- Created by: dbrennan
- Created on: 23-05-19 17:22
- Regressive point of view.
- Human frailty and fallibility.
- A philosophy of imperfection.
- Descriptive not prescriptive view.
- Human nature is as it is not as it should be.
- Fixed and constant.
- Politicians to accomodate, not alter it.
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- Society is a collection of localised communities/'little platoons'.
- Communities provide their individuals with security, status and inspiration.
- Community acts as a break upon selfish individualism.
- Cannot be created, it emerges gradually and organically.
- Reality of an unplanned, organic society proves that human life is subject to complex forces beyond the scope of reason.
- Like a plant, growing in a way that can never be wholly predicted.
- Deal with social issues in a practical, evidential way.
- Deal with society with an 'this is how it is' attitude.
- Conservative society aims to stay afloat rather than sail towards a specific destination.
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- Customs and habits provide security.
- Change must be slow and steady, respectful and not contemptous of the past.
- Evolutionary attitude social improvement.
- Imperfections of humanity lead seamlessly to inequalities with human nature.
- 'The wiser, stronger and more opulent' establish a hierarchy of power and privilege.
- Privilege of power and authority comes with great responsibility.
- Paternalism/noblesse oblige: the fatherly obligation that a ruling class has to society as a whole.
- Hard paternalism: elites decide what is best for the rest, irrespective of what the rest want.
- Soft patneralism: power rests with elites but elite decisions will usually be preceded by listening to what the non-elites want.
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- Strong attatchment to religion.
- Traditional family structure (adverse to gay marriage).
- Alturism and compassion will help bind individuals together and curb the imperfections.
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Order and authority:
- Displinary function.
- Main goal: ordder, security and authority.
- Without order there is no liberty.
- No order until there are clear, undisputed laws backed by firm authority.
- State precedes society.
- State measures the feasability of individual rights as they are depedant upon law and order.
- Favour a gradual, unpredictable and organic state.
- Pragmatic in response to humanity's needs.
- Do not demand a codified constiution as much.
- Uncodified/unwritten constitutions evolve organically in response to a constantly changing mankind.
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- Hierarchical, elitist society.
- Traditional conservative state realises the notion of a ruling class (power is aristocratic and hereditary rather than democratic).
- Merits of class that are born and trained to rule the state.
- The ruling class must be mindful of its paternalistic responsibilities to society as a whole.
- Pragmatic/empirical characterisits: necessary legislation when there is a need for new laws.
- These new laws should ensure order and social cohesion.
- Averts social upheaval and revolution while maintaing traditional patterns of wealth and power.
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- Captialism nutures, widens economic inequalities, widens the gap between rich and poor.
- Conservatism defends inequality and hierarchy.
- Burke (Conservative) and Smith (Liberal): close allies.
- Adam Smith: father of laissez-faire economics.
- Conservatism and liberalism overlap.
- Conservatism worships order, stability and continuity.
- Free-market captialism: promotes risk, innovation & iconoclasm (rejection of cherished/traditional beliefs).
- Capitalism has a dynamic nature, which threatens Conservatives.
- Sceptical view of human nature because radical change can cause dreadful outcomes.
- Traditional conservatives: reluctant supports of capitalism but still protect its principles.
- Any assault on capitalism is also an assault property, inequality, hierarchy and the status quo.
- Sceptical of classical and neo-liberal belief: markets are at their most effective when left alone by governments.
- Conservatives are sceptical and pessimistic: lack of optimism in free market forces.
- Traditional conservatives support a moderate view of capitalism: free markets are tempered by state intervention (protectionism).
- Protectionsim: society and economy protected against the changes of markets by state-imposed tariffs and duties.
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- Protectionism also protects national producers and consumers: reinforces national identity and one nation conservatism.
- Traditional conservatives: Keynsian economics (the state manages market forces in the interest of full-employment).
- New-Right: sympathetic view of free market economies.
- New-Right governments of Thatcher (1979-1990): aimed to 'free' the UK economy through privatisation of industries.
- Some new-right economics compliments traditional conservative economics.
- New-right: by disengaging almost completely from the economy, state can focus on its Hobbesian purpose of order and security.
- New-right: free-market economy will be a prosperous one.
- New-right: free-market economy may promote popular capitalism-destroy socialism.
- New-right: free-market economy may fund greater public spending on the emergency services and the army (vital to the defence of society).
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The tensions within Conservatism (Human nature)
- Traditional conservatives (Burke & Oakeshott): sceptical, show the gap between aspiration and achievement, oppose the utopian schemes of progressive politicians.
- Traditional conservatives: more regressive than new-right conservatives.
- Traditional conservatives: horrified by idealistic movements (french and russian revolution) because they say they arise from an overestimation of human potential.
- New-right: more optimistic.
- New-right (Nozick and Rand): positive view of human potential in the economic sphere: the key to unlocking human potential lies in fostering a pro-capitalist environment, where individual energies can emerge.
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The tensions within Conservatism (Society)
- Traditional conservatives: society is a collection of small communities.
- Burke: "little platoons".
- Traditional conservatives: society has a hierarchy in which paternalistic elites exercise their power in the interests of the majority.
- Small communities: organic, natural emergence, unplanned, maintain tradition and continuity.
- New-right conservatives: agree with liberals over society.
- New-right conservatives: more socially-liberal than socially-conservative.
- New-right conservatives: society is a collection of atomised individuals seeking self-determination.
- New-right conservatives: more sceptical about paternalistic societies.
- New-right conservatives: less traditional- disagree with hierarchy and ruling-class as a result of inheritence, agree over a society that is defined by those who have achieved.
- New-right conservatives: meritocratic society.
- Traditional conservatives: aristocratic society.
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The tensions within Conservatism (The state)
- Traditional conservatives (Burke): defend an aristocratic state where people are 'born to rule'.
- Traditional conservatives: releuctant to admit the need for radical change/do not support new-right governments.
- Traditional conservatives: natural ruling class, defined by the principles of duty and sacrifice, sense of responsibility towards the governed.
- Traditional conservatives: pragmatic.
- Traditional conservatives: prepared to enlarge the state in the name of social stability (one nation conservatism).
- New-right conservatives: 'roll back the frontiers of the state' to advance individual freedom and reverse dependency culture that traditional conservatives have created.
- New-right conservatives: fear ruling classes- too much stake in the status quo.
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The tensions within Conservatism (Economy)
- Traditional conservatives: sceptical of free-market capitalism.
- Traditional conservatives: free-market capitalism is too dynamic- destroy inequality, threatens one-nation and fuels socialism support.
- Traditional conservatives: capitalism is becoming more globalised- they fear that market forces will promote a more cosmopolitan society which erodes national identity and culture.
- Traditional conservatives: keynsian economics-higher taxation and higher public spending on state welfare.
- New-right conservatives (Nozick): free-market economies- state functions are privatised/deregulated, levels of taxation & state spending is are massively reduced.
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- Property is not a natural right.
- Property is inherited through the generations.
- Ideal society is a patnership between those who are yet to be born.
- Ongoing maintenance of society reflects the belief that we must change in order to conserve.
- Link between property and patneralistic society.
- Property ownership provides a platform for property owners to to exercise a duty of care towards society.
- New-right conservatives: extend property ownership/property-owning democracy.
- New-right conservatives: individual liberty-individualism is best pursued in a society with a hierachy, traditional Judeao-Christian culture.
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- Mid 19th century to mid 20th century: state based on nationhood.
- Mega-community: all classes which provided a natural basis for the state.
- Continental conservatives: Nation precedes the state (both are strongly disctinct).
- British and American conservatives: nation and state are intertwined.
- State serves the nation (why both countries have constitutions, monarchs, presidents etc).
- British conservatives have less enthusiasm for EU.
- New-Right: the nation-state can be strenghtened by 'rolling back its frontiers'.
- Other New-Right thinkers (Nozick & Rand): if the nation-state is burdened by nationalised industries and welfare states, makes its function of focusing on order and security harder.
- Ayn Rand: "When the state becomes flabby, it also becomes feeble."
- New-right: streamline the nation-state's functions: 'leaner and fitter'.
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