conservatism - CONSERVATISM Core concepts Types of...

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CONSERVATISM Introduction Conservative was first used to describe a distinctive political position or ideology in the early 19 th century In the USA it implied a pessimistic view of public affairs By the 1820s, the term was being used to denote opposition to the principles and spirit of the 1789 French Revolution As a political ideology, conservatism is defined by the desire to conserve, reflected in a resistance or suspicion to change Distinguishes conservatism support for tradition, a belief in human imperfection , and the attempt to uphold the organic structure of society Traditional conservatism versus New Right Traditional conservatism defends established institutions and values on the ground that they safeguard the fragile fabric of society The New Right is characterized by a belief in a strong but minimal state , combining economic libertarianism with social authoritarianism For conservatives, human are imperfect in two ways: Their capacity to understand the social world is limited Their nature is fundamentally flawed Implications of this pessimistic view: Crime is not the product of disadvantage Strong government is required Liberty is not the ultimate goal “For the conservative, the value of individual liberty is not absolute, but stands subject to another and higher value, the authority of established government” Origins and Development Conservative ideas arose in reaction to the growing pace of political, social and economic change, which, in many ways, was symbolized by the French Revolution During the 19 th century, western states were transformed by the pressures unleashed by industrialization and reflected in the growth of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. While these ideologies preached reform, conservatism stood in defence of an increasingly embattled traditional social order Core concepts Types of conservatism Human imperfection Authoritarian Conservatism Hierarchy and authority Moderate Conservatism Private property The New Right
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Conservative though varied and adapted itself to existing national cultures. Examples: UK conservatism drew heavily on the ideas of Burke who advocated “change in order to conserve” In continental Europe, where some autocratic monarchies persisted through much of the 19 th century, a more authoritarian form of conservatism developed, which defended monarchy and rigid autocratic values It was only after WWII that continental conservatives, notably in Germany and Italy, began to fully accept political democracy and social reform Conservatism underwent major changes in the 1970s , shaped by concerns about the welfare state and economic management. Particularly prominent were the Thatcher and Reagan administrations, both of which practiced an unusually radical and ideological brand of conservatism, commonly termed the New Right The New Right has challenged traditional conservative economic views but never
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