Class Notes (836,147)
Canada (509,656)

20. November 19 -Conservatism.docx

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Nigmendra Narain

Conservatism  Classical Conservatism  Contemporary North America Conservatism o Traditional Conservatism o Individualist Conservatism o Neo-Conservatism o Social/Religious Conservatism Key Ideas  Differences between early or classical conservatives and self-proclaimed conservatives of recent years =they’re getting older?  Opposed to "social engineering" of society by society, social groups, or government o Humans are imperfect & no structure can make them perfect  Government has very limited or particular role in society  Cautious approach to change — preferable to keep traditions  Religious/divine aspect  Inequality is a necessary fact of li–people are imperfect, therefore cannot be made not so  Opposed to social engineering – therefore accept people are imperfect Classical Conservatism  Sought to preserve some form of aristocratic society that was under attack by liberalism  Defended traditional social hierarchy  Insisted on the need for strong enough state to restrain people's passions  Skeptical of attempts to promote individual freedom  Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Classical Conservatism: Burke  Basis of the political ideas of conservatism  Historical situation o Developed his views in the heat of the French Revolution o 1788-89 many observers in England hailed it as great for the cause of liberty o Burke saw it as a dangerous, threatening enterprise  Key Books o 1790: Reflections on the Revolution in France o Only incidentally about France 1 of 5 o More about the British liberals/radicals who would like to follow in France's revolutionary footsteps –dedicated it in SARCASTIC way of telling them they’re all idiots  Ideas: o Humans are not rational, but rules by passions and desires o About politics:  Not a science, but an imprecise art ------MACIAVELLI  You can try to rationalize & remake politics and society = terrible consequences inevitable –reign of terror; Soviet Russia; AM Reconstruction  Goal: order & stability 1. It is within order: we can get things done and live peacefully o Concerning society:  Opposed liberal’s "atomistic conception of humans and society" 1. Criticized Locke's liberal view of society  Organic: political society is a living and changing organism, a whole greater than the sum of its parts. 1. Society is about intergenerational connected-ness, not a social contract  Society has a "social fabric": woven together, they are strong and beautiful, and may needs patching & repair, but do NOT rip it ALL up 1. Canada: what’s our social fabric?  Elitist: believes there are natural aristocrats; inequality among people is a fact of life 1. Who are our natural leaders and aristocrats? o Role of state/government:  Government is to provide for human shortcomings: restrain passions, interests  State must be rooted in customs and traditions of the people to be stable 1. The people, through time, acquire the habit of obeying it – rules from your parents? From the class? 2. Cannot change this lightly or easily =CHAOS  No one best form to government: must reflect the particular history, habits of a particular people, serve their particular needs o Conception of Freedom:  Good only if controlled and put to good use  People freed from all legal and traditional restraints can wreak chaos  Negative freedom: individuals should be free to pursue their goals, but when their goals threaten the social order, freedom must be restricted  * Society and Order come before individual freedom * 2 of 5  Think about residences? Parties? Teens? Corporations? Polygamy? o Private property is a necessary, stabilising and conservative force in society  People who own property, especially land, will have strong attachments to the society and government that protect their property 1. Caledonia? Roommates? Your parents?  Does not share Locke's interest in ensuring that everyone can create their own property 1. Not earned but inherited right of elite  BURKE’S IDEAS: common basis for conservatism Conservatism: 1800s  Burkean classical conservatives: want to preserve the traditional features of existing society through cautious reform  Reactionary
More Less

Related notes for Political Science 1020E

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.