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CONSERVATISM QUESTIONS ­ A2 (UNIT 3)

Short Answers

1. How do traditional conservatives and the New Right differ in their views of society? (Jan 2002)
Traditional conservatives believe in an organic society, arguing that society is best understood as a living entity
rather than an artefact or machine. Amongst the…

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nurture. They are also intellectually imperfect in that human rationality cannot fathom the infinite complexities of
society and the world in which we live. Neo-liberal conservatives nevertheless stress that human beings are
rationally self-interested creatures with a considerable capacity for self- reliance.

5. Why has the New Right advocated rolling…

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Traditional conservatives believe that society has an organic nature. This implies that, as with an organism, the
whole is more than a collection of its individual parts, being sustained by a fragile set of relationships between or
amongst its parts which, if damaged, threatens the life of the whole. This…

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for different reasons. The liberal view of authority suggests that it arises `from below', being a product of the
recognition by individuals that peaceful and orderly existence would be impossible without a framework of
authority expressed through the mechanism of law. Social contract theory is based on such a belief.…

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also been valued as a means of strengthening social values and promoting order, as property owners are more
inclined to respect the property of others and therefore more willing to obey and uphold the law.

New Right conservatives have nevertheless embraced an essentially liberal view of property based on individual…

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First, conservatives have traditionally viewed human beings as psychologically imperfect, as limited and
dependent creatures who seek, above all, security .This implies a resistance to change and helps to explain why
conservatives value tradition.

Second, human beings are morally imperfect in that they are greedy and selfish creatures motivated by…

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The rise of the New Right, and particularly neo-liberalism, has resulted in greater concern with economic freedom,
in some respects at the expense of social stability.
The libertarianism of neo-liberal conservatism derives from its emphasis on free market economics and rugged
individualism. The restless dynamism of the market and the…

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8. Why, and to what extent, have conservatives been committed to tradition and continuity? (June 2005)
Tradition encompasses ideas, practices or institutions that have been passed down from one generation to the
next, establishing continuity through time and, in particular, between past generations and the present
generation.

Respect for tradition…

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propensity for self-reliance. In this view, there is no such thing as society, and therefore no such thing as
community, outside of family groups at least. In social and economic terms this leads to a desire to roll back the
state in the interests of the free market and rugged…

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Third, tradition helps to uphold social stability, generating a sense of identity for both society and the individual.
In this view, the benefit of tradition is that it is familiar and reassuring. For the individual it generates 'rootedness'
and belonging; for society it generates cohesion and a common culture.

Neoliberal…

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