COMPARE AND CONTRAST CONSERVATISM AND SOCIALISM REFER TO BURKE AND MARX IN YOUR ANSWER

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1 COMPARE AND CONTRAST CONSERVATISM AND SOCIALISM REFER TO BURKE AND MARX IN YOUR ANSWER

2 CORE FEATURES OF CONSERVATISM

3 TRADITION Tradition refers to values, practices and institutions that have endured though time and been passed from one generation to another. Edmund Burke believed that the world was fashioned by God the Creator he referred to this as natural law. If human beings tamper with the world they are challenging the will of God. Burke described society as a partnership between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born

4 TRADITION Tradition is the accumulated wisdom of the past it has been tested by time, and preserved for the benefit of the living and generations to come. Monarchy has provided the country with national loyalty and provides a feeling of rootedness Conservatives appreciate tradition because it generates a sense of identity, it links people to the past and provides them with a collective sense of who they are. Change is a journey into the unknown, creating uncertainty and insecurity, and so endangers happiness.

5 HUMAN IMPERFECTION Human beings are imperfect and unperfectible, humans are psychologically limited and dependent creatures. People fear isolation and instability need to know their place - Conservatives have emphasised the importance of social order, and to be suspicious of liberty liberty presents people with choices which lead to change and uncertainty while order provides security and certainty. Chice should therefore be limited. People should be willing to sacrifice their liberty for social order (like Thomas Hobbes had argued). Where other ideologies (like Marxism) might say that crime and immoral acts are the fault of society and the superstructure (sociology theme here), conservatives believe that it is all rooted in the individual. Humans are innately greedy and selfish, they desire power over each other by their vary nature.

6 Crime is not seen as the product of inequality but a consequence of human appetites and instincts. The only deterrent to crime is law and punishment. Punishment should be severe. Punishment should not expect to rehabilitate a criminal, and humans are unperfectible. It should be seen as making an example of the criminal in order to deter others. Many conservatives favour corporal or even capital punishment (as can be seen today in conservative societies like Saudi Arabia)

7 Conservatives see the human mind as limited humans would not be able to comprehend the world. Conservatives are suspicious of philosophy and ideas that claim to understand what they believe is incomprehensible. They ground ideas in traditions and history. Reform and revolution lead to disorder. Ideas about things like Human Rights are too abstract. They may encourage change, and change is inherently bad.

8 ORGANIC SOCIETY Human beings need society in order to survive. They believe society is like an organic structure, everyone has their place in it, and everyone has a role to perform, but some of those roles are more important that others. The individual cannot be separated from society and the social groups that nurture him/her (agents of social control) like the family, the church etc. If a person feels too free, then they can experience what Durkheim called anomie - a feeling of lack of order and control, social exclusion even.

9 For Conservatives the idea of freedom should be the willing acceptance of the duties and roles placed on your by society to do one s duty. Be a dutiful child and do as your parents tell you, and this extends throughout society because elders in society and those who are born to better families (like the Queen) should be seen as being like the parents of society.

10 Organic society also has a deeper meaning compared to the idea of a machine for example. With a machine all the parts could be taken apart and reassembled, and it would still work it could even be made better and more efficient (this would be more how liberals and socialists would view it). With an organic structure, this would not be possible, because an organic structure is alive. Society is more than the sum of its parts. It is about finely balanced relationships. If these relationships are damaged then society can die. This is why conservatives often have an extreme fear of things they perceive as being a threat to relationships in society like multiculturalism, immigration, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, etc, etc the idea of broken Britain we have seen in the news over recent years.

11 HIERARCHY AND AUTHORITY Conservatives fundamentally disagree with the idea of equality of any sort either opportunity or outcome. They believe society is naturally graded, some people are just born to do better than others. Power, status and property should always be unequally distributed. Conservatives agree with liberals that there is natural inequality among people in terms of their talents and skills. - but liberals believe this leads to meritocracy, where the hardest working will rise to the top. Conservatives believe that inequality is more deep rooted. Burke believed in a natural aristocracy, that some classes are born to lead, and some are born to follow. There must be those who go out to work and those who stay at home to look after the children. Conservatives agree with socialists that there is a class system however they do not see the relationship as exploitative, as socialists do.

12 Those of a higher class have more authority and more power, but also more responsibility, as they must look after the livelihoods of all those below them, therefore they deserve more property and wealth. The father of the family is responsible for the income of the family, therefore has more status. Authority has developed naturally people have not set up a social contract. Like the family emerged naturally, so did the class system. People need to be led. They need to know their place. They need to know their duty. Upper classes have authority (the unquestioning right to rule) over the lower classes.

13 PROPERTY For Conservatives property has deep psychological importance. It provides security it makes people feel safe to know that they have a home. It means people are more likely to obey the law themselves, as they have property to look after. A person s property shows others their status. People realise themselves through the possessions that they have. They are a sign of the person s worth. A person reflects their personality in the things they buy, the type of car they drive, or the way they decorate their home

14 CORE FEATURES OF SOCIALISM

15 COMMUNITY Socialism offers a unifying vision of human beings as social creatures, capable of overcoming social and economic problems by drawing on the power of the community rather than simply human effort. Socialists believe that people have a capacity to work collectively to pursue goals together, rather than striving for personal self-interest. Socialists have the most optimistic view of human nature. They believe very mush in nurture rather than nature that we are formed completely by the experiences we have and the circumstances of social life. All human skills and attributes are learned from society. The individual is inseparable from society. We are not self-sufficient nor self-contained. Individuals can only be understood as part of the social groups to which they belong. The way people behave tells us more about the society they have grown up in, than about their human nature. Socialists are not so concerned with what people are like now, but with what they have the capacity to become. Socialism is sometimes seen as Utopianism a rose-tinted vision of a perfect society

16 COOPERATION As humans are social animals the natural relationship between them should be co-operation rather than competition. Socialists see competition as very negative encouraging people to deny their social nature. Competition promotes selfishness and aggression. Socialists believe that humans can be motivated by moral incentives, not just material incentives like money. Socialists believe that people would work for the good of the community, developing empathy, sympathy and bonds of responsibility for other human beings, especially the most vulnerable.

17 EQUALITY This is the most fundamental political value of socialism. Socialists believe in equality of outcome Socialists do not believe that inequality of oncome and wealth is a sign that some people have worked harder than others they believe it is a sign of the fundamental unfairness of the system.. Socialists do not believe that we are all born the same with the same skills and capacities, but they do believe that most economic inequality in society is the fault of the economic system. Equality of opportunity legitimises the system, by making it seem like it is the poor person s fault that they have not succeeded. Social equality is important because it helps a community to bond together and work together for the common good. Wealth should be distributed on the basis of need. Some vulnerable people have greater need than others. We should all have our needs met by the society we live in. We should all work together to meet those needs.

18 CLASS POLITICS Social class is the most politically significant of social divisions. People tend to think and act together with others with whom they share a common economic position or interest. Marxists believe that historical change is the product of class conflict For Marxists in capitalist society there are two classes the bourgeoisie and the proletariat there is irreconcilable conflict between the two. There will eventually be a paradigm shift to the next stage of history. (you know all that stuff about how history moves along through dialectical materialism)

19 COMMON OWNERSHIP Socialists blame private property for the competition and inequality in society. They see private property as unjust as all wealth is produced by collective effort (remember the sociological imagination stuff we did on a chair, or a table how many different processes have gone into that) therefore all wealth should be owned by the community, not by private individuals. Property breeds greed and envy Property blinds us to the true nature of society it keep sus all going out to work to get the next I-phone (I don t know if I have mentioned this, but I really want it). We believe that happiness can only be achieved through stuff. Socialists believe that all wealth should be owned by communities and all services should be run for the good of communities, not for private profit

20 DIFFERENCES Equality Conservatives fundamentally against equality and see no need for government to try and create social justice and equality. Equality of outcome is the key core feature of Socialism View of human nature socialists see humans in a much more positive way, it is society that is wrong. Conservatives have a very negative view of humans as being imperfect and unperfectable View of history Socialists see history as progress, Conservatives see it as negative. Property Socialists against ownership of property Conservatives see it as essential Hierarchy in society Conservatives believe in the natural authority of monarchy and aristocracy, socialists are against. Religion conservatives view religion as an essential part of society socialists see religion as blinding people to their true situation. Revolution Socialists require revolution and change in society conservatives fear change

21 SIMILARITIES Class both ideologies see society as being divided by class, however Conservatives see this as a positive and natural thing, while socialists see it as an exploitative relationship Society people are pack animals, and are better as part of a group, a need to belong to a society. Though vastly different views of what that society should be like.

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