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'Conservatives are more concerned with the Preservation of Stability and order than with Freedom' - Discuss.

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Introduction

Graham Samuels AMDG Wednesday, 30th October 2002 CONSERVATISM - ESSAY QUESTION 1992: 'Conservatives are more concerned with the Preservation of Stability and order than with Freedom.' Discuss. Conservatives strongly agree with a strong state. A strong state preserves order, defends from invasion and punishes law-breakers. They also believe that human beings are limited, security-seeking, imperfect and irrational, and therefore conservatives reject abstract 'rational' theories. There is therefore a need to sacrifice liberty, or freedom, for security. The conservative's concern to maximise and retain preservation of stability and order and their lack of concern, or perhaps secondary concern, with freedom both stem from their belief of the concept of human imperfection. Human imperfection is understood in several ways. Firstly, human beings are thought to be psychologically limited and dependent creatures. In the view of conservatives, people fear isolation and instability. They are drawn psychologically to the safe and the familiar, and, above all, they seek the security of knowing 'their place'. Other political philosophies trace the origins of immoral and criminal behaviour to society, and conservatives believe that it is rooted in each individual. ...read more.

Middle

Freedom is rather a willing acceptance of social obligations and ties by individuals who recognise their value. Freedom involves 'doing one's duty'. Conservatives believe that a society where individuals know only their rights and do not acknowledge their duties would be atomistic and rootless. Indeed it is the bonds of duty and obligation that hold society together. So, the conservative view of freedom is still restricting, as one is not free to neglect their duty, and it is one's obligation to do their duty and to fulfil their value and ability, otherwise society would not function, and would be rootless if man were free to neglect their duties in complete knowledge of rights, knowledge that neglects duty. Conservatives believe that high-sounding political principles such as the 'rights of man', 'equality' and 'social justice' become very dangerous when they are thought to provide a blueprint for the reform or remodelling of the world. This is why, Conservatives suggest, reform and revolution often lead to greater suffering rather than less. ...read more.

Conclusion

The conservative new right therefore stands for the restoration of authority. The strengthening of 'family values' is believed to maximise authority, as the family is thought to be naturally hierarchical. If authority relationships within a family are weakened, children will be brought up without a set of decent moral values and with little respect for their elders. A permissive society is therefore a breeding ground for anti-social behaviour, delinquency and crime. In conclusion, Conservatives are more concerned with the preservation of stability and order than with freedom, as their concern and emphasis for freedom is quite minimal, and therefore it doesn't take much for their concern for preservation of stability and order, something by which conservatism is defined, recognised and known, to overtake the emphasis that conservatism has for freedom. The conservative idea of freedom still requires one to do their duties within society, which true freedom would not make obligatory. So, to a certain extent, it isn't really freedom, as requirements are considered above rights. Conservatism is well known for it's belief in order and preservation of stability, and so these are at the forefront of the ideology's concerns, whereas freedom is much further down their list of priorities. ...read more.

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