Variations of Conservatism

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  • Authoritarian Conservatism:
    • A strand of conservatism where there is a belief in the practice of government 'from above' - in which authority is exercised over a populaton.
    • Joseph de Maistre argued absolutism (the argument one person should hold authortiy) otherwise there will be anarchy, as demonstrated by the French Revolution of 1789 where approximately 40,000 people were murdered or executed.
    • Conservative elites in Itlay and Germany helped to over throw parliamentary demoracy and bring Mussolini and Hitler to power, allowing them to establish totalitarian states.
    • Margaret Thatcher has been accused of behaving 'presidential', or embodying the aspect of 'elective dictatorship' due to her authoritarian style. She often upset her cabinet ministers - famously upsetting Michael Heseltine in 1986 over the Westland Affair, resulting in his resignation.She also acted authoritavely during the Falklands conflict of 1982 and the Poll Tax Riots of 1989. She also favoured the use of bilaterals or 'kitchen cabinets' rather than cabinet meetings.
  • Paternalistic Conservatism:
    • Burke learnt from the French revolution that change can be natural or inevitable, in which case it should not be resisted - "change to conserve" - pragmatism.
    • Benjamin Disraeli warned against the effects of industrialisation which was creating two nations -

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