The Conscience of a Conservative

The Conscience of a Conservative In Barry Goldwater set forth his brief manifesto in The Conscience of a Conservative Written at the height of the Cold War and in the wake of America s greatest experiment with big government t

Conscience Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual s moral philosophy or value system Conscience stands in contrast to elicited emotion or thought due to associations based on immediate sensory perceptions and reflexive responses, as in sympathetic central nervous system responses In common terms, conscience is often described as leading Conscience Definition of Conscience by Merriam Webster it is a politician s natural instinct to avoid taking any stand that seems controversial unless and until the voters demand it or conscience absolutely requires it Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, We like to imagine literature as the still, small voice of human conscience.It is that only rarely, however.

  • Title: The Conscience of a Conservative
  • Author: Barry M. Goldwater C.C. Goldwater Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Sean Wilentz
  • ISBN: 9780691131177
  • Page: 391
  • Format: Paperback
  • In 1960, Barry Goldwater set forth his brief manifesto in The Conscience of a Conservative Written at the height of the Cold War and in the wake of America s greatest experiment with big government, the New Deal, Goldwater s message was not only remarkable, but radical He argued for the value and importance of conservative principles freedom, foremost among them in conIn 1960, Barry Goldwater set forth his brief manifesto in The Conscience of a Conservative Written at the height of the Cold War and in the wake of America s greatest experiment with big government, the New Deal, Goldwater s message was not only remarkable, but radical He argued for the value and importance of conservative principles freedom, foremost among them in contemporary political life Using the principles he espoused in this concise but powerful book, Goldwater fundamentally altered the political landscape of his day and ours.

    One thought on “The Conscience of a Conservative”

    1. I don’t like discussing politics. Much too often it seems to be an exercise in futility; almost everyone is convinced they’re right, and virtually nothing can convince them otherwise. As a consequence, political debates are hardly debates at all—just pompous mudslinging.The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of us don’t choose our political beliefs; we adopt our values and ideologies from our social milieu. Yes, many of us do attempt to justify our beliefs later in life, after [...]

    2. This book was originally published in 1960, and it made Goldwater a lightning rod for everyone’s opinions on the state of the nation. Looking at his thinking from the distance of fifty-seven years, I think we can state unequivocally that he benefitted from the one-way megaphone a book provides. What astonishes me now is how Goldwater is looked at in some circles as the gold standard for rolling back government. His argument is completely specious, and what’s more, has been debunked in practi [...]

    3. This was an interesting book, a throwback to the earliest stirrings of movement conservatism. I am a liberal who has become increasingly curious about why modern conservatism has become much less of an ideology and far more of a religion. This book does the job.Senator Goldwater's prose is excellent and even inspiring at times. His primary thesis is that the expansion of individual freedom is the primary and only legitimate goal of government. The blueprint for the activities through which this [...]

    4. As the political season is upon us, I recently decided to read Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative.” I was a bit surprised at what I read. There was little concern for the social agenda which has dominated conservative conversations in recent years. One might argue that back in 1960 at the book’s writing, the “culture wars” were not on anyone’s radar screen. Even in later life, however, Goldwater sparred intensely with religious and social conservatives. Their agend [...]

    5. I rated this book as amazing not because of its content, but its ability to make me see how conservative thought makes sense to its practitioners. I've always had that, "how can they see it that way? They must be insane," kind of rationale, and this book succinctly sums up an alternative worldview, one I don't agree with, but better understand now. Every leftie/pinko/liberal bleeding heart should read this book.

    6. This book really opened my eyes to true Conservative principles-- unlike those that are presented by the modern Republican Party. Many of the ideas expressed in this book are very relevant to the problems we deal with today. That is, except for the last (and largest) chapter that dealt with the Soviet threat. I really appreciated all Mr. Goldwater put forth in this book and it will definitely shape the political decisions I will make in the future.

    7. Barry Goldwater would have no place in the Republican party of today. His political thought here is far more in line with what most of us would classify as libertarian. To hear any modern republican claiming Barry Goldwater is a clear example of ignorance speaking or outright lies. The neocons and the religious right should read this book and either come clean about not being truly conservative, or straighten themselves out.This book is basically a statement of Goldwater's position on various to [...]

    8. I read this book when it was originally published in 1961, I think. I had the opportunity to work on the Goldwater campaign as a 16 year old volunteer specializing in passing out flyers, drinking beer and talking up Republican young ladies. Goldwater's ideas were characterized as radical at the time but he paved the way for Reagan's conservatism in 1980. He was a charismatic and inspirational speaker and leader and his ideas still resonate today.

    9. A true conservative, not like the perfidious neocons of late: for a strong defense, constitutionally limited government (anti-New Deal!), pro-labor (but against forced union shops), and against the welfare state and redistribution. What a massive improvement a Goldwater presidency would have been; how much better our country had he won in 1964!

    10. While I don't agree with much of what Goldwater has to say, he does say it in a straightforward and honest manner. And he does admit that Republicans even in his day were no more honest in cutting spending than they are today -- they just spend it in other ways.He also pointed out that it is irresponsible to cut taxes before cutting spending."I believe that, as a practical matter, spending cuts must come before tax cuts. If we reduce taxes before firm, principled decisions are made about expendi [...]

    11. I often read books written by people who have views that are vastly different than mine (I mean, what's the point of reading what you already agree with?). Still, I was hoping for at least a relatively intelligent presentation of the conservative viewpoint and was sorely disappointed. Everything pretty much boils down to "The Founding Fathers said it, so it must be right," which is as stupid as stupid gets. Conveniently ignoring that fact that we live in more complex society with somewhat more a [...]

    12. Dated? Yes. Full of ideas that I think range from crazy to mind boiling? Yes.Important? Definitely.Even if you disagree with everything Goldwater stood for, it's still arguably one of the more important books about the United States and US Politics.

    13. Disagree with 90% of it but this is a well written book detailing the conservative ideology which has become prominent in the US over the last 50 years. More readable than it has any right to be.

    14. This is not the timeless outline of conservative political philosophy I expected, but still fairly interesting, especially having hindsight on certain topics, such as the Cold War. Barry Goldwater was certainly a trailblazer, and many of the ideas he covered in this book are now quite mainstream or considered libertarian.

    15. This book is not impressive given its near-scriptural reputation among conservatives, and is every bit the match of a contemporary political convention speech in terms of both puff and pabulum. There is practically no analytic depth on any of the numerous topics he (or, rather, his ghostwriter, L. Brent Bozell--see the front matter) forwards, and much of the book isn't even an argument, but just a recitation of assertions which are only weakly interrelated, if at all. Richard Posner (judge for t [...]

    16. When George W. Bush ran for the Republican presidential nomination as a “compassionate conservative,” I knew, without ever having read Conscience of a Conservative, that he did not understand conservatism as “a comprehensive political philosophy” (to use Barry Goldwater’s words). I suspected then that Bush’s so-called “compassionate” conservatism would bear little resemblance to the political philosophy I associate with conservatism. It is timely that this edition of Conscience o [...]

    17. I decided to absorb this book before Jeff Flake's recent work by the same title. (Flake is writing in the same tradition, seeing himself as in the lineage of Goldwater.) There is much in Goldwater's playbook that can be found in 2017 Republican establishment playbooks. It is not hard to see the Tea Party in what he writes, but there are also some contradictions--namely in wanting to build up the military--that are problematic for Goldwater's preference for limited government.Goldwater is writing [...]

    18. Thus, for the American Conservative, there is no difficulty in identifying the day's overriding political challenge: it is to preserve and extend freedom. As he surveys the various attitudes and institutions and laws that currently prevail in America, many questions will occur to him, but the Conservative's first concern will always be: Are we maximizing freedom?--Barry GoldwaterI've heard a lot about Barry Goldwater, but had never taken the time to read much about him. During my study of the ci [...]

    19. George Will's latest compilation includes his foreward to this publication. His forward was compelling enough to motivate me to interrupt reading Will and take up this short piece.I must confess that I was disappointed to find the book lacking (in my opinion) much of the substance required to offer a sense of "conscience" to traditional conservative political philosophy. I respect the work for its thorough and concise treatment of a variety of subjects central to contemporary conservative though [...]

    20. barry goldwater served alongside william f buckley as the father of a near unrecognizable conservativism by today's standards, and this book, the conscience of a conservative, functions as his manifesto. there's a lot to admire in here, not the least of which is goldwater's articulate and powerful defense of constitutional liberties and man's right to self-reliance and determination. his target is often the government itself, and the book's main thrust is that if the government can force relianc [...]

    21. As concise and lucid a summation of the basic tenants of conservative thought as you are likely to find anywhere. Much of this book is extremely prescient, and I was shocked by how well the book addresses so many of the hot-button social and economic issues Americans face today. With his chapter on the pitfalls of government stimulus packages, it almost feels as though Goldwater is confronting George W. Bush and Barack Obama head-on. The only section that's dated is the stuff pertaining to the a [...]

    22. Was given this gratis at a dinner at the Goldwater Institute with Mary Matalin, Art Laffer and Jonah Goldberg. It had been 20+ years since I originally read it and it was along overdue revisit.After 12 years in San Francisco, I have found myself marginalized politically and reluctant to admit that I am a conservative. I'm amazed at how applicable Goldwaters thoughts from 1960 are to todays political discourse and find myself reinvigorated for debate and once again proud to admit my political vie [...]

    23. What utter apostasy that John McCain now occupies the Senate seat that Barry Goldwater once held."The Conservative looks upon politics as the art of acheiving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of the social order The practice of freedom requires the establishment of order. But the political power on which order is based is a self-aggrandizing force; that its appetite grows with eating. [The Conservative] knows that the utmost vigilance and ca [...]

    24. Feeling enlightened by my first ever reading of this book. There is plenty to disagree with like Goldwater's stance on civil rights but it's a thoughtful read for a conservative. Fav part for me was his narrative on labor, something that especially resonates w me. This is a real classic and I wish I had read it earlier.

    25. Read and keep in mind your getting duped by a couple of smarmy Yale-boys with much bigger intentions than this thing lets on. Good for plebs.

    26. This book is getting a little long in the tooth but there are still some very good points being made. It is interesting how many issues from 1960 are still issues today.

    27. Published in 1960 its perspective is as valid today as then; unfortunately, too few people heeded the Senator's warnings and we stand on the precipice of a great nation lost.

    28. The small snippets I had read about Barry Goldwater suggested that he was the reasonable face of Republicanism so I was interested to read his statement of principles. I was disappointed to discover it’s basically the source of almost every banal right wing talking point of the last almost sixty years. It’s not that he doesn’t make a good case. He writes eloquently and without malice. It’s just that his theory of strict constitutionalism suffers the same flaw as every other political sys [...]

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