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Has Conservatism been more concerned with social stability than with economic freedom?

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Salma Aftab 13Storey Has Conservatism been more concerned with social stability than with economic freedom? Conservatism is concerned with both social stability and economic freedom however the balance depends upon the dominant tradition at any one point in time. It could be said that conservatism is concerned primarily with social stability since a fundamental belief to conservatism is organic society. This is one in which the individuals who make up society are linked to each other in a multitude of ways, as opposed to the liberal view, which sees society as made up of competing individuals each concerned to pursue self-interest. Conservatives believe that human beings seek the security, which can be found in knowing one's place within an ordered and structured society, which arises naturally and organically, rather than through some kind of plan or blueprint. Thus institutions of authority and order that are long established, have survived the test of time and are still efficient, must be good and worth preserving as a way of binding society together. ...read more.


Disraeli who suggested that wealth brought social obligations in particular to the less privileged represented the One Nation belief. He advocated that society was held together by the acceptance of our duty and obligations to each other and hence Inequalities of wealth gives rise to inequality of responsibilities. This is also known as "noblesse oblige" which can be referred to as the articrosy being noble and generous. Overall this meant that the welfare state was supported from a paternalist viewpoint since the redistribution of wealth sustained social stability. One nation strand advocates that for social stability to be preserved economic intervention should be endorsed. However on the other hand it can be said that conservatism has been concerned with economic freedom as can be seen from the rise of the New Right strand in particular neo liberalism has allowed a greater concern for economic freedom than social stability. In practise, Thatcher represented the Neo liberal strand and tried to revive the nineteenth century ideals of self help and individualism. ...read more.


The libertarianism of neo liberal conservatism derives from its primary concern with the free market and laissez faire economics. This results in an increase of rugged individualism sometimes at the expense of the delicate fabric of society. Furthermore it can be said that conservatism has been concerned with economic freedom as can seen from the 19th century ideals and liberal ideas advocated by Peel of individualism, economic liberty and minimal government came to influence the Conservative Party and to battle with older ideas of social paternalism and authoritarianism. In conclusion whether Conservatism has been more concerned with social stability than with economic freedom is dependant on the strand that is being considered. The New right has certainly been more inclined towards economic freedom as can be seen from Thatcher implementation of the laissez faire and free market. In addition the New Right policies reflect liberal ideas of unrestrained capitalism, which enhance competition and class struggle. The minimal state will allow individuals to have more freedom. However the One Nation strand are more concerned with social stability since it advocates a large welfare state, strong state to provide discipline and authority. ...read more.

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