Traditional Conservatism or Traditional Toryism Original strand of conservatism. Key doctrine is the organic theory of the state. Toryism believes in human imperfection.
Central Themes of conservatism <ul><li>Private property </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Natural hierarchy and authority </li></ul><ul><li>A static, harmonious class structure </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul><ul><li>Paternalism </li></ul>
Tory paternalism This derives from the organic view of society that is inherently anti-egalitarian. Like socialism, Tories perceive society in terms of class hierarchy. Unlike socialism, they do not perceive there to be class conflict – but instead a harmonious hierarchy of social classes. Traditional conservatives believe in one nation, governing responsibly in the interests of the whole. It is based upon the belief of Noblesse oblige (social compassion) and the belief that “if the cottages are happy, the castle is safe” (Disraeli) This implies the acceptance of welfarism.
Tory paternalism Organic view of society Based upon the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’ One-nation welfarism
Tory pragmatism Traditional political conservatism mistrusts human reason, it therefore dislikes abstract theories and is instead pragmatic. Pragmatism relies upon practical responses to concrete circumstances. Some people argue that conservatism is less an ideology than a habit of mind or a way of feeling.
Ideology of traditional conservatism <ul><li>Belief in property </li></ul><ul><li>Organic theory </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrust of human reason </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in natural hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance to change </li></ul><ul><li>Reverence for tradition </li></ul>
There are 2 distinct strands to New-Right conservatism (Thatcherism in the UK): Neo-liberalism Neo-conservatism
New Right neo-liberalism The origins of New Right conservatism, or Thatcherism, lie in 18 th century classical liberalism, but came to dominate across much of Europe and the USA in the 1980s. It is now called neo-liberalism.
Key features of New Right neo-liberalism It is a mechanistic/individualist theory “ There is no such thing as society; only individuals and families” (Thatcher) It views human nature as rational and self-seeking . This is in contrast with the traditional conservative mistrust of human reason. It advocates free market economics (negative economic freedom – this contrasts with one nation, paternalist welfarism. It is principled and doctrinaire – Thatcher “No U-turns” “The lady’s not for turning”.
New Right neo-conservatism What is new about the New Right is that, to neo-liberal, laissez-faire economics, it has added a political, social and moral authoritarianism.
What features does neo-conservatism share with traditional conservatism: It is an organic/collectivist theory – traditional conservatives and neo-conservatives perceive a natural, static, interdependent hierarchy in society. It believes in natural hierarchy and authority – headed by natural governors. It mistrusts human reason – neo-conservatives are especially concerned with the moral imperfection of humans and their capacity for crime. It believes in private property – it gives people a sense of rootedness in society.
What features does neo-conservatism not share with traditional conservatism: Paternalism – neo-conservatives are instead authoritarian, disciplinarian and illiberal.
The trouble with a free market economy is that it takes so many police to make it work. (Neal Ascherson)
The New Right paradox A primary goal of the New Right is a return to the free- market economy that dominated the classical liberal, Victorian era of the 19 th century. Thus, unlike traditional conservatism, it is both radical and reactionary. IT SEEKS A LOT OF CHANGE – BACKWARDS. However, it has allied this laissez-faire economic doctrine with an equally reactionary authoritarianism in all other (non-economic) spheres of life. THIS GIVES IT A PARADOXICAL APPEARANCE.
The New Right paradox In the economic sphere, the New Right advocates negative freedom from state intervention. However, in the social, moral and political spheres the New Right is illiberal and favours a strong and controlling state, especially in law and order.
Limitation of government doesn't make for a weak government. If you've got the role of government clearly set out, then it means very strong government in that role. M. Thatcher
Neo-liberalism Neo-conservatism <ul><li>Mechanistic theory </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Negative economic freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Equal opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Limited state </li></ul><ul><li>Organic theory </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrust of human nature </li></ul><ul><li>Illiberalism </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-egalitarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Strong state </li></ul>
Paradox or Complementary? The free market economy of the 1980s and 1990s resulted in growing economic inequalities and social disorder, which required stronger policing and political controls to keep the lid on potential social unrest. However, There is an undeniable contradiction between the two strands of New Right ideology, because of their very different philosophical roots.
Comparisons and contrasts within conservatism Tories and New Right share 4 main beliefs: Private property – conservatives believes that private property gives insecure humans a sense of rootedness and identity. However, the neo-liberal New Right emphasis on the free market is stronger than that of the Tories.
Comparisons and contrasts within conservatism Hierarchy – conservatives believe that equality is unnatural and undesirable. However, the Tory perception of an organic static, class hierarchy differs markedly from the neo-liberal New Right mechanistic, individualistic ladder of meritocracy.
Comparisons and contrasts within conservatism Law and order – conservative believe that morally imperfect humans need the guidance and constraint of law. However, the paternalistic Tory, Dixon of Dock Green image of the ‘bobby on the beat’ contrasts sharply with the militaristic, New Right, Robocop version of policing.
Comparisons and contrasts within conservatism Christian family values – UK conservatives look to the Christian Church for moral guidance. However, the paternalist compassion of Toryism contrasts with the authoritarian discipline of neo-conservatism.
Conservatism Traditional conservatism New Right Neo-conservatism Neo-liberalism <ul><li>Organic </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrusts human nature </li></ul><ul><li>Political/social </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional </li></ul><ul><li>Natural governors </li></ul><ul><li>Paternalist </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanistic </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul><ul><li>Radical/reactionary </li></ul><ul><li>Meritocratic </li></ul><ul><li>Laissez-faire </li></ul><ul><li>Principled </li></ul><ul><li>Organic </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrusts human nature </li></ul><ul><li>Political/social </li></ul><ul><li>Reactionary </li></ul><ul><li>Natural governors </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritarian </li></ul><ul><li>Principled </li></ul>
Comparisons and contrasts within conservatism Although all conservatives share a few common beliefs, there seems to be more in common between traditional conservatism and neo-conservatism, than between neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.
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