Cugel wrote:It's nice & easy to reduce every subject matter to a binary "It's this or that" answer. But the world, including the world of human ideas and behaviours, is far more complex - a series of analogue scales with many intersecting dimensions. "Left & right" as labels of political persuasion, for example, are just local simplifications reflecting the seating arrangements of the original British Parliament.
Left/right wing does not relate in any way to the House of Commons seating. The government always sits on the benches to the right of the Speaker, whatever their politics.
It does however relate to the seating of the National Assembly of France in 1789. The monarchist elements sat to the right of the president of the assembly and through moderates in a circular seating plan the most revolutionary elements sat to his left.
Pleasingly, the circle also brings hard-line factions together, there often being little difference between hard left and hard right on some issues.
The tendency is, these days, to reduce all political matters to the left-right spectrum. In fact, this spectrum belongs only to Parliamentary democracies, whether they be British, French of that of the Skyblu-pinkers. At bottom,it's a spectrum of sharers <> mine-is-miners within a polity that allows all the citizens a free participation in choosing the dominant lifestyle, under a rule of law - and manipulated by "the free press" (which is anything but).
Many polities have none of this. Theocratic states are ruled by the religiosi and their current dogma, often in absolutist forms that brook no opposition or alternative. One-party states of the fascist kind are similar but based on a dominant elite and their ideology, which is religion-like in purporting to establish the whole truth about everything, with no matter private, rather all matters (including thinking) to be judged by The State. Royalties have a rule of law but it's dictated by the royal head, who is him or herself not subject to that law (since they can change it). Primitive polities are sometimes libertarian; or a military junta; or an oligarchy or...
In short, there are many modes of politics besides that we're familiar with here in Blighty.
The current situation may be one in which this familiar politics is being replaced by something else. The something-else may be another familiar model, such as fascism; or it may be a new model emergent from novel conditions wrought by technology, particularly the unprecedented "global village" and fantastical propaganda of it's alternative facts.
In all events, the old notion of "conservative" has been dead and buried for many decades. No one values tradition or careful preservation of that known to work. Everywhere is in a state of permanent revolution, with the pace of technology the prime driver. Even the religiosi are constantly reinventing the meanings of their various dogma-books.
In this world, it seems more and more obvious that humans aren't (and never have been) choosers of their polity style. We are puppeted by ideas, which have a life of their own - and, increasingly, an alternative substrate to big human brains, in the form of the electronics that host and evolve AI.
Even now, it's become obvious that many aspects of our human lives are directed and governed by primitive AIs that make decision about what we can and cannot "choose", in a fashion that no human really understands. Our whole economy is driven and underpinned by the mysterious decisions made by the AI of The CIty and similar financial institutions, for example. There are many other such cases.
AI is not conservative, not least because it evolves at a rate thousands of times faster than the evolution of genes.