Conservatism Meaning

What is Conservatism:

Conservatism is a term that refers to all those doctrines, tendencies or opinions that are based on the belief in an order, law or natural right, and consequently, adhere to traditions or customs while resisting political changes; that is, they intend to "preserve" the status quo. Thus, conservatism tends to oppose progressive policies, which it understands as threats to the established order.

As a rule, conservatism is often justified on the basis of religious and family values, as well as traditions. For this reason, it is associated with certain movements of the right or center right.

In theory, conservatism is opposed to liberalism or revolutionary movements. Indeed, much of the political conflicts in the nineteenth century were between conservatives, usually slaveholders, and liberals, usually promoters of industrialization.

From this it follows that what is judged as conservatism may vary depending on the historical context.For example, in economic terms, conservatism in the past tended towards protectionist policies, while in contemporary times, conservatism is committed to the free market. However, some recurring or dominant elements are often recognized despite differences or changes in perspective.

See also Liberalism.

Characteristics of conservatism

As we have said, determining that a movement, doctrine, trend or opinion is conservative depends on the context. Even so, there are a number of characteristics that can help identify when we are facing conservatism. Among them, we can mention:

  • Defense of the idea of ​​a natural order or natural law.
  • Defense of private property.
  • Assessment of tradition on the processes of change.
  • Religious, moral or ideological justification of order or natural law.
  • Tendency to nationalism.
  • Distrust in the face of revolutionary processes that imply social changes.
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