What Is Conservativism?

What Is Conservativism?

(RoyalPatriot.com) – It’s hard to think of a subject upon which people disagree as much as politics. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to have a political discussion in a large group without two individuals expressing drastically different views.

While no two people hold exactly the same views on every issue, there are some schools of thought that prevail in certain political groups and parties. Conservatism — a belief in the importance of tradition, hierarchy, and authority — is one of the most significant.

Social Conservatism

Social conservatism focuses on the maintenance of traditional structures in many different respects. Perhaps the best-known manifestation of social conservatism is in relation to family values. Conservatives favor the nuclear family model and generally promote policies that protect and uphold it. They also espouse pro-life views and favor a restrictive approach to abortion.

A large part of social conservatism is an emphasis on authority. Conservatives typically believe in a firm approach to law enforcement. For example, a lot of Conservatives approve of the death penalty.

Another tenet of social conservatism in America is gun ownership. Second Amendment rights have been the subject of fierce debate across the country for some time, with Conservatives usually acting in their defense. The logic of Conservatives here is that banning guns will prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against criminals (as the latter will be able to access firearms anyway).

Economic Neoliberalism

When discussing social policy, the opposite of a Conservative is a Liberal. Somewhat confusingly, people with socially conservative beliefs tend to subscribe to a school of economic thought called neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism is the idea that markets should determine their own prices and means of operation. Governments or other public bodies should involve themselves as little as possible. This is where the use of the word “liberal” comes from here, as proponents believe private businesses should be free to do as they please.

This ties in with the idea of hierarchy, which is a central Conservative principle. Unless people can succeed or fail on the basis of their own abilities, no true hierarchy will exist.

It’s important to remember conservatism is a broad church. Someone with broadly conservative views can take a liberal position on certain issues, and Liberals can sometimes hold typically conservative beliefs, too.

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