FAQ: What is traditional conservatism?
Posted by Matt Walker on November 3, 2009
Before taking a look at Conservative Party policy, and in particular what it is that David Cameron believes in, it is worth outlining some of the ideas that conservatives (with a small ‘c’) have traditionally believed in.
Tradition – history is essential for understanding society and an individual’s position within it.
Human imperfection – people are by nature selfish and self-serving.
Hierarchy and authority – society is naturally divided into a hierarchy of leaders and followers. Tough love is needed to maintain social order.
Organic society – society is like a living organism, with all individuals connected to each other, each fulfilling a particular function.
Property – the owning and protection of property is essential and helps to maintain social order.
Not all conservatives believe everything that is in this list, or interpret each element in exactly the same way. But this gives us a clear idea of the collection of ideas which conservatives to some extent support.