Importance Of The New Right

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Register to read the introduction… The New Right was in the 1970s/1980s a movement personified by Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in Britain. Its key threads are the free market economics of Milton Friedman and F.A.Hayek, a commitment to individualism and personal responsibility, and a staunchly authoritarian stance on crime and other moral issues. The New Right was, as its name suggests, a significant, distinct break with the conservative thinking that had gone before. It was a radical break with the post-war Keynesian 'social democratic' consensus on the economy, and this can be seen as challenging the old definition of Conservatism. The word 'radical' only applies if you consider a very limited timeframe, however. The commitment to economic individualism likely came from the fact that, until recently, richer classes had to contribute very little tax. This neo-Conservative principle led to significant change: it has been applied more or less egalitarianly, reducing the tax burden of the poor too (that said, it helps the rich far more than the poor, who now have to pay an increased share of indirect taxes.) The same can be said of many other core beliefs - not only Margaret Thatcher's 'Victorian values' and the Reagan-Thatcher cutting of public spending, but the crackdown on trade unions and the new approach to economics developed by Friedman and Hayek. Critics of Conservatism have pointed out that they invariably follow the traditional Conservative agenda, and have claimed that they are just an attempt to give Conservatism a new intellectual …show more content…
Liberal ideas have influenced conservatism, especially classical liberal ideas. The New Right has been seen to have usurped traditional conservative ideas in the interests of classical liberalism. Economic liberalism whereby there is a belief in the free market as a self-regulating mechanism that tends naturally to deliver general prosperity and opportunities for all. Liberal conservatives believe that economic liberalism is compatible with traditional, conservative social philosophy based on ideas and values such as authority and duty. Edmund Burke, seen as the founder of traditional conservatism was also a keen supporter of the economic liberalism of Adam Smith. Burke believed the free market is efficient and fair, but it is also, as Burke believed, natural and necessary. The laws of the market are 'natural laws'. Burke further accepted that working conditions dictated by the market are, for many, 'degrading, unseemly, unmanly and often most unwholesome', but insisted that they would suffer further if the 'natural course of things' were disturbed. The capitalist free market could thus be defended on the grounds on tradition, just like the monarchy and the church. However, libertarian conservatives are not consistent liberals and they have a more pessimistic view of human nature, and hence, they support the traditional conservative view on tradition here. A strong state is required to maintain public order and ensure that authority is respected. Some libertarian conservatives are attracted to free-market theories because they promise to maintain and secure social

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