POLS 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Civic Nationalism, Ethnic Nationalism

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Conservatism
Modern conservatism arose in opposition to the liberal ideas of the French Revolution and
the Enlightenment
Edmund Burke (1729-1997) argued that the tried and tested was always to be preferred to
radical change. He criticized the liberal emphasis on individual rationality, taking a far less
optimistic view of human nature.
Reaction to ideology
Enlightenment Scientific enquiry, way of looking at society
Characteristics of conservatism
An aversion to ‘rational’ projects of political change
A preferences for an ‘organic’ society, in which everyone knows their place
Individuals are not perfectible
Reject individualist view of conservatism the two should be seen as opposites.
Criticism of conservatism
Is it an ideology? Yes and no. It provides a broad map “what not to do”
Deriving an ‘ought’ from an ‘is “This is the way it is that doesn’t mean it is how it
should be or that it is right.
In recent decades free-market policies have been advanced by politicians who claim to be
conservative.
Most want a free market.
Many of these ideas are impossible to square with the concept of rationality and resistant to
the idea that a market can work perfectly.
Nationalism
Modern nationalism emerged in the 19th century, as people began to assert the right to
organize their own societies.
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Document Summary

Modern conservatism arose in opposition to the liberal ideas of the french revolution and the enlightenment. Edmund burke (1729-1997) argued that the tried and tested was always to be preferred to radical change. He criticized the liberal emphasis on individual rationality, taking a far less optimistic view of human nature. Enlightenment scientific enquiry, way of looking at society. Characteristics of conservatism: an aversion to rational" projects of political change, a preferences for an organic" society, in which everyone knows their place. Reject individualist view of conservatism the two should be seen as opposites. It provides a broad map what not to do : deriving an ought" from an is" this is the way it is that doesn"t mean it is how it should be or that it is right. In recent decades free-market policies have been advanced by politicians who claim to be conservative.

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