- Conservatism is a preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal.
- Believes society should be rooted in long-standing traditions and its institutions should reflect those traditions
Why conservatives believe this:
- Movement began as a response to the French Revolution (1789)- people of France replaced monarchy with new forms of gov’t, resulting in a chaotic decade
- Believe customs and social structures that have successfully withstood the test of time will do so in the future as well- “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality
- Old ideas are preferable to new ideas, which are needless and potentially harmful experimentation
How this works:
- Gov’ts responsibility: be the servant, not the master, of existing ways of life- politicians must resist the temptation to transform society and politics
What is the difference between Conservatives and Liberals?
- American writer Ambrose Bierce defined the conservative as: “a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.”