Politics in Minutes (2016)

Tradition

Conservatism as a political ideology emerged as a reaction to the profound political changes of the 18th century. And although it was seen as a counter-revolutionary movement at the time, and later as a moderating force, there is more to it than simply opposition to change. Central to the conservative philosophy is the idea that social and political structures have evolved gradually, and are the result of practical experience. Established traditions should be respected, as they contain the accumulated wisdom of complex societies.

These include institutions, such as organized religion and a ruling class, which form a solid basis for political systems and structures. There are also traditional social structures – families and communities – which are held together by shared beliefs and values, which tend to emphasize law and order, authority, conventional social behaviour and private property. Change to society and its organization, if at all necessary, should be gradual and cautious.

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