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What Does Conservatism Seek to Conserve and Why?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By hugobibby
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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 threat of changes – thus it is evident that what conservatives wish to conserve is in fact dictated by the nature of society at the time as opposed to ideological attachments to certain elements within society…
However, in the fact that Conservatives view their efforts to conserve as a means to the pragmatic end of social order – the ideas and institutions that Conservatives attempt to safeguard can be grouped together regardless of their contrasting context within societies, due to their shared end
This conservation of similar elements within different societies can be seen in the case of moral values – a concept that has been defended by both Traditional and New Right Conservatives…
For Early Conservative’s the issue of morality was one principally centred on religion as a result of the Church’s historical role as a traditional form of authority – it was thus seen as a means by which societal order could be achieved – Conservatives therefore sought to defend this position of the church as a moral authority in the face of emerging enlightenment ideals which rejected the traditional authority of the institution as well as the concept...

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