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Conservatism

A political ideology which favours tradition over radical ideas about the
world such as those proposed during the enlightenment and in liberal
ideology.

Key themes of conservatism:

Tradition
o Important to conservatives because it is wisdom from the past.
`Democracy of the dead'.
o Traditional institutions, customs and values…

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o 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…

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o 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
whole.
o Importance of shared values and a common…

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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
whole.
Price of privilege or `noblesse oblige'

The liberal new right:

From 1979 onwards.
Adopted neo-conservative social principles and neo-liberal economic
principles.
Dogmatic,…

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o 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…

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