POLSCI 1AA3 OCT 15th LECTURE.doc - Political Science 1AA3...

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Political Science 1AA3 2018 Lecture 5a Conservatism - In some senses it is difficult to define Conservatism as a theory - It implies the desire to conserve o That there is value in tradition - But the specific institutions that are traditional differ according to time and place – the traditions being conserved differ based on when and where you are - Nevertheless, the conservative hypothesis is that deference to tradition is important - But why is tradition valuable? Why should we think the past should be a touchstone for the present? o Some change can be disastrous Edmund Burke - Reflections on the Revolution in France , 1790 - The French Revolution: traditional, feudal ordered. Common people rebelled against further taxes – people argued that society should be reordered in order of reason. Society began to exercise violence against itself -tens of thousands beheaded. Society began to consume itself. Widespread international war as a result of the French revolution – Napolean Bonaparte then took over – was as autocratic as any monarch. This time violent and terrifying. - Burke correctly predicted that the French revolution would end in tyranny. In fact any type of revolutionary project is likely to end in disaster - What will the French Revolution look like in practice: o “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality” or Tyranny?

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