Conservatives ideologies



Conservatism is:

  • an ideology that is defined by a 'desire to conserve.' 
  • It has been traditionally been faithful to tradition , experience and history.
  • They are suspcicious of abstract principles or developed theories.

Values of Conservatism:

  • Tradition:
    • Have respect for ideas, practises and institutions that have been passed down from one generation to the next.
  • Human imperfection:
    • the belief that people are self-seeking creatures that are morally flawed. 
  • Heirarchy and authority:
    • 'top down' social organisation is natural and benefitical. 

The 2 types of Conservatism are:

  • One nation conservatism 
  • Thatcherite Conservatism
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One Nationism

One nation conservatism is:

  • a pragmatic and paternalistic form of conservatism prominent in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • it originates from Benjamin Disraeli who was PM in 1867, warning aaginst the danger of Britain being divided into 2 nations: rich and poor.
  • His call for social reform to narrow social inequalities was based on paternalism (acting in the interests of others who are unable to make moral decisions.
  • Therefore, he was saying that the rich have an obligation to help the poor.

After the Second World War, everyone showed they could work together, no matter their class, because they had to. Therefore as a result:

  • Social democratic ideas were accepted in the UK by the Conservatives in 1959, when Atlee led the reforms creating consensus politics.
  • One Nation thinking was the ideology of 'middle way' championed by the writing of Harold Macmillan, who became PM in  1957-63.
  • The 'middle way' rejected the 2 extremes of socialism and free market liberalism.
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Thatcherism is:

  • an ideology associated with the ideas of Margaret Thatcher and the policies of her govt between 1979-1990.
  • It doesn't so much constitute a coherent and systematic philosophy as an attempt to marry 2 distinct traditions:
    • Neoliberlism centres on the free market and the self reliance of individuals.
    • Neoconservatism is a form of authoritarian conservatism which calls for the restoration of order, authority and discipline in society. 
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