Konservatismus

Ich las heute dieses hier:

https://www.untergrund-blättle.ch/politik/die_herrschaft_der_beliebigkeit.html

Und kam sehr ins Grübel, was sich kürzest wiedergeben lassen könnte als:

Kondylis, Breuer, Voegelin und der Kampf des Liberalismus mit sich selbst am Abgrund der Postmoderne…vielleicht ist die Krise der Demokratie eine Krise des Bürgerlichen schlechthin? (ich beanspruche da keinen Platz auf endgültige Wahrheiten, unfalsifizierbare Richtigkeit oder unbeirrbare Durchdringung, sondern denke lediglich laut)

Panajotis Kondylis‘ Buch „Konservativismus. Geschichtlicher Gehalt und Untergang“ von 1986, ist eine Geschichte des Konservatismus, die gegen die damals in Deutschland dominierende Theorie von Karl Mannheim geschrieben ist, die den Konservatismus als ein Reaktionsphänomen verstand, das aus der Französischen Revolution hervorgegangen sei. Für Kondylis sei der Konservatismus eher das bereits seit dem Mittelalter existierende Weltbild des Adels, der seine Legitimation aus einer bestimmten Auffassung des Rechts als eines Privilegs bezieht, die mit der völlig andersgearteten egalitären Rechtsauffassung der Moderne unvereinbar ist.

Ausgehend von diesem Konservatismus-Begriff ist nach Stefan Breuer der Konservatismus als einheitliche adlige Gegenideologie historisch am Ende des 19. Jh. untergegangen. Längst waren zu diesem Zeitpunkt all seine Denk- und Praxisenergien in den verschiedenen Varianten des Liberalismus zusammengelaufen, der das geschichtlich entscheidende Ensemble von Orientierungs- und Suchbewegungen um 1900 in sich aufgenommen hatte (inklusive der sog. Konservativen Revolution).

Der Konservatismus zu dem sich heute immer noch oder wieder bekennen, wäre demnach nichts als Liberalismus in wahlweise wirtschaftsliberaler oder nationalistischer Form (oder gern auch beides). Und ist vom Grundgerüst des Liberalismus nichts Anderes als der Liberalismus der Linken oder der Mitte (oder wie man es auch bezeichnen müsste). Auch wenn es sog. „Konservativen“ und ihren „linken“ Gegnern nicht passt: Kondylis weist nach, dass es sich beim Konservativismus nur noch um ein rein historisches Phänomen handelt, nicht aber um einen inhaltlich gefüllten Begriff, der sinnvoll für aktuelle politische Phänomene zu gebrauchen wäre. Konservativismus war die Ideologie des alteuropäischen Adels, mit dem er sich gegen den Aufstieg von Bürgertum und Arbeiterklasse geistig zur Wehr setzte. Demnach sind heutige Konservative auch nur Liberale.

Eric Voegelin schreibt in seinem Aufsatz „What is a Liberal?“ u.a.:

Liberalism is Defined by What It Opposes.

The picture of liberalism changes because liberalism itself changes in the process of history. And it changes because it is not a body of timelessly valid scientific propositions about political reality, but rather a series of political opinions and attitudes that have their optimal truth in the situation that motivates them, and are then overtaken by history and required to do justice to new situations.

Liberalism is a political movement in the context of the surround­ing Western revolutionary movement; its meaning alters with the phases of the surrounding movement. Its field of optimal clarity is the nineteenth century, which is preceded and followed by fields of decreasing clarity in which it becomes increasingly difficult to establish its identity. We can best gain access to this constantly changing field of meaning if we seize the expression “liberal” at its point of historical and political origin.

Even if, as we have seen, the beginnings of liberalism can be traced back to the early sixteenth century, the word liberal is nevertheless a relatively late creation. It appears for the first time in the second decade of the nineteenth century when a party of the Spanish Cortes of 1812 called itself the Liberales. This was a liberal constitutional party that formed a front against attempts at restoration.

From this beginning the expression “liberal” entered the general European vo­cabulary, and soon there occurred throughout Europe the formation of liberal groups, parties, and movements. The first use of the expression indicates the problems of liber­alism. The new attitude is so tightly bound up with the attitudes it opposes that the entire complex of attitudes becomes a unity of meaning that overshadows each of its elements. In the decade from 1810 to 1820 there arise, parallel with the idea of liberalism, the ideas of conservatism and of restoration.

With Chateaubriand’s Le Conservateur we have conservatism, and with Mailer’s Restauration der Staatswissenschaft of 1816 we have the idea of restoration. Within a decade those three symbols arise that henceforth designate movements and parties, run parallel, are interrelated, and are held together in a unity of meaning by the fact that they are three modes of reaction to the phenomenon of revolution. The meaning of the three modes of reaction is defined in relation to the revolution, so that only in its context can the four labels–revolution, restoration, conservatism, and liberalism–be understood.

But even having gained this insight, we still cannot state the meaning of the four symbols precisely, as in a conceptual defini­tion. For in the historical process the elements of the movements develop even relative to each other and change their meaning.

[…]

A very remarkable new change of meaning has occurred in liberal­ism since the Second World War. If you look at the political fronts of the postwar period–in West Germany, France, and Italy–you will note a political force that before the war did not exist to this massive extent: the principal parties are closely connected with the Catholic and Protestant churches.

Through mutual assimila­tion, liberalism and this new force came into broad agreement. The liberals who were overtaken by the revolution became con­servative and the conservative Christian organizations liberalized themselves considerably. There became possible a common front against the common danger [Soviet communism].

But again, the social context has its effect, and the direction of the development is not unambiguous. When parties of Catholic or Protestant affiliation become the bear­ers of liberalism then rigidly secularist liberals may become still more secularist and more anti-clerical–may, as in France, move even more sharply toward the left, since the liberal position is now occupied by conservatives, may even tend toward the Communist Party, although they are by no means Communists. Especially in France and Italy, Communism took over the anti-clerical function of the older liberalism, because the old liberals shifted toward the right and became conservative, occasionally with distinctly Chris­tian overtones.

[…]

The idea of peaceful change–a policy of timely adaptation to the social situation that, in the age of the industrial revolution, changes very quickly–has become today a constant in all shades of liberalism. From this point of view liberalism becomes a method for carrying on the revolution with other, less destructive means.

This liberalism, plausible and tempting as it sounds, is weak because it greatly underestimates the motives and forces underlying the revolution. In fact, liberalism did not buy off the terrors of revolution at all but rather was forced to play the conservative role in the age of totalitarian regimes

[…]

he political aspect of liberalism is defined by the liberal op­position to certain abuses, which are to be eliminated. Liberalism is above all against the old-style police state, that is, against the encroachment of the executive upon the judicial and legislative domains; in constitutional politics liberals demand the separation of powers. Secondly, they oppose the old social order, that is, the privileged position of clergy and nobility. At this point can be seen the weakness of a political attitude that is tied to the situation; we will have more to say about this later.

In time, when the rising working class becomes politically capable of directing it, the at­tack on privilege turns against the liberal bourgeoisie itself. In the course of the revolutionary movement the attack cannot end until the society has become egalitarian.

[…]

Liberalism has run into difficulties. The programmatic battle could always be waged with success up to a certain point, only to fall into a new difficulty, more serious than the one overcome. We must now look more closely at the phenomenon of liberalism being overtaken and mired down. The weakness of political liberalism is its belief in the redemptive value of a constitutional model constructed in opposition to abso­lute monarchy and the police state.

[…]

inally, universal suffrage was originally in no way a political goal of the liberals; it was a populist element, and the older liberals sought to uphold in opposition to it the suffrage principle of property and education. Only under massive political pressure from below did it develop gradually into a liberal demand.

A constitutional model that is so manifestly historically contin­gent must lead unavoidably to difficulties and cause severe damage when it is dogmatized into a worldview and its elements are raised to articles of faith. The catastrophe of its exportation to non-Western societies plays itself out for all to see, but we need not look that far.

Within the West itself, Europe has been led to the brink of destruction by the international propaganda against, and destruction of, political structures that do not correspond to the model of the liberal national state and by the insanity of introducing the model without transition into societies that had not produced it. Especially the misunderstanding of basic human rights as including the privilege to ideologically destroy the existing order has had deadly consequences in societies without a mature political tradi­tion, such as the German.

Today the eschatological fire of the model is, if not extinguished, considerably dampened. We know today that societies do not become free through liberal constitutions, but that free societies produce liberal constitutions and can function in their framework–a relation to which John Stuart Mill pointed emphatically…

Closely connected with the failure of the constitutional model is the collapse of the economic model. In its English conception the economic model was originally bound to the situation of a relatively low concentration of population and a predominantly agrarian economy…When society differentiated into capitalist and worker, the model of the society of free, equal citizens was overtaken by a reality that pressed toward the crisis of class struggle. There arose the social-ethical problematic, which after long political struggles led to the massive introduction of socialist elements into the liberal economic structure…“

Kurz gesagt, auch der Liberalismus ist ein Zeit-Strömung, die vor allem in der Dichotomie mit dem Anderen funktionierte (zuerst der Adel und sein Konservatismus, dann evtl. der Faschismus und der Kommunismus mit ihren Revolutionen). Da heute aber, in den westlichen Ländern im Grunde alle Bürgerliche sind und irgendwie (deswegen?) auch keiner mehr und sich nur auf bestimmte Aspekte des Liberalismus stürzen und sie gegen die Anderen wenden, ist das nur ein Selbststreit innerhalb des Liberalismus. Wenn der klassische Arbeiter verschwindet ist das eher aber kein Sieg des Bürgertums, sondern ein letztes Strampeln und Selbstzerfleischen, weil man ebenfalls Relikt geworden ist und wie Kondylis beschreibt längst in der postmodernen Massendemokratie sein Hamsterrad abläuft und sich wahlweise vom neoliberalen Kapitalismus kaufen lässt, der kann nämlich aus allen liberalen Richtungen Kapital schlagen, er ist der Freund seiner autoritären Nutznießer wie der internationalistischen Globalisierungsmaschine.

Insofern wäre ein Großteil aller derzeitigen Politik im Grunde reaktionär.

Wenn also vor echter Revolution (in welche Richtung auch immer) zurückgeschreckt wird, aber auch kein echter Gegner vorhanden ist, reformiert man sich im System herum und wird wiederum bekämpft, schönes Beispiel Feminismus…gestern las ich ein gutes Interview mit Camille Paglia (da wissen die Leute ja auch nix mit anzufangen, weil sie den Linken zu rechts und den Rechten im Grunde zu links ist, wenn wir’s mal auf die alten Begriffe runterbrechen), da sagte u.a. das:

I am an equity feminist: that is, I demand equal opportunity for women through the removal of all barriers to their advance in the professional and political realms. However, I oppose special protections for women as inherently paternalistic and regressive. Women have rarely worked side by side with men in the way they now do in the modern workplace, whose competitive operational systems were devised by men for maximum productivity. Despite their general affluence, professional women of the Western world have been chronically unhappy for decades, and I conjecture that it is partly because they have been led to expect happiness from a mechanical work environment that doesn’t make men happy either.“

Mal davon ab, dass ich dem Standpunkt zur „Frauenfrage“ zustimme, zeigt doch dieses Sich ins bestehende System einbohren wollen um wenigstens ebenso unglücklich zu sein, anstatt das System zu ändern genau das herumlavieren in dem was heute Liberalismus ist (selbst das zeitgenössische Hausfrauendasein ist ja nun auch nicht mit dem früheren zu vergleichen, allein, weil es im Grunde ebenso atomisiert ist wie vieles andere auch).

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