conservatism core values/ideas

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The organic state/society

  • Was a reaction to individual liberalism, and argued that society is more important than our individual interests
  • It is the belief in a natural hierarchial system, whereby each group within society is necessary and important
  • Society functions similarly to the body, different parts of it have different functions, but all are necessary
  • Society is naturally unequal and hierarchial, but this is just
  • We are expected to work together as one entitiy in harmonious fashion
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View of human nature

Pessiimistic view of human nature, as they believe that we have original sin.

  • Humans are psychologically imperfect- we are weak and therefore do not like change, preferring continuity of the existing order. The hierarchial system gives us this, placing everyone udner a specific role
  • Humans are morally imperfect- We have original sin, and cannot be trusted in decision making
  • Humans are intellectually imperfect- we are intellectually imperfect because we don't act rationally, therefore requiring the maintenance of the existing traditional order
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Private Property

  • Advocate private property
  • Allowing the ownership of property would give people a visible stake in society, and would therefore promote a sense of responsibility.
  • Thatcher introduced the "right to buy" scheme and made it possible for working class people to buy their council homes for the first time
  • Conservatives have opposed common ownership shown through resistance to high property taxes and a stress on law and order, as much crime affects private property.
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Conservatism opposition to ideology

  • It rejects the idea of rigid doctrine, instead emphasising introducing slight reform or modifications to the system when necessary
  • However, new right conservtism differed, as it had very set principles
  • Ideology is normally radical in its approach, which conservatives oppose, preferring only modearate change where necessary, in order to maintain order. Edmund Burke, "refelctions on revolutiion in france"
  • Excessive attachments to ideology have also led to tyranny, such as Lenin or Stalin, or even Zedong.
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resistance to change/ importance of tradition

  • Conservatives have believed that traditions must necesserily be maintained because they provide continuity and stability, preventing drastic transformations. Burke felt that France lost their stability during the French revolution for this reason.
  • Conservatism is essentially reactionary, rather than reformist. They tend to take pragmatic (sensible) approaches, and seeks to preserve the status quo instead of seeking change.
  • It seeks to accept limited reform if necessary, carefully, in order to maintain that stability.
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Class/hierarchy + leadership

  • Conservatism is elitist and view the hierarchial system as necessary, as it is the "natural order"
  • The hierarchy supports the organic theory of society, and creates the order and stability within society
  • There is inequality, but ordered inequality, with the govt's function being to rule the rest of society
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