Politics in Minutes (2016)

Conservatism

Anumber of very different political ideologies have their roots in Enlightenment philosophy. It was a time of change, when thinkers suggested various alternatives to the old order, based on reason rather than faith. But there were those who resisted the idea of change, particularly the radical, tumultuous changes of the 18th century onwards.

Conservatives, as they came to be known, advocate a retention of traditional values, and tried and tested governmental structures, which they argue are the result of a long evolution. While conservatism takes several slightly different forms, conservatives in general tend to support the ideas of a ruling class or monarchy, traditional models of family and community, and a role for faith and religion in providing moral guidance and social cohesion. A central tenet is order, both in terms of an authoritarian attitude to public order and lawlessness, and in particular the protection of private property, and the belief in a hierarchical social order rather than equality.

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