Originally Posted by BBII
I'm glad you framed it that way because it boils down to one of the best descriptions I've ever read about the most common core difference between a Liberal and a Conservative. I'll have to find out where I read it someday, I've looked for it again before and couldn't find it.
Anyway, it comes down to what you believe about humanity and human nature.
Liberals tend to believe in the possibility that society (and mankind with it) is on a journey towards perfecting itself. And that society released from the restraints of the past (ie tradition) will discover ever better ways to do things until eventually most of the problems today cease to exist, or at least dramatically improve. They tend to view tradition with skepticism, and often see them as plain mechanisms of social control.
Conservatives tend to believe human nature itself is flawed and that values and traditions often serve as a necessary check or balance on our innate flaws. Mankind released from the restraints of the past may well fall into the terrible consequence of his own ignorance. The traditions we have today are often based on the lessons hard-learned by those who came before. Venturing away from those traditions should usually be done with very careful caution and deliberation.
Now, as for the specifics about greed and immorality, you're right to say that there is immorality there. Unfortunately, mankind is always an ill-equipped judge. It's impossible as an individual for you to put yourself as the judge of your neighbor.
So you say we choose representatives, who should serve as the moral judges of society. Unfortunately, there are no truly objective judges. They're all human too. And given time and space, those judges will tend to find morality in their own interests, and immorality in the interests of those opposed to them. This is why socialist experiments always end in a favored political class. Trading the nobility for the politburo. It's the inevitable road.
That's a load of old codswallop, as our U.K. friends say.
Life goes forward - not backward.
Change is the only constant.
Point to any step forward in human evolution, in any arena, and some conservative or other has invariably opposed it.
The conservative mindset is fundamentally opposed to life on life's terms.