What Does Conservatism Seek to Conserve and Why? Essay

746 Words Nov 18th, 2014 3 Pages
What does Conservatism seek to conserve and why?
The nature of Conservatism as an ideology is most clearly illuminated when one examines its origins.
Conservatism was galvanised as a movement as a result of its rejection of the liberal ideas of the enlightenment on the basis of a negative view of human nature
Conservatism at least in terms of its roots is thus, fundamentally reactive – indeed this can even be seen in the title of Burke’s work – Reflections on the Revolution in France
This reactive nature can be seen to be reflected in Conservatism’s Summum Bonum – it is pragmatic as opposed to ideological – the preservation of order. As a movement it thus seeks to conserve the societal status quo in the face of changes or the
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However for New Right Conservatives, the issue of morality has moved away from the institution of the church, and is instead concerned with reversing a trend of what they see as increased permissiveness and instability in society, for instance the controversial passing of Thatcher’s Section 28 or Sarah Palin’s outspoken criticism of abortion…I’m pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential.
Arguably the contextual nature of Conservatism’s view of society and what should be conserved within it are most clearly emphasised in the case of Individual Freedoms:
Early Conservatives such as Hobbes or Burke reacted to early liberal calls for absolute freedom (for instance the slogan of the French Revolution – Liberty Equality Fraternity) arguing that as a result of the corrupt nature of humanity absolute freedom would in fact lead to a breakdown in law and order making life ‘nasty brutish and short.’ Instead they attempted to bring about limited, sustainable freedom through the rigorous implementation of law and order conserve who believed that life would become if individuals were given unlimited freedom, thus a degree freedom must be sacrificed in order to preserve law and order and the state… It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free
In contrast the New Right reacted against increasing state control in society (nationalisation

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