Nov 8 - Conservatism 2 Summary

Nov 8 - Conservatism 2 Summary - Summary of Politics 1020E...

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1 Summary of Politics 1020E Lecture: Conservatism, Part Two (November 8, 2011) In the eighteenth lecture we look in some detail at Edmund Burke, the most influential conservative thinker. He rejects the French revolutionaries’ views of human nature, society, freedom, and government. Burkean human beings are creatures of habit, custom, and tradition; and they are part of an organic conception of society. For Burke, society is not a contract, or, if one must use contractual language, he says that society is a sacred, intergenerational covenant. Burke does not value freedom without qualification. He defends ordered liberty to act in accordance with society’s laws and institutions. He rejects revolution and radicalism in favour of what he calls ‘reform’, which is careful, gradual, and aware of society’s complexity. On government, Burke defends a natural aristocracy of representatives who are reflective, responsible, and independent of the views their constituents happen to hold.
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Nov 8 - Conservatism 2 Summary - Summary of Politics 1020E...

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