• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent can Conservatism be considered an ideology?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Mohammed Mirza History & Politics 1st Year PL103 Assessed Essay To what extent can Conservatism be considered an ideology? An ideology is a political thought that shares a set of beliefs. It is a body of concepts, values and symbols that embody conceptions of human nature and therefore emphasise values that people should adhere to. Andrew Vincent would say, " Ideologies thus claim both to describe and to prescribe for humans". Conservatism as an ideology with its long history has by some political authors been viewed as an ideology without a definite body of ideas and this notion undermines a key point in defining an ideology: an ideology being a political thought that shares a set of beliefs. With that said this essay will explore to what extent Conservatism is considered an ideology. Generally Conservatives do agree on certain issues. For example Conservatives have viewed society as an organism, a living entity. Society thus has an existence outside the individual, and in a sense is prior to the individual. Unlike Liberal theory Conservatives believe that according to the social contract theory citizens in affect agree to be governed for their own benefit in the same way children are to be raised by their parents. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore they sought to overcome the social divisions by improving conditions and bringing about improvements. Furthermore, they believed in a Paternalistic Government acting in a collectivist way. They would have a limited role in the economy and would emphasise strong authority. This Conservatism emphasises a strong state that should as a paternalistic government provide society with benefits. Liberal Conservatism, which emerged around the 1830's under Robert Peel, believed in free trade, limited authority and more individualism rather than social obligations. In addition they believed in very little role in the economy. Comparing Liberal Conservatism with One Party Conservatism it is clear that Conservatives do not believe in or share a fixed set of beliefs in many issues. This can be concluded further looking at the New Right. The New Right emerged in Post war years focusing on its aims of privatisation and the rolling back of the state. Adding to this the New Right believes in defence of family values, defence of the nation's sovereignty wary and fearful over immigration. Having explored some of the factions of conservatism it is even more clear that the set of beliefs that distinguish conservatism are rather weak and to make a fair comment undermine Conservatism as being an ideology. ...read more.

Conclusion

Communism too can be viewed in the same way. The communism that was in the USSR was not exactly the same as it was in China. The fact is China accused the USSR during the 1960's as being reformist rather than Marxist. During the period Khrushchev the leader at the time was carrying out a policy of decentralisation something that most Marxists do not adhere to. At present China one of the few Communist countries left in the world has taken a less concrete approach on her beliefs. The government has opened up trade centres and the market is becoming less controlled with foreign companies opening up factories in China such as Sony to take advantage of the lower labour costs. In addition China is now a member of the World Trade Organisation something that is not envisaged with Communism. With that said ideologies do not appear to be as fixed or hard as concrete in their beliefs. Conservatism may be less so but it does exist as an ideology. It can be confused with other ideologies but the conservatism we know is the conservatism that takes in free market thinking with paternalistic government. It does to an extent have a set of beliefs and that as the Conservative motto in the UK state: 'The Country at any given moment'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Explain And Discuss How The "Ideologies Of Welfare" Explored In This Module Can Be ...

    3 star(s)

    Addressing the fabian society in 1995, Tony Blair stressed the parties moves to cross the boundries between 'left and right', 'progressive and conservative'. In this New Labour claim to have discovered a 'third-way' in UK social policy. New Labour questioned whether social welfare should be provided universally, not outlining target

  2. Why and to what extent have conservatives supported tradition?

    the monarchy, the House of Lords and the church-to enjoy a wider base of social support. One-nation tradition was revived and reached high points in the 1950-60's, when conservative governments in the UK and elsewhere came to practice a version of Keynesian social democracy, working for full employment and enlarging welfare provision.

  1. Is the 'New Right' a departure from or a continuation of traditional British Conservatism?

    Peel dramatically refashioned the Tory Party by moving it in a new direction, despite hostile opposition, to expand its base of support and to deal with the land-owning elitism of politics. A tradition continued to a different extent by Disraeli.

  2. This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses ...

    Its other central beliefs are human imperfection, Organic society, Authority and Property. (A. Heywood, 1992 pp27+69). Socialism is a political and economic theory or system of social organisation, based on collective or state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange similar to capitalism, it takes many diverse forms, and it is a continually developing concept.

  1. To what extent is there continuity between traditional Conservatism and the New Right?

    Conservatives on the whole see negative freedom as a licence for anarchy, especially as the context of the development of the New Right (the age of individualism) could lead to profound global social unrest if society was not kept in check.

  2. Discuss the conflicts between Employee and Employer by Marxist

    5 hours wages to them, therefore, the employer pays 4 pounds per hour per employee, now he gets all of 10 employees to work 3 extra hours per day without paying them, this will make �4 x 3 hours x 10 employees = �120 extra profit per day for employer,

  1. To what extent is Marxism a flawed political ideology?

    exploring firm evidence, rather than supernatural forces as well as acknowledging verifiable natural and social laws. Additionally, he viewed issues beneath superficial appearance in order to investigate their real nature. "All science would be superfluous if the forms of appearance of things coincided with their essence."

  2. Political Parties, Role and Ideology/Policies Qa (i) Ideology is the core fundamental beliefs ...

    New Labour has effectively become more Conservative than before. It has adopted many Conservative policies and has therefore gathered more support than the more socialist wing of Old Labour. In 1983, Labour presented its most Socialist manifesto ever. Labour suffered a resounding defeat to the Conservatives and decided to alter its policies.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work