The Importance of Social Stability and Economic Freedom to Conservatism Essay

The Importance of Social Stability and Economic Freedom to Conservatism Essay

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The Importance of Social Stability and Economic Freedom to Conservatism

Traditionally Conservatism has generally focussed on both social
stability and economic freedom, believing that the two are inherently
intertwined.

The central theme of Conservative thought, namely “the desire to
conserve”, is closely linked to the emphasis placed on respect for
tradition, established customs and institutions that have endured the
“test of time”. Conservatives fervently believe that tradition
reflects the accumulated wisdom of the past, and that institutions and
customs which have been tested by time, should all be preserved for
the benefit of the living and for those still to come. In this way,
tradition is believed to have the virtue of promoting stability and
security within society as it provides individuals with a sense of
social and historical belonging. This is underpinned by the
conservative’s pessimistic view of human nature, believing humans to
be naturally dependent and security-seeking creatures, drawn to the
familiar and desiring to live in safe and orderly communities.

Conservatives have traditionally viewed society as an organic whole or
a living entity whose parts work together in the same fashion the
brain, heart and lungs do in a human body. If society is organic, its
various institutions have been shaped by natural necessity and forces
so as to provide security and social cohesion. Any attempts to alter
this structure are thus fraught with danger as reform or change may
lead to the collapse of society. Conservatives have therefore been
suspicious of change and have generally adopted a pragmatic approach
believing in cha...


... middle of paper ...


...bout by
rigorous economic policies such as high unemployment, by encouraging
people to help themselves before claiming benefits.

Conservatism has been concerned with both social stability and
economic freedom over the years. The measure of importance given to
each concept has alternated from time to time depending on the
dominant mood at different points in time and the prevailing
circumstances. Conservatives have adapted their policies to suit
current demands, whilst ensuring that “economic freedom” and “social
stability” have remained central tenets of conservative thought
throughout history. At some time one concept has been more dominant
than the other and vice versa. Nonetheless, Conservatives believe that
the tw2o are very much intertwined and that there can be no social
stability without economic freedom.

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