Conservative Viewpoints on Paternalism (Introduction (Paternalism can…
Conservative Viewpoints on Paternalism
One Nation/Traditional are quite similar
New Right completely contradicts everything
Paternalism is the idea of government by people who are best equipped to lead by virtue of their birth, inheritance and upbringing
Their view is linked to their views of hierarchy, order and the organic society
Paternalism can take two forms
Soft = In the sence that those who are the recipients give their consent
Hard = When paternalism is imposed, regardless of consent or opposition, in a more authoritarian manner
Traditional Conservatism views
Argued that the 'natural aristocracy' presided over society much like a Father did over his family
The social elite provides leadership because of its innate or hereditary abilities, just like a Father exercises authority
Ensures protection and provides guidance
Skills and talents cannot be obtained by hard work or self-improvement
Those at the top of society have a duty to care for the lower social ranks
18th and 19th Century - conservative aristocrats acted in paternalistic fashion by improving material conditions for their tenants and employees - by involving themselves in charitable and philanthropic works.
philanthropic: of a person or organisation) seeking to promote the welfare of others; generous and benevolent.
The wisdom and experience of paternalistic leaders confer natural authority, because they 'know whats best' for the rest of society.
Traditonally these leaders were drawn from the aristocratic elite that had been educated in the values of social obligation and public service
The Cecil Family (Marquessess of Salisbury) and the Stanley Family (Earls of Derby) - high born paternalistic conservative political leaders
New Right Views//Post War Conservatism
The neoliberal wing of the New Right completely rejects the idea of paternalism -particularly on free-market economics
Neo-liberalism aims to reduce the size of the state so that the unregulated market can generate a more dynamic and efficient economy leading to increased growth and prosperity.
From this perspective government intervention in the economy (a key element of the one-nation conservative paternalistic approach) or state control undermines human initiate and enterprise, resulting in economic stagnation.
Similarly, the neoliberal faith in individualism also challenges conservative notions of paternalism.
By stressing the importance of self-help, individual responsibility and personal initiative, neoliberals view welfare programmes and social reforms negatively. In their view, they promote a dependency culture among poorer people and undermines
Relies of government regulation of the economy and social welfare measures to improve the conditions for the poorest in society.
David Cameron drew of paternalism when he called for 'compassionate conservatism'
Origins of one-nation paternalistic conservatism are usually traced back to the works of Benjamin Disraeli (Prime Minister 1874-1880)
Disraeli warned that Britain was dividing into two nations: the rich and poor. This increased the liklihood of social revolution
Disraeli believed this situation could be averted by the privilege in society recognising their social obligation and duty to look after the less fortunate
The better pff wpi;d preserve their advantages, but they would also alleviate the hardships faced bu the lower orders and strengthen the social cohesion and stability of the nation
Therefore, Disraeli's one-nation paternalism blended self interest with principle.
As Prime Minister Disraeli translated this idea of paternalism into practice to a certain extent by passing a series of limited reforms
Mid 20th Century - One nation conservatism added a 'middle way' economic approach to social reform in its pursuit of paternalistic policies.
The moderate UK conservative governments of the 1950's and 1960's steered a central course between free market economics and state planning, on the grounds that the former led to social fragmentation and failed to protect the poorest while the latter stifled individual incentive and entrepreneurial flair.