... . ...

.. ...

...

..

SELF-CONFIDENCE

.... .

&

SELF-DETERMINATION

97

Delayed gratification Conservatives believe that an important value is the willingness to forgo short-term pleasure for long-term gain.

Study 1 In a study* conducted on four-year-old children, a researcher left each child alone in a room with a marshmallow on a desk.

DELAY GRATIFICATION

.

...

.. ...

..

.. ...

..

.. ...

..

.. ...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

The researcher gave each child a choice: have a marshmallow right away, or wait a few minutes and get two when the researcher returned.

INDULGE RIGHT AWAY

Researchers kept track of the kids over time, and found that the same children who delayed gratification did better in school and were less likely to take drugs.

* Study by Walter Mischel, Stanford Professor of Psychology.

98

Delayed gratification Some disagree with the conservative focus on self-control. Critics say that poverty is mainly a result of insufficient government aid, discrimination and low wages.

Study 2 Another American study* looked at this question and found that if you:

FINISH HIGH SCHOOL

+ WORK FULL TIME (EVEN MINIMUM WAGE)

+

WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE MARRIED AND 21 YEARS OLD TO HAVE A CHILD

2%

ODDS OF BEING POOR**

* Study by Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill, Brookings Institution.

** under the official poverty line

99

Resist the sirens In Greek Mythology, the character Odysseus hears about sirens who live on an island and lure sailors with their voices and music – only to watch them shipwreck on the rocks surrounding the island. Odysseus wants to hear the sirens, so he has his sailors plug their ears with wax while he has himself tied to the mast, with orders not to untie him under any circumstances. The fable recalls the real-world “siren songs” that can derail lives – as well as the ability to resist them.

100

Conservative classic

“The Ant and the Grasshopper” by Aesop This fable involves two characters: The ant works all summer to gather food for the winter.

At the same time, the grasshopper idles away the summer. He sings all day and mocks the ant for being so boring.

When the winter comes, the cold and hungry grasshopper begs at the ant’s door – only to be rebuked. Conservatives tend to side with the ant.

101

SEVEN IDEAS

National security 1. MERITOCRACY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

.. ... ... ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

. ....

...

..

.. . . . . .. .

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

4. LAW AND ORDER

5. SELF-RELIANCE

.............................................

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

102

The hawk

represents the need for a strong military and the will to use it.

VS.

The dove

symbolizes the notion that conflicts can always be peacefully resolved.

103

National security Conflict has existed throughout history and conservatives see it as a reality of life. Conservatives believe that countries will always have enemies, just as crime is a constant within any society. Hence we should be vigilant about threats both at home and abroad.

VIGILANCE

Over time, national security risks have included:

FOREIGN ARMIES

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

ESPIONAGE

TREASON

TERRORISM

104

Power Conservatives believe that countries act in their own self-interest, just like humans. Every country wants to increase its power while protecting its security. American conservatives are unabashed about wanting their country to remain “Number 1.”

During the Cold War, power was measured in different ways. The United States defeated the USSR by besting it on every measure.

VS.

NUCLEAR ARSENAL

ECONOMIC OUTPUT

IDEOLOGICAL INFLUENCE

105

Terrorism Conservatives don’t believe that Islamic terrorism is caused by American interference in the Middle East or that terrorists can be appeased. Rather, conservatives see jihad as a death cult that seeks to spread an oppressive form of Islam by force.

Though conservatives value freedom, many believe that some rights need to be reconsidered in order to combat terrorism:

GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE

PROFILING FOR AIRPORT SECURITY

AGGRESSIVE INTEROGATION METHODS

MILITARY TRIALS FOR TERRORISTS

106

War is a necessary evil Conservatives don’t believe that all conflicts stem from misunderstandings that can be resolved peacefully.

Sometimes war is a necessary evil, and a country should have a strong military that it is prepared to use.

A famous political ad by former U.S. President Reagan stated: “There’s a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious. And dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear?”

107

Spreading freedom Conservatives also support a strong military for idealistic reasons. Conservatives see the West – in particular America – as a force for good. While advancing its own interests, America has also helped maintain order and spread freedom around the world.

...............

.................

MARSHALL PLAN

DEFEAT NAZIS

................. CONTAIN COMMUNISM

GLOBAL TRADE

................. NUCLEAR UMBRELLA

DEFEAT COMMUNISM

Conservatives hoped that the missions in Afghanistan and Iraq would have the same effect.

.................

................. AFGHANISTAN WAR

IRAQ WAR

SPREAD DEMOCRACY IN MIDDLE EAST

However, some conservatives have changed their minds. Skepticism about grand social schemes raises doubts about trying to reshape a foreign country by force.

108

Conservative classic “300” (2007 film)

Sparta is told to submit to a massive Persian army. While Spartan priests and politicians wish to appease the Persians, King Leonidas and his disciplined army of 300 confront the barbaric enemy hordes – reminding us that “freedom isn’t free.”

109

SEVEN IDEAS

Private property 1. MERITOCRACY

2. IMPERFECTIBILITY

.. ... ... ... .................. ............ . .......... . ...... . .

. ....

...

..

.. . . . . .. .

.

.........

.................... . ... .... ........... ............ . ..........

.. . .

. . .

3. INVISIBLE HAND

4. LAW AND ORDER

5. SELF-RELIANCE

6. NATIONAL SECURITY

.............................................

7. PRIVATE PROPERTY

110

The closed gate

that limits access to the owner’s land, represents the concept of private ownership.

VS.

The open gate

that is accessible to all, represents public ownership.

111

Private property Conservatives value the right to own private property, be it:

LAND

MONEY

COMPANY

VEHICLE

People in the West often take for granted the right to private property. Before we had the police and courts, the world was a rough place. Look at towns in the Middle Ages: they were designed for a time when people were at the mercy of roving bandits.

When life became safer, people no longer had to spend as much time and money defending themselves.

Someone who owns property can borrow against it or pass it on to the next generation. A society with secure property rights will be prosperous and stable.

112

Role of government

This can mean a police officer catching a burglar...

..

...

.. ...

...

.. ...

..

.. ... .. ...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

While conservatives believe in small government, they agree that protecting people's property is one of its fundamental roles.

...or a judge enforcing a contract.

At the same time, the government should not be allowed to confiscate property for itself without legitimate reasons.

113

Bad incentives As was mentioned earlier, conservatives believe that incentives matter.

A lack of property rights reinforces destructive behaviour:

X

.............

Businesspeople who can’t ensure their agreements will be enforced won’t trade with as many people...

...or they may be tempted to swindle others.

Companies won’t invest in a country where the state is likely to confiscate businesses...

...and weak property rights tempt corruptible officials.

114

Collective farms Following the Russian Revolution, Soviet authorities confiscated farmland and created “collective farms.� The state set crop targets and people were coerced into joining. These farms proved to be very innefficient:

95%

of the farmland in the Soviet Union was public, large-scale and mechanized.

..............

the land consisted of small 5% ofprivate plots that people cultivated in their free time.

all the food in the USSR 25% ofwas produced by these small gardens.

* Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities by Jerome Donald Fellmann, Arthur Getis, Judith Getis

115

Tragedy of the commons The “Tragedy of the Commons” describes the problems that occur when a group of farmers share a common grazing field. Each farmer is tempted to add too many cows, until the grass is gone — ruining the pasture for everyone.

....................................................

.....................................................

..........................................................................................................................

..........................................................................................................................

THE COMMONS

....................................................

.....................................................

.....................................................

.....................................................

..........................................................................................................................

..........................................................................................................................

PRIVATE PLOTS

When you own something, you take care of it. If something belongs to everyone, then it belongs to no one — and it will not be treated well.

The

Graphic Guide to Conservatism

About the author

OLIVIER BALLOU Born and raised in Quebec, my two great passions have always been design and politics. I’ve since worked as a visual communications professional both in the political world and in the private sector. I obtained my master’s degree in Political Communication from the London School of Economics.

Tell YOUR story visually If your organization would like to use visuals to get its message across – whether through graphic layouts or video clips – write to or visit my site:

olivierballou.com

Thank you A special thanks to: Eloise Ballou Steve Ballou Adrienne Beaudry

Andrew Christie Bradley Doucet Hamish Marshall

John Menzies Christian Steimel

Sam Hiyate Andrew MacDougall Michael Prell

Aaron Rodericks Chris Schafer Yekaterina Syrtsova

Also to: Paul Beaudry Alexandre Catta Adam Daifallah

Design inspiration: David McCandless Jonathan Jarvis Alexander Rodchenko Thank you to the Noun Project for many of the icons.

Content: The ideas in this book come from numerous articles, books and videos I’ve come across over the years – too numerous to list or even recall. However, the following authors deserve a special mention: Brian Lee Crowley Victor Davis Hanson Milton Friedman Russell Kirk

Ezra Levant Martin Masse Kenneth Minogue Ayn Rand

Thomas Sowell Mark Steyn Bill Whittle


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