Conservative views and attitudes towards human nature, authority and private property. 30 marks


Conservative views and attitudes towards human nature, authority and private property . 30 marks

Human nature – Conservatives believe that human beings are essentially limited and security seeking creatures, drawn to the known, the familiar, the tried and tested. Human rationality is unreliable and moral corruption is implicit in each human individual. The New Right nevertheless embraces a form of self-seeking individualism. 

  • People fear isolation and instability 

  • The desire for security has lead conservatives to emphasise the need for social order and the suspicion of the attractions of liberty 

  • Order means that life is stable and predictable 

  • Liberty presents people with choice and can create change and uncertainty.  

  • HOBBES – being prepared to sacrifice liberty in the cause of social order 

  • Conservatives hold a pessimistic view of human nature 

  • HOBBES – desire for ‘power after power’ is the primary human urge 

  • Crime is not due to inequality etc. but it is a consequence of base human instincts and appetites 

  • The role of the law is not to uphold liberty but to maintain social order 

  • The world is too complicated for humans to understand  

  • OAKESHOTT – the political world id ‘boundless and bottomless’  

  • Prefer to ground their ideas in tradition, experience and history 

  • OAKESHOTT – conservatives will always wish to ensure that ‘the cure is not worse than the disease’  

  • Conservative support for traditionalism has weakened because of the rise of the New Right 

  • The New Right is radical because it ought to advance a free market economy through reform  


Liberalism – Humans are self-seeking and largely self-reliant creatures that are governed by reason 

Socialism – regard humans as social creatures and


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