Discover more from The Reluctant Conservative
What is Reluctant Conservative?
A short history of where I come from and where this is headed
The year was 2014 and I was an engineer in making, who was bored of the college life. I was academically sound but I was not invested beyond a point and the curriculum did not pose any serious challenge either. So, I started on a different journey, of writing whatever shook me out of my boredom or apathy and that’s how my first blog - “The Bored Engineer” was born.
When I started The Bored Engineer, one of my primary motivation was the significant expansion that I noticed in my social circle and this led to new experiences. In school life, you are confined primarily to family and school friends who often share your language, culture as well as economic backgrounds; college on the other hand, exposes you to varied cultures, diverse economic backgrounds and prolonged exposure to people without any anchor of familiarity that is family.
I developed my own ideas and as these were often different from the world view I came from, documenting as well as communicating them seemed like an important undertaking.
My writing reached a crescendo by the time I finished my degree and then started a downward trend in frequency. Not because I no longer wished to write, but that I lost my initial confidence that arose from ignorant bliss. You see, college while being a diverse experience has an inherent narrowness built into it.
You interact with your peers but even if you are extroverted the range of people you talk to are in a 6 year age limit. It might give a semblance of diversity but it is essentially an echo chamber, given that you are all in the same boat, moving towards similar destinations.
When I moved from college to a corporate setting, I had my world expand for a second time. Now my peers were not just from different socio-economic backgrounds, they spanned generations. Even if I did not agree with them, I could no longer ignore them. This is what led to the eventual demise of The Bored Engineer or its reprised version in my Medium publication. There was so much to listen to, so much to absorb from others, that writing or pontificating seemed intellectually dishonest.
So why Reluctant Conservative now?
Reluctant Conservative, just like Bored Engineer is more than a brand name for my blog. I have been noticing a shift in my views for some time now. Ideas and concepts that were settled are up for discussion, not just in my mind but in the society as well. New perspectives are coming aided by revisionist lenses.
Reluctant Conservative is my contribution towards this churn. The idea is not just to question everything, but to reconcile two worldviews, perhaps more, that have a kernel of truth but have been moving apart.
I have never been a part of left or right wing because I am unable to follow the membership rules of either without raising my doubts. I am for market based solutions, which should make me a conservative in a conventional sense. But then I am socially progressive on most issues of consequence.
The confusion was resolved as I was looking something up and stumbled across the Wikipedia page of Reluctant Fundamentalist. I had seen the movie a couple of years ago, but read the plot to refresh my memory and that’s what led me here. In that a Pakistani professor, “a lover of America” is mistaken for a fundamentalist by Americans because he speaks out against what he sees is wrong in her actions.
That’s my aim with Reluctant Conservative. I want to explore the dogmas of progressive thinking to make it more rooted in reality than in fancy slogans and hashtags. I want to peek behind the curtain of jargons and talk about what I will and have been looking at.
I know I’ve started sympathizing with conservatives, but I’m not a convert or a follower. I’m willing to refresh my outlook but I’m in no mood for blinders of propaganda.
I believe that you can’t blame someone of steeping in darkness if you’re not willing to light up a candle. So this is not about writing opinion pieces to influence you (I have my blog for that) rather this newsletter is an aim to share and to teach how to reach those conclusions. I have recently enrolled in a year long program to understand Public Policy in depth and the experience of being a student and looking at everything afresh has been liberating. I want to afford the same to you dear reader.
This is a space for learning. So in this journey, if conservatives don’t find me hawkish enough and being honest makes me a pariah to Progressives, I’m willing to be their Reluctant Conservative!