TENSIONS WITHIN CONSERVATISM - Coggle Diagram
TENSIONS WITHIN CONSERVATISM
Traditional conservatives like Burke defend a state where political power is wielded by those who are 'born to rule'
As such, traditional conservatives believe the best states have a natural 'ruling class', reared according to the principles of duty and sacrifice, and instilled with a sense of responsibility towards the governed
Traditional conservatives are pragmatic about the extent of the state and are prepared to enlarge it in the name of social stability and 'one nation'
By contrast, New right conservatives wish to 'roll back the frontiers of the state' (outside areas such as security and defence) so as to advance individual freedom and reverse the dependency culture
New right conservatives are hostile to the principles of aristocratic rule - they fear that ruling classes have too much at stake in the status quo and are therefore reluctant to admit the need for radical change be New right governments.
Traditional conservatives, while keen to defend an economy based on private ownership, are sceptical about free-market capitalism, fearful that its dynamic effects exacerbate inequality, threaten 'one nation' and fuel support for socialism
As capitalism becomes more globalised, traditional conservatives fear that market forces promote a more cosmopolitan society that erodes national identity and culture
As a result, traditional conservatives have been prepared to countenance state intervention via Keynesian economics, higher taxation and high public spending on state welfare.
By contrast, New right conservatives like Nozick zealously advocate free market economies where state functions are privatised and deregulated, and where levels of taxation and state spending are significantly reduced
Traditional conservatives see society as a collection of small communities ("little platoons"), overseen by a hierarchal structure in which paternalistic elites exercise their inherited power in the interests of majority
Such communities are considered organic, in the sense that they in a natural and unplanned way, and place great store upon tradition and continuity
By contrast, New right conservatives are ambivalent about society's very existence, drawing upon the libertarian belief that society is a mere collection of atomised individuals seeking self determination
New right conservatives are more sceptical about paternalistic communities, preferring a society defined by those who have achieved, rather than inherited, power, status and property - in other words a society that is meritocratic rather than aristocratic
Traditional conservatives e.g. Hobbes & Burke take a sceptical view of human nature, drawing attention to the gap between aspiration and achievement while warning against the grand, utopian schemes of progressive politicians (the unempirical view)
For them, the horrors of supposedly idealistic movements such as the French and Russians revolutions are not tragic accidents, they arise from a misreading and overestimation of human potential
By contrast, new right thinkers take a more optimistic view, emphasising the possibilities of individuals with initiative and liberty. Thinkers like Nozick & Rand take an especially positive view of what individuals can acheive in the economic sphere, arguing that the key to unlocking human potential lies in fostering a pro-capitalist environment were individual energies are unleashed