Conservatism in Gylias
|Conservatism in Gylias|
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Conservatism in Gylias has developed uniquely over time. It has been fundamentally shaped by Gylias' historical experience, which has imprinted on it a skeptical but not hostile attitude towards revolution, and firm opposition to inequality.
Gylian conservatism is dominated by liberal, progressive, and paternalistic traditions. Defining characteristics include a preoccupation with liberty and duty, cultivating a refined ideal of public virtue and action, preference for reformism over sudden change, and subjecting traditions to scrutiny in order to preserve the ones that benefit society. Gylian conservatives are largely united by a common image based on urbane pragmatism, emphasis on social stability, and focus on results over ideology.
Conservatism represents the centre-right of Gylian politics. At the federal level, it is primarily represented by the parties of the National Bloc, and the Union for a New Republic among non-inscrits. The Centre Group also has notable conservative elements, and has generally aligned with the NB.
Due to historical factors that realigned Gylian politics leftwards, Gylian conservatives have often been reluctant to use the term for themselves. "Conservatism" has often been associated with capitalism and reactionism. Gylian conservatism's overriding impulse to separate itself from the hard right has meant its adherents have rarely tried to describe themselves as simply "conservatives". Instead, adjectives are attached to emphasise their closeness to the centre, including "moderate", "liberal", "progressive", and "constructive".
In Alscia, the Party of Freedom emphasised "freedom" as its dominant preoccupation. It sometimes described itself in Italian as liberalista ("liberalist"), to distinguish itself from the Donatellist liberals of the Popular Progressive Front. Although receiving some mockery for its grammatical awkwardness, the label separated them from liberista, used to describe laissez-faire supporters.
Contemporary Gylian conservatism notably prefers the terminology of "civic", "national", or "reformist" in discourse and party names. Several parties emphasise their republicanism in their names, including the National Party of the Republic, Movement of Reformists of the Republic, and Union for a New Republic. Others use democracy as a shorthand for their character, such as the Popular Democratic Union and Union for National Democracy.
Gylian conservatism conceives of society as an organic whole, and emphasises gradual development. It believes the status quo must be subject to permanent scrutiny, and institutions and traditions that foster social stability and respect for mutual obligations should be preserved as long as they remain useful and unharmful.
Conservatism prizes social cohesion, and believes this must be achieved through consensus and compromise. Drawing on Gylian nationalism and anarchist heritage, it emphasises the community and nation as "daily referendums". From this emerges an opposition to authoritarianism, whether from the state or the individual.
It is socially liberal and somewhat social corporatist economically. It supports regulation and progressive policies to achieve social justice. It is critical of excessive economic interventionism, believing it risks corruption and cronyism. It is opposed to concentration of market power, and supports strong trade unions to protect workers' rights and prevent the emergence of oligarchy.
It favours social reform and believes social movements are necessary to bring attention to problems. It takes a cautious but "constructive" stance towards radicalism. It prefers gradual and sustained transformation of society over sudden and sweeping social revolution, and thus supports proactive efforts to rectify social issues to prevent conditions from deteriorating to the point of revolution.
The conservative ideal aims to create cohesive communities, observing values of "good citizenship" and cultivation, fulfilling social duties and responsibilities, and favouring a non-judgemental stability that does not stifle diversity. Thus, Gylian conservatism can be considered an adaptation of notions of paternalistic conservatism and noblesse oblige to an egalitarian, anti-elitist context.
This ideal is also manifested in the distinctive image cultivated by Gylian conservatives, which bears similarities to the stock character of the grande dame: encouraging flamboyance and harmless eccentricity, earning respect as a pillar of the community, and "aging gracefully" by showing an amused, sympathetic attitude towards novelty and radicalism. Notable influences for the image were Isabel Longstowe and Margot Fontaine — although the latter was a social democrat, her refined personality and ideal of l'pays jolie resonated with conservatives.
Since the consolidation of electoral blocs at the federal level, the parties that form the National Bloc prioritise different elements of their identity in order to reunite all forms of conservatism. To some extent, the CNP emphasises the appealingly urbane image of conservatism, the NPR its liberalism, the PDU its progressivism, and the UND its prudent pragmatism and communitarianism. Meanwhile, the MRR is a conservative liberal party.
Hannaism derives from the thought and career of Hannah Edelstein, and represents the dominant tradition of Gylian conservatism, akin to Donatellism for liberalism. It is the earliest manifestation of Gylian conservatism.
Hannaism is described by political scientists as a variant of paternalistic conservatism. It is based on principles of social justice, individual freedom, communitarianism, and opposition to autocracy and elitism. It identifies reconciling the interests of all classes as the basis of society's well-being, and believes that people of distinction and influence have an obligation to be generous and set an example to fellow citizens, which should be enforced through stringent methods of social control.
Although doubtful of the possibility of creating a completely classless society, Hannaism's tendency to "rescue nobility from the nobility" has found expression as a theme in Gylian society, reconciled with leftist politics. Manifestations include the UOC in Alscia, the concept of aristerokratia formulated by Ser Şanorin and Sima Daián, the Social Partnership Program, the Gylian Senate, and the ideal of socialised luxury.
Conservative monarchists use the predominance of direct democracy to argue for a figurehead monarchy as a "benevolent and socially mediating institution". They cite the Ossorian and Cacertian monarchies as examples how a monarchy bound by well-enforced traditions and duties can serve as a unifying and mediating institution in daily life.
Luiza Monteira, the CCM's leader in the 1960s, gained fame for her eccentric advocacy of monarchism. Her efforts to adapt the concept of a monarchy to Gylian reality, including having the monarch be elected with term limits, ended up resembling the existing presidency enough to amuse the public.
Political commentators have often described conservative monarchism as "superfluous" as the President of Gylias already fulfils a similar ceremonial role.
The roots of Gylian conservatism predate the Gylian ascendancy.
Hannah Edelstein is generally considered the mother of Gylian conservatism. Her political philosophy and activism were shaped by her modest upbringing and involvement in the revolutions of 1848 and 1856–1868. She was a strong supporter of democracy and individual freedom, and an opponent of autocracy, privilege, and elitism. Her opposition to Xevden fundamentally shaped the character of Gylian conservatism, imprinting it with a preoccupation for social justice and dispersal of power.
Informal conservative political movements and parties developed in Xevden, particularly from the "constitutionalist" faction of the Gylian opposition. Some conservatives were elected to Xevden's parliament as part of larger nationalist and republican factions.
The coalescence of Gylian conservatism within Xevden was briefly interrupted by the 1902 coup and subsequent repression of king Karnaz. Conservatives lost ground to anarchists and other radicals in the ensuing disintegration.
The PdL struggled somewhat to establish itself as the main vehicle of Gylian conservatism, as a block of Hannaist voters supported the National Unity Party and National Liberal Party. Nevertheless, it formed the official opposition to the FPP throughout its existence, and consistently won a plurality in local elections.
The party consolidated a progressive identity: supportive of social reform, critical of both economic interventionism and laissez-faire, and defending minority rights. Hannah and Beatrice contributed significantly to the image of appealing, elder stateswomen that would define conservatism.
Although the party faltered against the FPP in Legislative Council, Beatrice was a popular and respected leader; voters admired her stances and principles despite reluctance to vote for her party.
Hildegard Riese was a significant contributor to conservatism during this period. She helped develop Hannah's principles in accordance with contemporary issues, and emphasised the need to gain support from women, LGBT people, and other historically disadvantaged or oppressed communities.
She was active in establishing and cultivating ties with the feminist movement and Gender and Sexuality Rights Association. A prolific contributor to Risveglio Nazionale and other periodicals, she gained a reputation as conservatism's leading intellectual.
The PdL's consistently good local results played well to conservatives' focus on decentralisation and localism. A vibrant strain of urban progressive conservatism emerged as many Alscian cities elected PdL mayors that gained a reputation for discreet efficiency, provision of social services, and innovative reforms. Historian Herta Schwamen perceived a "convergence" between progressive conservatism and municipal socialism in Alscia's comuni.
Culturally, telefoni bianchi films are described by philosopher Margot Fontaine as promoting a non-judgemental "gentle conservatism", whose emphasis on modest respect for authority and noblesse oblige among the upper class reflected and contributed to the image conservatives created for themselves.
Conservatives largely supported the Donatella Rossetti government's confrontational policy towards Xevden. They backed the Alscian Border War, and despite misgivings, largely went along with the transformation of Alscia into a nexus for Gylian radicals. The efforts to bolster the Gylian opposition had the side effect of giving exposure to ideologies such as anarchism, socialism, and communism, helping radicalise Alscia itself.
During the 1920s–1930s, conservatives handled well the emergence of new political forces. They formed an unofficial alliance with market anarchists, establishing a foothold that challenged left anarchists' domination. They staunchly opposed Political Futurism, gaining dominant support among Alscia's Free Megelanese.
Their identity kept them largely isolated from the broader Tyranian right-wing. When Delkoran Conservative leader Veidnar Albendor once ridiculed the PdL as "mush" (in contrast to his "solid" party), Gylian conservatives reappropriated it as a point of pride. Hildegard quipped, "We want conservatives who are soft, fat, mash, pudding… anything but Futurists and would-be dictators!".
Risveglio Nazionale founder Maria Caracciolo was considered to have become more conservative towards the end of the magazine, largely by drifting away from Gylian nationalism as a result of her attachment to the "hurried province".
The Liberation War tore Gylian conservatism into two camps:
- The "recalcitrant" conservatives, who strongly opposed anarchists and leftists, and backed other factions. These represented the right-wing. Frustrated with the "mush" of the PdL, they turned towards the far-right, and ended up in what Sofia Westergaard called "the all-purpose sewer of extremism", alongside the Futurist Front, Gylicists, Xevdenite reactionaries, and similar far-right formations.
- The "constructive" conservatives, who adopted a critical stance but accepted anarchist rule and sought to work within the new system. They assumed the role of practical and realistic-minded counterparts to the more utopian and prefigurative ambitions of the left.
By having incorporated Alscia in 1939, the Free Territories gained a significant "constructive" conservative current. Together with the Donatellists, they formed the main alternative to anarchism during the war.
The Free Territories' anarchist organisation opened space for experimentation and coexistence of multiple ideologies and economic systems. Some villages and cities took a conservative approach, either preserving the trappings of conventional statecraft, or experimenting with other models of governance. Luisa Braglia described rural intentional communities that reconciled agrarian socialism economically with lifestyles that recreated and adapted the imagined communities of the past. Membership was entirely voluntary, and those who were dissatisfied were free to leave.
In the General Council, the presence of Alscian figures like industrialist Arlette Gaubert helped articulate a vision of "enlightened" industrial paternalism that would later inform aristerokratia. Conservatives were hostile to any hint of RSR-style state socialism, and thus the majority accepted cooperativisation as the basis of a more "humane" economy.
The theorist and activist Ranaro Vaştari dedicated his career to achieving a fusion of conservatism with moderate socialism. He advocated a mixture of guild socialism and syndicalism in the economy, parliamentary democracy in governance, localism in politics, and democratic community provision of services over the creation of a bureaucratic welfare state. He considered honesty, fair play, courtesy, and rational discourse the most important values a society must cultivate, and was critical of atheism, arguing that spirituality had a role to play in public life and creating a shared identity.
The Free Territories largely defined Gylian conservatism's role henceforth: realistic counterparts to revolutionary utopianism, responsible opposition, critical partners in the creation of the Gylian consensus. "Constructive" conservatives criticised anarchists' tolerance of violence and their "alliance of convenience" with authoritarian leftists. However, they also joined in the popular front with the left and liberals against authoritarians, and welcomed the Lucian Purge.
After the end of the Liberation War, the two factions struggled for hegemony over the Gylian right. The "recalcitrants" created the Conservative Party and Restoration Party, and in response, many "constructives" initially repudiated the "conservative" label, joining instead the Moderate Centrist Party and Rally of the Democratic Centre or continuing as independents. In the 1958 federal election, the MCP and RDC ultimately entered the Popular Assembly, albeit as its smallest parties.
Conservatives took part in the popular drafting process that produced the Constitution and six codes of law. Together with Donatellists, they secured several symbolic concessions in the "miserable compromise".
The 1960 electoral reform led to a proliferation of new parties. Having nearly missed entrance into the legislature, the Centre Group took the initiative in constituting an electoral bloc, prompting other parties to do the same.
Once again, the "recalcitrants" struck first by creating the Conservative Coalition. The CC took a hard right stance and became what Hildegard called "a receptacle for all sorts of bigots, extremists, reactionaries, and Xevdenite remnants". Disgusted, "constructives" stuck by the CG or independent labels, while a few others set up the Union for a New Republic.
Initially, the federal politics of 1960s Gylias came to resemble Alscia. In the 1962 and 1969 federal elections, the CG performed respectably and formed the official opposition, while the CC was humiliated and marginalised. CG leader Sasa Ruişela proved a figure similar to Beatrice, commanding public respect not reflected in electoral support.
Delkoran statesman Osvald Bjerg observed that Gylian conservatism was "mainly romantic and emotional" — based on anti-authoritarianism and a certain image, but prone to defining itself in contrast to the Progressive Alliance and Liberal Union. Conservatives accepted the Gylian consensus, but sought greater efficiency and municipalisation.
In the context of Gylias' market socialist economy, they put greater emphasis on markets, and were wary of the dangers of bureaucratisation in economic planning. They supported robust regulation and trade unions, and championed the interests of merchants, artisans, and similar independent traders.
The old strain of urban progressive conservatism performed well locally, with "constructive" councillors and mayors elected under various labels, from independents to localist parties, and Non-inscrits such as the Urban Movement and Independent Regional Alliance for Minorities. Distinguished representatives of the tradition included Gerard Harmsen and his wife Maaike Harmsen, the long-serving "conjugal mayoralty" of Velouria.
Conservatives enjoyed a decent presence in public life and popular culture. During the Golden Revolution, shows such as Ready Steady Go! and What Do I Do?, the films of Alike Demetriou, musicians like The Sapphires, and public figures like Isabel Longstowe and Sima Daián perfected the image of the elegantly old-fashioned conservative, a reasonable adult figure at ease with the ongoing social revolution and in touch with the popular culture of the day. In the media, conservatism was promoted by The Sunday Thought, The Gylian Journal, and The National Inquirer.
However, the continuing "constructive"–"recalcitrant" war still hampered it federally, and the concentration of "constructives" in the CG frustrated Gylian centrists by taking up the space of a centrist bloc.
After the 1969 federal election, the Conservative Coalition was dissolved through a process of entryism by "constructives". The architect of this scheme, Lea Kersed, then founded the National Bloc out of new, explicitly centre-right parties. Her own party, the Civic National Party, was modelled after the Ossorian Crown Nationalist Party, seen as a leading example among Tyran's moderate centre-right.
The establishment of the NB triggered a political realignment. Many "constructives" elected under the CG or independent banner joined the NB parties, thus leaving the CG to take up the mantle of centrism. "Recalcitrants" were either driven out of public life or moved to the Front for Renewal of Order and Society, which had by now consolidated a distinctly Gylian far-right profile based on Gylicism and national anarchism.
During the wretched decade, the NB was on the rise. It increased its support at the municipal and regional level, and formed the official opposition after the 1976 and 1980 federal elections, joined by a few new Non-inscrits. Lea was a tenacious opponent of the Aén Ďanez government, and repeatedly pushed for a grand coalition of conservatives, leftists, liberals, and centrists. She achieved the breakthrough that had eluded Beatrice and Sasa in 1985, when the NB managed to win a plurality of first preference votes and seats in a federal election.
The growth of Gylias' environmental movement, reflected in the ascent of the Green Party, produced a strain of green conservatism which became another key theme of Gylian conservatism. A famous representative of this tendency was Margaret Roberts, the Governor of Ḑarna from 1982 to 1998. She gained fame for her battles against the authoritarian left and far-right, and talent for negotiation, governing largely with the backing of the Greens and UM. In her 1988 budget speech, she declared:
"We are not merely friends of the Earth — we are its guardians and trustees for generations to come. The core of Hannah's philosophy and the case for protecting the environment are the same. No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy — with a full repairing lease. This government intends to meet the terms of that lease in full."
The growing support for the FROS and other right-wing populist parties in the 1980s posed a challenge for conservatives. Within the NB, a fissure opened between the CNP, NPR, and PDU, which upheld the moderate profile and image of Gylian conservatism, and the less successful Free Economy Party and Independent Freedom Party, which began to mimic the preoccupations of fiscal conservatism and the broader Tyranian right-wing.
After the election of a hung parliament in 1985 and the Ossorian war crisis of 1986, the opposition finally succeeded in forming a grand coalition. The Filomena Pinheiro government contained all formations but the RR and FROS. This proved to be Lea's triumph as leader. However, being in government deepened the chasm in the NB, as the FEP and IFP established ties with right-wing parties undergoing radicalisation and the forces involved in the neoliberal conspiracy in Akashi, Megelan, Delkora, and Nordkrusen.
Lea's death in 1988 brought matters to a head, especially as Filomena broadened the cordon sanitaire to combat the dérive au droite. The NB parties' conference in 1989 resulted in a split: the FEP and IFP left and joined with other right-wing parties to form the Union for Freedom and Prosperity, which now fell foul of the cordon sanitaire. In their place, the non-inscrit Union for National Democracy and Movement of Reformists of the Republic agreed to join the NB.
The loss of Lea, NB–UFP split, and exposure of the neoliberal conspiracy took a toll on the NB, at a time when frustrated voters turned against the established blocs for their delay in tackling the crisis. The NB fell to fourth place in the 1990 federal election, and experienced similar setbacks locally and regionally. However, the UFP was humiliated at the polls, barely entering Parliament. The NB had thus fended off the challenge of the dérive au droite and preserved hegemony of the centre-right.
The 1990s were a mixed decade for the NB. Its electoral support remained stable, but far below the heights reached under Lea. Although officially out of government, Mathilde Vieira's "plural coalition" retained an NB minister or two, and on some issues it specifically sought NB support. Conservatives strongly supported the Decleyre Summit and creation of the Social Partnership Program, seeing it as a way to create a permanently civic-minded and philanthropic group of rich Gylians that would strengthen the Gylian consensus.
A recovery for the NB took place in the 2000s–2010s. Lisa Arveille was elected mayor of Mişeyáke in 2000, becoming one of the most successful and longest-serving progressive conservative mayors. The non-inscrits' wave ebbed somewhat, enabling gains by the established blocs. The NB regained second place in the 2012 and 2016 federal elections under leader Stéphanie Daniau, and the 2018 regional elections returned a majority of conservative governors.
The 2020 federal election unexpectedly made foreign policy a major issue, and led to gains for anarchist parties campaigning for greater support of the KSA in Æsthurlavaj's civil war. NB leader Lena Haidynraix managed to form the first centre-right federal government by securing support from anarchist parties in exchange for adopting their foreign policy stance.
Overview of Gylian conservatism
Allied parties and tendencies