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Conservatism is a philosophy of human imperfection.
According to conservatives, people fear isolation and
instability. They are drawn psychologically to the safe and the familiar
and seek the security of knowing their place.
The belief that individuals desire security and belonging has
led conservatives to emphasise the importance of social order and to be suspicious of the
attractions of liberty.
Conservatives echoed the views of THOMAS HOBBES in being prepared to `sacrifice liberty in the
cause of social order'.
While other political ideologies trace the origins of immoral or criminal behaviour to society,
Conservatives believe it is rooted in the individual.
HOBBES: The desire for `power after power' is the primary human urge.
Conservatives explain this view by referring to the Old Testament doctrine of `Original Sin'.
Crime is therefore not a product of inequality or social disadvantage rather it is a consequence
of base human instincts and appetites.
People can only be PERSUADED to behave in a civilized fashion. Only effective deterrent for
individuals is the LAW backed by the messages that it will be STRICTLY ENFORCED!
This explains conservative's preference for strong government and for `tough' criminal
justice regime based on `long prison sentences' and the use `corporal or capital punishment'.
For conservatives, the role of government is not to uphold liberty but preserve order.
Humankinds for intellectual powers are also thought to be limited. Conservatives have
traditionally believe that the world is simply too complicated for human reason.
MICHEAL OAKESHOOT = Political world is `boundless and bottomless'.
Conservatives are therefore suspicious of abstract ideas and systems of thought that claim to
understand what is simply incomprehensible.
Conservatives prefer to ground their ideas in traditional, experience and history and
adopting cautious, moderate and above all pragmatic approach to the world and avoiding
doctrinaire or dogmatic beliefs.
Reform and revolution, conservatives warn, often
lead to GREATER SUFFERING!
For a conservative, to do nothing may be
preferable to doing something.
A conservative will always wish to ensure that `the
cure is not worse than the disease'
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Conservatives believe that human beings are dependent and security seeking
Individuals cannot exist outside society. They can't be separated from society.
Social groups = Family, friends, peer group or work mates, colleagues, local community
and even the nation. = PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL LIFE WITH SECURITY AND MEANING.
As a result, Traditional conservatives are reluctant to understand freedom in terms of
`negative freedom' where individual is left alone and suffers from anomie.…read more
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Society is naturally hierarchical, characterized by fixed or established social gradations.
Social inequality = is good. Not undesirable and unachievable.
Conservatives agree with liberals in accepting natural inequality and amongst individuals:
some are born with talents and skills that are denied to others.
Conservatives= inequality is more deep-rooted. It is inevitable feature of organic society.
Burke was able to embrace the idea of a 'natural aristocracy'.
The various classes and groups that make up society also have their own specific roles.…read more
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Liberals believe property reflects= merit. Those who work hard and possess talent will
and should acquire wealth. Property is therefore earned.
This doctrine has an attraction for those conservatives who regard the ability to
accumulate wealth as an important economic incentive,
Conservative also hold that property has a range of psychological and social
1. Provides security in an uncertain and unpredictable world.
2. Property ownership gives people a SENSE OF CONFIDENCE and ASSURANCE
something to fall back on.