The Conservative Paradox: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957)

Having read much about societal collapse including Jared Diamond’s fine book “Collapse”, I wonder if all civilizations are brought down by what I call the Conservative Paradox. The very movement or school of thought that attempts to preserve society, that movement brings it down.

How might this work?

Jonathan Haidt’s work “The Righteous Mind” suggests that conservatives value hierarchy, in group loyalty and the sacredness they apply to these constructs. But unfortunately I suspect that makes them fearful of threats to these constructs, things that threaten their sacred, hierarchical in group status quo. And they fear these threats more than they fear the destruction of civilization itself.

So they fail to grasp the Conservative novelist Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s in fine his novel the Leopard:
Things have to change so they can remain the same.”
Society’s hierarchy, it’s tribal nature and what it holds sacred has to change for civilization to survive. In our case what is needed is a more egalitarian society, a therefore more stable society, that transcends tribalism and creates global alliances to save the planet and punishes free riders. A society that makes the Planet the focus of the sacred, not hierarchy or one tribe.

So for our civilization to survive, for conservatism to survive and contribute to it, it has to change as Lampedusa suggests.

Image result for Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Book Reviews, Conflict Processes, Economic Conflict, Environmental Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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