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Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more traditional elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution, but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s.

According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself". In contrast to the tradition-based definition of conservatism, some political theorists such as Corey Robin define conservatism primarily in terms of a general defense of social and economic inequality. From this perspective, conservatism is less an attempt to uphold traditional institutions and more, "a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back".

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V for Vendetta is a ten-issue comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, set in a dystopian future United Kingdom imagined from the 1980s to about the 1990s. A mysterious masked revolutionary who calls himself "V" works to destroy the totalitarian government, profoundly affecting the people he encounters. Warner Bros. released a film adaptation of V for Vendetta in 2006.

The series depicts a near-future UK after a nuclear war, which has left much of the world destroyed, though most of the damage to the country is indirect, via floods and crop failures. In this future, a fascist party called "Norsefire" has exterminated its opponents in concentration camps and now rules the country as a police state. "V", an anarchist revolutionary dressed in a Guy Fawkes mask (pictured), begins an elaborate, violent, and intentionally theatrical campaign to murder his former captors, bring down the government, and convince the people to rule themselves.

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This outrage on all the rights of property was at first covered with what, on the system of their conduct, was the most astonishing of all pretexts-a regard to national faith. The enemies to property at first pretended a most tender, delicate, and scrupulous anxiety for keeping the king's engagements with the public creditor. These professors of the right of men are to busy in teaching others, that they not leisure to learn any thing themselves; otherwise they would have known that it is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition, or by descent, or in virtue of participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed, or implied. They never so much as entered into his head when he made his bargain. He well knew that the public, whether represented by a monarch, or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate, expect in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large. This was engaged, and nothing else could be engaged to the public creditor. No man can mortgage his injustice as a pawn for his fidelity.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

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Signing the Partial-Birth Abortion ban.jpg

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls "partial-birth abortion", often referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction. Under this law, "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both." The law was enacted in 2003, and in 2007 its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart. On November 5, 2003, after being passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill was signed by President George W. Bush to become law.

Credit: Ondrejk

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Selected anniversaries in October

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  • 1982Helmut Kohl, described as "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century" by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, is elected Chancellor of Germany.
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15th


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