Conservatism

Dominic Ramsay
Mind Map by Dominic Ramsay, updated more than 1 year ago
Dominic Ramsay
Created by Dominic Ramsay about 6 years ago
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Mind Map on Conservatism, created by Dominic Ramsay on 12/27/2013.

Resource summary

Conservatism
1 Origins
1.1 Opposition to the Enlightenment. In particular, the French Revolution
1.2 Principles laid out in Burke's 'Reflections on the Revolution in France' (1790)
1.2.1 Conservative thought in a general sense had been emerging for a century as ruling class figures had attempted to give an ideological aspect to their resistance to demands for responsible government. In Britain, this took the form of 'Toryism
1.2.1.1 Burke had actually opposed the Torys as a member of the Whig Party. This shows that his arguments were not serving a vested interest, but were the product of ideolical process
2 Tradition
2.1 Is a view of society based on the inheritance of institutions and practises from the past. Implies that respect is given to these and that they will be maintained in the present and transmitted to the future.
2.1.1 Institutions transmitted from the past hold society together. They guarantee the rights and privelges of all sections of society.
2.1.1.1 Without these, there could no guarantee of anyone's rights, freedoms or property. It was this feature of the first year of the French Revolution that alarmed Burke, and would later become known as 'The Terror'
2.1.1.1.1 The British sytem was the product of British History and society. By cutting themselves of from thier past, the French could not simply recreate the British system in France. Instead they were only preparing the ground for a tyranny far worse than the one they'd destroyed. This is shown by the rise of Napoleon
2.2 Tradition - Monarchy, Organised Religion, Family and all other Social andPolitical Institutions - is the basis of any stable society.
2.2.1 Is legitimate because it has existed and functioned for many generates. Institutions that function properly should not be altered because it does not fit with an ideological stance, it is justified because it works.
2.2.1.1 The basis for Conservative defence of the House of Lords
2.2.1.2 Explain Conservative opposition to attempts to spread Democracy. They arue that this will undermine and disrupt societies that are subject to these actions and thus will produce disorder and new tyrannies as opposed to Liberal Freedom
2.2.1.3 They do support change if it is to preserve the traditional order 'Change in order to Conserve'
2.3 Tradition helps people deal with a lack of security as succcess in the past seems to guarantee success in the future
2.4 Justified as 'God's will' 'Democracy of the Dead' ' Fitness to survive' 'Sense of belonging' and a fear of radical change.
3 Human Imperfection
3.1 Perceived as having three aspects: Psychological, Moral and Intellectual
3.1.1 Psychological: Rejects Liberal Rational Individualism, Conservatives see humans as weak and security seeking. They are dependent on social frameworks to make sense of society and their role in it
3.1.1.1 A Social Hierarchy deals with this problem. Every individual has his or her place with its own clear role, and rights as well as duties.
3.1.1.1.1 A hierarchy dominated by what Disraeli described as 'natural leaders' is calculated to produce social peace and harmony
3.1.1.1.1.1 People are ready to defer to their betters becasue their betters are fitted and trained to peform their role at the top of society
3.1.2 Moral: Flows from the idea that, left to themselves, humans will easily fall into socially disruptive behaviour. Most humans lack innate moral values.
3.1.2.1 They do not understand the need for social order and for respect for the rights of others. Thus the state has a duty as well as a right to exercise authority.
3.1.3 Intellectual: The world is so complex as to be beyond the understanding of ordinary humans
3.1.3.1 Used as a justification for religion as it gives meaning to an incomprehensible world
3.2 Leads to a belief in Pragmatism = The belief that behaviour should be shaped in accordance with practical circumstances and goals rather than ideological principles, beliefs or objectives
4 Organic Society
4.1 Is a metaphor comparing society with a human body. In line with this, any healthy society requires all its constituent parts to be healthy and fulfilling their proper roles in harmony with each other
4.1.1 This is used to justify the use of Keynesian Economics and the Welfare State to keep society prosperous and stables
4.2 Shared values are essential as these will prevent social conflict. This leads Conservatives to oppose Multiculturalism as it accepts cultures that are in conflict with traditional values and sows the seeds for future social conflict
4.3 Hierarchy is essential to such a society as authority flows down the structure, while obedience and deference flow up
4.3.1 Superiors have a right and a duty to exercise authority over those beneath them.
4.4 The New Right challenge this view with the atomic model, at least when discussing the Free Market
4.5 Holistic view of Society as being more than the sum of its parts
4.5.1 Leads Conservatives to the belief that what is ‘good’ is what is in the best interests of society
4.5.2 Leads Conservatives to believe that political action should be introduced that benefits society – even if that goes against the interests of individuals
4.6 All nations have a ‘natural spirit’ or ‘Volkgeist’ – a shared collected history of traditions, morals, customs and practices which act as means of binding
5 Property
5.1 Used as a metaphor to justify tradition. We should respect traditional institutions because we inherit them just as we inherit property
5.2 Property became a traditional institution as it had proved its worth by being the means for society to undertake production and exchange. Property was also the core of social hierarchy.
5.3 Possession of property has a transformational effect on people
5.3.1 Property Ownership makes people less likely to resort to crime, perceiving that respecting the property rights of others safeguards their own property
5.3.2 Makes people supportive of the structure of society, which has enabled them to become property owners. Also makes them supportive of prescribed authority which protects their porperty
5.3.3 Makes people supportive of the family, because it's the means to transmit their property to their heirs.
5.3.4 Almost mythical quality for Conservatives as it mitigates the worst features of Human Nature. This is why post 1945 Conservatives advocated 'Property Owning Democracy', as by giving large numbers of lower class people property, they gain a stake in society thus bringing stablitity
6 One Nation Conservatism
6.1 Paternalism = Metaphor allocating the roles expected of a father (duty to install morality, but also to provde for the family) onto the state
6.1.1 Those at the head have a duty of care to their inferior ranks. This is often expressed in the term 'Noblesse Oblige'
6.1.2 Fits well with the traditional Conservative view of human nature, especially the security seeking aspect,
6.2 Disraeli developed One Nation Conservatism to prevent Britain being divided into 'two nations' of rich and poor
6.2.1 Did this by introducing social reforms to ease British poverty
6.3 Was the dominant theory of Conservatism during the Post War Consensus. Harold Macmillan developed 'the Middle Way'
7 The New Right
7.1 Originated as a result of the economic stagflation during global economic crisis of 73-76 and 79-81. New Right Conservatives arued in favour of supply side economics in a policy that became known as 'monetarism'
7.1.1 Saw the crisis of the 1970's as primarily a failure of social morality. The remedy was for this was to rigoursly enforce public order, as shown by Thatcher's treatment of IRA terrorists as ordinary criminals.
7.1.2 Influenced by the 'Chicago School'
7.2 Is a hybrid of Traditional Conservative Social Policy and Classical/Neo Liberal Free Market Policy
7.2.1 At odds with the traditional organic view of society in favour of an atomic one.
7.2.2 Often critisized for abandoning several key features of Conservative thought in favour of Classical Liberal Ones
7.3 Belief that the family was being undermined as children were being provided for by state welfare as opposed to their parents
8 Key Thinkers
8.1 Thomas Hobbes - Author of Leviathon
8.2 Benjamin Disraeli - Author of 'The Two Nations or Sybil'
8.3 Edmund Burke - Reflections on the Revolution in France
8.4 Harold Macmillan - The Middle Way
8.5 Micheal Oakshott - Practical Knowledge vs Technical Knowledge
8.6 Roger Scruton - Social Knowledge
8.7 Chicago School - Milton Friedman and Fredrich Hayek
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