What is Conservatism?
Conservative ideas arose as a response to the rapid growing pace of political, economic and economic change which was symbolized by the French Revolution.
What are the values and beliefs of conservatism?
Conservative ideas arose as a response to the rapid growing pace of political, economic and economic change which was symbolized by the French Revolution (Heywood, 2017, p. 63). Conservatism is defined by the desire to conserve, reflected in a resistance to, or at least a suspicion of, change(Heywood, 2017, p. 62). Briefly defined, conservatives have a strong support for tradition, a belief in human imperfection, and the attempt to uphold the organic and initial structure of society (Heywood, 2017, p. 62). Traditional conservatism defends established institutions and values on the ground that they protect the fabric of society by giving people who seek security a feeling of stability. It is characterised by a belief in a minimal state by combining economic economic libertarianism with social authoritarianism (Heywood, 2017, p. 62). Conservatism has been debated to be a negative ideology as its core theme is the desire to conserve which can also be translated to being resistance or suspicion of change without political creed (Heywood, 2017, p. 65). Their central beliefs include tradition, society, hierarchy and authority property and tradition which contrasts strongly with liberalisms value of minimal government interference and individual freedom (Heywood, 2017, p. 65). In terms of tradition, conservatives such as Burke believed that society was developed from the creator which he considered to be the natural law and believed that humans should not change or interfere with God’s creation as they are calling the will of God. In this case conservatives people that the practises of the past should be preserved for the future generations to come as they have been tested by time (Heywood, 2017, p. 66) Conservatisms share similar ideas with Darwinism and the belief of natural selection believing that if these institutions have survived it creates a higher value on them therefore should be preserved (Heywood, 2017, p. 66). furthermore many ideologies believe that human beings are naturally good or if social circumstances are fixed they they can be made good this contrasts with conservatism themes as they believe in human imperfection where humans are psychologically limited and fear isolation, and cannot, exist outside society, but desperately need to belong, to have ‘roots’ in society also known as organic society this idea contrasts with liberalist who preach that individuals are self reliant and self seeking and can be personally developed and improved (Heywood, 2017, p. 68)
Heywood, A 2017, Political Ideologies: An Introduction, 6th edition, Palgrave, London.