How do conservatives justify their commitment to private property? (10 marks)

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  • How do conservatives justify their commitment to private property? (10 marks) 
    • It gives people a sense of rootedness and responsibility in society 
      • It also provides people with security in an uncertain world 
    • The ownership of property 
      • gives independence and dignity to the individual 
        • relieving him/her of complete dependence on the state 
    • gives the individual choice 
      • by encouraging him/her to differentiate him/herself through his/her material possessions 
    • private property is indicative of the individual’s ‘stake’ in society 
      • According to this view the property owner has ..
        • an interest in social order 
        • natural tendency to obey the law 
        • obligation to respect the private property of others 
    • Property should be seen as a legitimate reward for an individual’s natural talents and energies 
      • Individuals should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their own labours 
      • acquisition of material wealth functions as a powerful incentive for industriousness 
      • encouraging initiative 
    • This desire to acquire property 
      • serves to replenish social elites 
        • Inheritance and the passing on of wealth 
          • link both individuals and societies  
            • with their past and future and ensure continuity 
    • most of these views would be central to the Tory tradition 
      • BUT
        • Private property was also a key feature of New Right thinking
          • Thatcherism
            • zeal for privatisation 
            • desire to extend home ownership through its ‘Right to Buy’ initiatives in the council housing sphere 
            • Thatcher’s hostility to high property taxes 
            • her promotion of policies such as the Community Charge 
              • as an alternative to council rates 

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