Edexcel A2 conservatism notes

Notes I made for my politcs mock on conservatism, hope they help someone!

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Monique
  • Created on: 10-12-13 00:37
Preview of Edexcel A2 conservatism notes

First 280 words of the document:

A political ideology which favours tradition over radical ideas about the
world such as those proposed during the enlightenment and in liberal
Key themes of conservatism:
o Important to conservatives because it is wisdom from the past.
`Democracy of the dead'.
o Traditional institutions, customs and values have survived the test
of time and have accumulated wisdom from the past therefore they
should be preserved. They survive because they work (Darwinistic).
o Society seen as a partnership between those who are living, those
who are dead and those to be born ­Burke.
o The current generation are seen as guardians or gatekeepers of
o Religious argument:
Tradition is God given.
Therefore any change to tradition is going against the will of
o Tradition has benefits for the individual and society, tradition is
comforting and reassuring. Humans naturally crave security and the
familiar so change is a journey into the unknown.
o Provides humans with a sense of identity and belonging
o As it benefits the individual, it benefits society as it ensures stability.
o The glue which binds society.
Human imperfection
o Humans are imperfect and imperfectable.
o They are psychologically limited and dependent on others; this is
why they fear isolation and instability.
o Humans are psychologically drawn to the safe and familiar, above all
they seek the security of `knowing their place'.
o They desire security and belonging leading to the importance of an
established social order.

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Liberty creates too much choice and uncertainty.
o People are seen as morally imperfect as they are endowed with the
original sin of Adam and Eve.
o Intellectually limited- the world is too vast and complex for human
understanding, therefore conservatives criticise ideologies such as
liberalism which suggest that humans understand the world around
The implications of the conservative view of human nature:
o The state plays a large role as humans need guidance.
o Harsh deterrents for crime e.g.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

The whole is more than a collection of its individual parts (opposite
to liberal view of atomistic society)
o Society is not a machine, more like a plant.
o One part of society cannot be damaged without it affecting the
o Importance of shared values and a common culture.
o Conservatives believe that society is naturally hierarchical. Naturally,
people have different social positions and statuses.
o Inequality is seen as natural, social equality is a myth it is undesirable
and unachievable.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

The rich also have a moral obligation to the poor in order to maintain a
healthy society as society is organic and one damaged part affects the
Price of privilege or `noblesse oblige'
The liberal new right:
From 1979 onwards.
Adopted neo-conservative social principles and neo-liberal economic
Dogmatic, fixed principles, e.g. absolute faith in the market.
Neo-liberal ideas:
o Thinking shifted back towards earlier free market ideas and away
from Keynesianism.
o Classical liberal principles e.g.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Egoistical individualism- people owe nothing to society and it owes
nothing to them.
o `There is no such thing as society, only individuals and their families.'
­Margaret Thatcher
Neo-conservative ideas:
o Strong law and order due to pessimistic view of human nature.
o The state provides guidance through deterrents to discourage
crime and bad behaviour.
o Human nature seen as imperfect and imperfectable.
o Organic society, made up of groups, if one part is damaged, the
whole is damaged.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all resources »