Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic solidarity, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as monarchy, religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".
The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Historically associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s.
According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself". In contrast to the tradition-based definition of conservatism, some political theorists such as Corey Robin define conservatism primarily in terms of a general defense of social and economic inequality. From this perspective, conservatism is less an attempt to uphold traditional institutions and more, "a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back".
Liberal conservatism incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy. Individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference. However, individuals cannot be thoroughly depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life, therefore liberal conservatives believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation. Liberal conservatism is a variant of conservatism that is strongly influenced by liberal stances.
As these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism also has a wide variety of meanings. Historically, the term often referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values. It contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres.
Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism. This is also the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition such as the United States and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous. The liberal conservative tradition in the United States combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism (which has also become part of the American conservative tradition, such as in the writings of Russell Kirk).
A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe is a combination of more modern conservative (less traditionalist) views with those of social liberalism. This has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism. Often this involves stressing what are now conservative views of free market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights, environmentalism and support for a limited welfare state. In continental Europe, this is sometimes also translated into English as social conservatism.
Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or more simply the right-wing of the liberal movement. The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism. Until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy. Events after World War I brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative (i.e. more moderate) type of liberalism.
Libertarian conservatism describes certain political ideologies within the United States and Canada which combine libertarian economic issues with aspects of conservatism. Its four main branches are constitutionalism, paleolibertarianism, small government conservatism and Christian libertarianism. They generally differ from paleoconservatives, in that they are in favor of more personal and economic freedom.
In contrast to paleoconservatives, libertarian conservatives support strict laissez-faire policies such as free trade, opposition to any national bank and opposition to business regulations. They are vehemently opposed to environmental regulations, corporate welfare, subsidies and other areas of economic intervention.
Many conservatives, especially in the United States, believe that the government should not play a major role in regulating business and managing the economy. They typically oppose efforts to charge high tax rates and to redistribute income to assist the poor. Such efforts, they argue, do not properly reward people who have earned their money through hard work.
Fiscal conservatism is the economic philosophy of prudence in government spending and debt. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke argued that a government does not have the right to run up large debts and then throw the burden on the taxpayer:
[I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied...[T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large.
National conservatism is a political term used primarily in Europe to describe a variant of conservatism which concentrates more on national interests than standard conservatism as well as upholding cultural and ethnic identity, while not being outspokenly nationalist or supporting a far-right approach. In Europe, national conservatives are usually eurosceptics.
National conservatism is heavily oriented towards the traditional family and social stability as well as in favour of limiting immigration. As such, national conservatives can be distinguished from economic conservatives, for whom free market economic policies, deregulation and fiscal conservatism are the main priorities. Some commentators have identified a growing gap between national and economic conservatism: "[M]ost parties of the Right [today] are run by economic conservatives who, in varying degrees, have marginalized social, cultural, and national conservatives". National conservatism is also related to traditionalist conservatism.
Traditionalist conservatism is a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and organic unity, agrarianism, classicism and high culture as well as the intersecting spheres of loyalty. Some traditionalists have embraced the labels "reactionary" and "counterrevolutionary", defying the stigma that has attached to these terms since the Enlightenment. Having a hierarchical view of society, many traditionalist conservatives, including a few Americans, defend the monarchical political structure as the most natural and beneficial social arrangement.
Cultural conservatives support the preservation of the heritage of one nation, or of a shared culture that is not defined by national boundaries. The shared culture may be as divergent as Western culture or Chinese culture. In the United States, the term cultural conservative may imply a conservative position in the culture war. Cultural conservatives hold fast to traditional ways of thinking even in the face of monumental change. They believe strongly in traditional values and traditional politics and often have an urgent sense of nationalism.
Social conservatism is distinct from cultural conservatism, although there are some overlaps. Social conservatives may believe that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions; and that the government has a role in encouraging or enforcing traditional values or behaviours. A social conservative wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often by opposing what they consider radical policies or social engineering. Social change is generally regarded as suspect.
Social conservatives (in the first meaning of the word) in many countries generally favour the pro-life position in the abortion controversy and oppose human embryonic stem cell research (particularly if publicly funded); oppose both eugenics and human enhancement (transhumanism) while supporting bioconservatism; support a traditional definition of marriage as being one man and one woman; view the nuclear family model as society's foundational unit; oppose expansion of civil marriage and child adoption to couples in same-sex relationships; promote public morality and traditional family values; oppose atheism, especially militant atheism, secularism and the separation of church and state; support the prohibition of drugs, prostitution and euthanasia; and support the censorship of pornography and what they consider to be obscenity or indecency. Most conservatives in the United States support the death penalty.
Religious conservatism principally apply the teachings of particular religions to politics, sometimes by merely proclaiming the value of those teachings, at other times by having those teachings influence laws.
In most democracies, political conservatism seeks to uphold traditional family structures and social values. Religious conservatives typically oppose abortion, homosexual behavior, drug use and sexual activity outside of marriage. In some cases, conservative values are grounded in religious beliefs and conservatives seek to increase the role of religion in public life.
Paternalistic conservatism is a strand in conservatism which reflects the belief that societies exist and develop organically and that members within them have obligations towards each other. There is particular emphasis on the paternalistic obligation of those who are privileged and wealthy to the poorer parts of society. Since it is consistent with principles such as organicism, hierarchy and duty, it can be seen an outgrowth of traditional conservatism. Paternal conservatives support neither the individual nor the state in principle, but are instead prepared to support either or recommend a balance between the two depending on what is most practical.
It stresses the importance of a social safety net to deal with poverty, support of limited redistribution of wealth along with government regulation to regulate markets in the interests of both consumers and producers. Paternalistic conservatism first arose as a distinct ideology in the United Kingdom under Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's "One Nation" Toryism. There have been a variety of one nation conservative governments. In the United Kingdom, the Prime Ministers Disraeli, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan were one nation conservatives.
In Germany, during the 19th-century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck adopted policies of state-organized compulsory insurance for workers against sickness, accident, incapacity and old age. Chancellor Leo von Caprivi promoted a conservative agenda called the "New Course".
In the United States, the administration of President William Howard Taft was a progressive conservative and he described himself as "a believer in progressive conservatism" and President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared himself an advocate of "progressive conservatism".
In Canada, a variety of conservative governments have been part of the Red tory tradition, with Canada's former major conservative party being named the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1942 to 2003. In Canada, the Prime Ministers Arthur Meighen, R. B. Bennett, John Diefenbaker, Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, and Kim Campbell led Red tory federal governments.
Authoritarian conservatism refers to autocratic regimes that center their ideology around conservative nationalism rather than ethnic nationalism, though certain racial components such as antisemitism may exist. Authoritarian conservative movements show strong devotion towards religion, tradition and culture while also expressing fervent nationalism akin to other far-right nationalist movements. Examples of authoritarian conservative leaders include António de Oliveira Salazar and Engelbert Dollfuss. Authoritarian conservative movements were prominent in the same era as fascism, with which it sometimes clashed. Although both ideologies shared core values such as nationalism and had common enemies such as communism and materialism, there was nonetheless a contrast between the traditionalist nature of authoritarian conservatism and the revolutionary, palingenetic and populist nature of fascism—thus it was common for authoritarian conservative regimes to suppress rising fascist and National Socialist movements. The hostility between the two ideologies is highlighted by the struggle for power for the National Socialists in Austria, which was marked by the assassination of Engelbert Dollfuss.
Sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset has examined the class basis of right-wing extremist politics in the 1920–1960 era. He reports:
In Great Britain, conservative ideas (though not yet called that) emerged in the Tory movement during the Restoration period (1660–1688). Toryism supported a hierarchical society with a monarch who ruled by divine right. Tories opposed the idea that sovereignty derived from the people and rejected the authority of parliament and freedom of religion. Robert Filmer's Patriarcha: or the Natural Power of Kings (published posthumously in 1680, but written before the English Civil War of 1642–1651) became accepted as the statement of their doctrine. However, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 destroyed this principle to some degree by establishing a constitutional government in England, leading to the hegemony of the Tory-opposed Whig ideology. Faced with defeat, the Tories reformed their movement, now holding that sovereignty was vested in the three estates of Crown, Lords and Commons rather than solely in the Crown. Toryism became marginalized during the long period of Whig ascendancy in the 18th century.
Conservatives typically see Richard Hooker (1554–1600) as the founding father of conservatism, along with the Marquess of Halifax (1633–1695), David Hume (1711–1776) and Edmund Burke (1729–1797). Halifax promoted pragmatism in government whilst Hume argued against political rationalism and utopianism. Burke served as the private secretary to the Marquis of Rockingham and as official pamphleteer to the Rockingham branch of the Whig party. Together with the Tories, they were the conservatives in the late 18th century United Kingdom. Burke's views were a mixture of liberal and conservative. He supported the American Revolution of 1765–1783, but abhorred the violence of the French Revolution (1789–1799). He accepted the liberal ideals of private property and the economics of Adam Smith (1723–1790), but thought that economics should remain subordinate to the conservative social ethic, that capitalism should be subordinate to the medieval social tradition and that the business class should be subordinate to aristocracy. He insisted on standards of honor derived from the medieval aristocratic tradition and saw the aristocracy as the nation's natural leaders. That meant limits on the powers of the Crown, since he found the institutions of Parliament to be better informed than commissions appointed by the executive. He favored an established church, but allowed for a degree of religious toleration. Burke justified the social order on the basis of tradition: tradition represented the wisdom of the species and he valued community and social harmony over social reforms. Burke was a leading theorist in his day, finding extreme idealism (either Tory or Whig) an endangerment to broader liberties and (like Hume) rejecting abstract reason as an unsound guide for political theory. Despite their influence on future conservative thought, none of these early contributors were explicitly involved in Tory politics. Hooker lived in the 16th century, long before the advent of toryism, whilst Hume was an apolitical philosopher and Halifax similarly politically independent. Burke described himself as a Whig.
Shortly after Burke's death in 1797, conservatism revived as a mainstream political force as the Whigs suffered a series of internal divisions. This new generation of conservatives derived their politics not from Burke but from his predecessor, the Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751), who was a Jacobite and traditional Tory, lacking Burke's sympathies for Whiggish policies such as Catholic emancipation and American independence (famously attacked by Samuel Johnson in "Taxation No Tyranny"). In the first half of the 19th century, many newspapers, magazines and journals promoted loyalist or right-wing attitudes in religion, politics and international affairs. Burke was seldom mentioned, but William Pitt the Younger (1759–1806) became a conspicuous hero. The most prominent journals included The Quarterly Review, founded in 1809 as a counterweight to the Whigs' Edinburgh Review and the even more conservative Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. Sack finds that the Quarterly Review promoted a balanced Canningite toryism as it was neutral on Catholic emancipation and only mildly critical of Nonconformist Dissent; it opposed slavery and supported the current poor laws; and it was "aggressively imperialist". The high-church clergy of the Church of England read the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine which was equally hostile to Jewish, Catholic, Jacobin, Methodist and Unitarian spokesmen. Anchoring the ultra Tories, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine stood firmly against Catholic emancipation and favoured slavery, cheap money, mercantilism, the Navigation Acts and the Holy Alliance.
Conservatism evolved after 1820, embracing free trade in 1846 and a commitment to democracy, especially under Disraeli. The effect was to significantly strengthen conservatism as a grassroots political force. Conservatism no longer was the philosophical defense of the landed aristocracy, but had been refreshed into redefining its commitment to the ideals of order, both secular and religious, expanding imperialism, strengthened monarchy and a more generous vision of the welfare state as opposed to the punitive vision of the Whigs and liberals. As early as 1835, Disraeli attacked the Whigs and utilitarians as slavishly devoted to an industrial oligarchy, while he described his fellow Tories as the only "really democratic party of England" and devoted to the interests of the whole people. Nevertheless, inside the party there was a tension between the growing numbers of wealthy businessmen on the one side and the aristocracy and rural gentry on the other. The aristocracy gained strength as businessmen discovered they could use their wealth to buy a peerage and a country estate.
Although conservatives opposed attempts to allow greater representation of the middle class in parliament, they conceded that electoral reform could not be reversed and promised to support further reforms so long as they did not erode the institutions of church and state. These new principles were presented in the Tamworth Manifesto of 1834, which historians regard as the basic statement of the beliefs of the new Conservative Party.
Some conservatives lamented the passing of a pastoral world where the ethos of noblesse oblige had promoted respect from the lower classes. They saw the Anglican Church and the aristocracy as balances against commercial wealth. They worked toward legislation for improved working conditions and urban housing. This viewpoint would later be called Tory democracy. However, since Burke there has always been tension between traditional aristocratic conservatism and the wealthy business class.
In 1834, Tory Prime Minister Robert Peel issued the Tamworth Manifesto in which he pledged to endorse moderate political reform. This marked the beginning of the transformation of British conservatism from High Tory reactionism towards a more modern form based on "conservation". The party became known as the Conservative Party as a result, a name it has retained to this day. However, Peel would also be the root of a split in the party between the traditional Tories (led by the Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli) and the "Peelites" (led first by Peel himself, then by the Earl of Aberdeen). The split occurred in 1846 over the issue of free trade, which Peel supported, versus protectionism, supported by Derby. The majority of the party sided with Derby whilst about a third split away, eventually merging with the Whigs and the radicals to form the Liberal Party. Despite the split, the mainstream Conservative Party accepted the doctrine of free trade in 1852.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Liberal Party faced political schisms, especially over Irish Home Rule. Leader William Gladstone (himself a former Peelite) sought to give Ireland a degree of autonomy, a move that elements in both the left and right-wings of his party opposed. These split off to become the Liberal Unionists (led by Joseph Chamberlain), forming a coalition with the Conservatives before merging with them in 1912. The Liberal Unionist influence dragged the Conservative Party towards the left as Conservative governments passing a number of progressive reforms at the turn of the 20th century. By the late 19th century, the traditional business supporters of the Liberal Party had joined the Conservatives, making them the party of business and commerce.
After a period of Liberal dominance before the First World War, the Conservatives gradually became more influential in government, regaining full control of the cabinet in 1922. In the interwar period, conservatism was the major ideology in Britain as the Liberal Party vied with the Labour Party for control of the left. After the Second World War, the first Labour government (1945–1951) under Clement Attlee embarked on a program of nationalization of industry and the promotion of social welfare. The Conservatives generally accepted those policies until the 1980s.
In the 1980s, the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, guided by neoliberal economics, reversed many of Labour's programmes. The Conservative Party also adopt soft eurosceptic politics, and oppose Federal Europe. Other conservative political parties, such as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP, founded in 1993), Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP, founded in 1971), began to appear, although they have yet to make any significant impact at Westminster (as of 2014, the DUP comprises the largest political party in the ruling coalition in the Northern Ireland Assembly), and since 2017 the DUP has provided support for the Conservative minority government.
Another form of conservatism developed in France in parallel to conservatism in Britain. It was influenced by Counter-Enlightenment works by men such as Joseph de Maistre and Louis de Bonald. Latin conservatism was less pragmatic and more reactionary than the conservatism of Burke. Many continental or traditionalist conservatives do not support separation of church and state, with most supporting state recognition of and cooperation with the Catholic Church, such as had existed in France before the Revolution.
Eventually, conservatives added Gaullism, patriotism, and nationalism to the list of traditional values they support. Conservatives were the first to embrace nationalism, which was previously associated with liberalism and the Revolution in France.
Conservatism developed alongside nationalism in Germany, culminating in Germany's victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War, the creation of the unified German Empire in 1871 and the simultaneous rise of Otto von Bismarck on the European political stage. Bismarck's "balance of power" model maintained peace in Europe for decades at the end of the 19th century. His "revolutionary conservatism" was a conservative state-building strategy designed to make ordinary Germans—not just the Junker elite—more loyal to state and emperor, he created the modern welfare state in Germany in the 1880s. According to Kees van Kersbergen and Barbara Vis, his strategy was:
[G]ranting social rights to enhance the integration of a hierarchical society, to forge a bond between workers and the state so as to strengthen the latter, to maintain traditional relations of authority between social and status groups, and to provide a countervailing power against the modernist forces of liberalism and socialism.
Bismarck also enacted universal male suffrage in the new German Empire in 1871. He became a great hero to German conservatives, who erected many monuments to his memory after he left office in 1890.
With the rise of Nazism in 1933, agrarian movements faded and was supplanted by a more command-based economy and forced social integration. Though Adolf Hitler succeeded in garnering the support of many German industrialists, prominent traditionalists openly and secretly opposed his policies of euthanasia, genocide and attacks on organized religion, including Claus von Stauffenberg, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henning von Tresckow, Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen and the monarchist Carl Friedrich Goerdeler.
More recently, the work of conservative Christian Democratic Union leader and Chancellor Helmut Kohl helped bring about German reunification, along with the closer integration of Europe in the form of the Maastricht Treaty.
Today, German conservatism is often associated with politicians such as Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose tenure has been marked by attempts to save the common European currency (Euro) from demise. The German conservatives are divided under Merkel due to the refugee crisis in Germany and many conservatives in the CDU/CSU oppose the refugee and migrant policies developed under Merkel.
American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, support for Judeo-Christian values, economic liberalism, anti-communism and a defense of Western culture. Liberty within the bounds of conformity to Conservatism is a core value, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the free market, limiting the size and scope of government and opposition to high taxes and government or labor union encroachment on the entrepreneur.
The major conservative party in the United States is the Republican Party, also known as the GOP (Grand Old Party). American conservatives consider individual liberty as long as it conforms to Conservative values, small government, deregulation of the government, economic liberalism and free trade, as the fundamental traits of democracy, which contrasts with modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on social equality and social justice.
Conservative political parties vary widely from country to country in the goals they wish to achieve. Both conservative and liberal parties tend to favor private ownership of property, in opposition to communist, socialist and green parties, which favor communal ownership or laws requiring social responsibility on the part of property owners. Where conservatives and liberals differ is primarily on social issues. Conservatives tend to reject behavior that does not conform to some social norm. Modern conservative parties often define themselves by their opposition to liberal or labor parties. The United States usage of the term "conservative" is unique to that country.
According to Alan Ware, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom retained viable conservative parties into the 1980s. Ware said that Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Spain and the United States had no conservative parties, although they had either Christian democrats or liberals as major right-wing parties. Canada, Ireland and Portugal had right-wing political parties that defied categorization: the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada; Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Progressive Democrats in Ireland; and the Social Democratic Party of Portugal. Since then, the Swiss People's Party has moved to the extreme right and is no longer considered to be conservative.
Klaus von Beyme, who developed the method of party categorization, found that no modern Eastern European parties could be considered conservative, although the communist and communist-successor parties had strong similarities.
In Italy, which was united by liberals and radicals (Risorgimento), liberals, not conservatives, emerged as the party of the right. In the Netherlands, conservatives merged into a new Christian democratic party in 1980. In Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain, conservatism was transformed into and incorporated into fascism or the far-right. In 1940, all Japanese parties were merged into a single fascist party. Following the war, Japanese conservatives briefly returned to politics, but were largely purged from public office.
Louis Hartz explained the absence of conservatism in Australia or the United States as a result of their settlement as radical or liberal fragments of Great Britain. Although he said English Canada had a negligible conservative influence, subsequent writers claimed that loyalists opposed to the American Revolution brought a Tory ideology into Canada. Hartz explained conservatism in Quebec and Latin America as a result of their settlement as feudal societies. The American conservative writer Russell Kirk provided the opinion that conservatism had been brought to the United States and interpreted the American Revolution as a "conservative revolution".
Conservative elites have long dominated Latin American nations. Mostly, this has been achieved through control of and support for civil institutions, the church and the armed forces, rather than through party politics. Typically, the church was exempt from taxes and its employees immune from civil prosecution. Where national conservative parties were weak or non-existent, conservatives were more likely to rely on military dictatorship as a preferred form of government. However, in some nations where the elites were able to mobilize popular support for conservative parties, longer periods of political stability were achieved. Chile, Colombia and Venezuela are examples of nations that developed strong conservative parties. Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador and Peru are examples of nations where this did not occur. The Conservative Party of Venezuela disappeared following the Federal Wars of 1858–1863. Chile's conservative party, the National Party, disbanded in 1973 following a military coup and did not re-emerge as a political force following the subsequent return to democracy.
Having its roots in the conservative Catholic Party, the Christian People's Party retained a conservative edge through the twentieth century, supporting the king in the Royal Question, supporting nuclear family as the cornerstone of society, defending Christian education and opposing euthanasia. The Christian People's Party dominated politics in post-war Belgium. In 1999, the party's support collapsed and it became the country's fifth largest party. Currently, the N-VA (nieuw-vlaamse alliantie/New Flemish Alliance) is the largest party in Belgium.
Canada's conservatives had their roots in the loyalists Tories who left America after the American Revolution. They developed in the socio-economic and political cleavages that existed during the first three decades of the 19th century and had the support of the business, professional and established Church (Anglican) elites in Ontario and to a lesser extent in Quebec. Holding a monopoly over administrative and judicial offices, they were called the "Family Compact" in Ontario and the "Chateau Clique" in Quebec. John A. Macdonald's successful leadership of the movement to confederate the provinces and his subsequent tenure as prime minister for most of the late 19th century rested on his ability to bring together the English-speaking Protestant oligarchy and the ultramontane Catholic hierarchy of Quebec and to keep them united in a conservative coalition.
The conservatives combined pro-market liberalism and Toryism. They generally supported an activist government and state intervention in the marketplace and their policies were marked by noblesse oblige, a paternalistic responsibility of the elites for the less well-off. From 1942, the party was known as the Progressive Conservatives until 2003, when the national party merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada.
The conservative Union Nationale governed the province of Quebec in periods from 1936 to 1960 and in a close alliance with English Canadian business elites and the Catholic Church. This period, known as the Great Darkness, ended with the Quiet Revolution and the party went into terminal decline.
The Colombian Conservative Party, founded in 1849, traces its origins to opponents of General Francisco de Paula Santander's 1833–1837 administration. While the term "liberal" had been used to describe all political forces in Colombia, the conservatives began describing themselves as "conservative liberals" and their opponents as "red liberals". From the 1860s until the present, the party has supported strong central government; supported the Catholic Church, especially its role as protector of the sanctity of the family; and opposed separation of church and state. Its policies include the legal equality of all men, the citizen's right to own property and opposition to dictatorship. It has usually been Colombia's second largest party, with the Colombian Liberal Party being the largest.
Founded in 1915, the Conservative People's Party of Denmark. was the successor of Højre (literally "Right"). The conservative party led the government coalition from 1982 to 1993. The party was a junior partner in coalition with the Liberals from 2001 to 2011. The party is preceded by 11 years by the Young Conservatives (KU), today the youth movement of the party. The party suffered a major defeat in the parliamentary elections of September 2011 in which the party lost more than half of its seat and also lost governmental power. A liberal cultural policy dominated during the postwar period. However, by the 1990s disagreements regarding immigrants from entirely different cultures ignited a conservative backlash.
The conservative party in Finland is the National Coalition Party (in Finnish Kansallinen Kokoomus, Kok). The party was founded in 1918 when several monarchist parties united. Although in the past the party was right-wing, today it is a moderate liberal conservative party. While the party advocates economic liberalism, it is committed to the social market economy.
Conservatism in France focused on the rejection of the secularism of the French Revolution, support for the role of the Catholic Church and the restoration of the monarchy. The monarchist cause was on the verge of victory in the 1870s, but then collapsed because the proposed king refused to fly the tri-colored flag. Religious tensions heightened in the 1890–1910 era, but moderated after the spirit of unity in fighting the First World War. An extreme form of conservatism characterized the Vichy regime of 1940–1944 with heightened antisemitism, opposition to individualism, emphasis on family life and national direction of the economy.
Following the Second World War, conservatives in France supported Gaullist groups and have been nationalistic and emphasized tradition, order and the regeneration of France. Gaullists held divergent views on social issues. The number of conservative groups, their lack of stability and their tendency to be identified with local issues defy simple categorization. Conservatism has been the major political force in France since the Second World War. Unusually, post-war French conservatism was formed around the personality of a leader, Charles de Gaulle; and did not draw on traditional French conservatism, but on the Bonapartism tradition. Gaullism in France continues under The Republicans (formerly Union for a Popular Movement), which was previously led by Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative figure in France. The word "conservative" itself is a term of abuse in France.
The main interwar conservative party was called the People's Party (PP), which supported constitutional monarchy and opposed the republican Liberal Party. Both it and the Liberal party were suppressed by the authoritarian, arch-conservative and royalist 4th of August Regime of Ioannis Metaxas in 1936–1941. The PP was able to re-group after the Second World War as part of a United Nationalist Front which achieved power campaigning on a simple anticommunist, ultranationalist platform during the Greek Civil War (1946–1949). However, the vote received by the PP declined during the so-called "Centrist Interlude" in 1950–1952. In 1952, Marshal Alexandros Papagos created the Greek Rally as an umbrella for the right-wing forces. The Greek Rally came to power in 1952 and remained the leading party in Greece until 1963—after Papagos' death in 1955 reformed as the National Radical Union under Konstantinos Karamanlis. Right-wing governments backed by the palace and the army overthrew the Centre Union government in 1965 and governed the country until the establishment of the far-right Regime of the Colonels (1967–1974). After the regime's collapse in August 1974, Karamanlis returned from exile to lead the government and founded the New Democracy party. The new conservative party had four objectives: to confront Turkish expansionism in Cyprus, to reestablish and solidify democratic rule, to give the country a strong government and to make a powerful moderate party a force in Greek politics.
The Independent Greeks, a newly formed political party in Greece, has also supported conservatism, particularly national and religious conservatism. The Founding Declaration of the Independent Greeks strongly emphasises in the preservation of the Greek state and its sovereignty, the Greek people and the Greek Orthodox Church.
Founded in 1924 as the Conservative Party, Iceland's Independence Party adopted its current name in 1929 after the merger with the Liberal Party. From the beginning, they have been the largest vote-winning party, averaging around 40%. They combined liberalism and conservatism, supported nationalization of infrastructure and opposed class conflict. While mostly in opposition during the 1930s, they embraced economic liberalism, but accepted the welfare state after the war and participated in governments supportive of state intervention and protectionism. Unlike other Scandanivian conservative (and liberal) parties, it has always had a large working-class following. After the financial crisis in 2008, the party has sunk to a lower support level around 20–25%.
After World War II, in Italy the conservative parties were mainly represented by the Christian Democracy (DC) party, which government form the foundation of the Republic until party's dissolution in 1994. Officially, DC refused the ideology of conservatism, but in many aspects, for example family values, it was a typical social conservative party.
In 1994, the media tycoon and entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi founded the liberal conservative party Forza Italia (FI). Berlusconi won three elections in 1994, 2001 and 2008, governing the country for almost ten years as Prime Minister. Forza Italia formed a coalition with right-wing regional party Lega Nord while in government.
Besides FI, now the conservative ideas are mainly expressed by the New Centre-Right party led by Angelino Alfano, Berlusconi form a new party, which is the reborn Forza Italia founding a new conservative movement. Alfano was the current Minister of Foreign Affairs. After the 2018 election, Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement formed the right-wing populist government.
Luxembourg's major Christian democratic conservative party, the Christian Social People's Party (CSV or PCS), was formed as the Party of the Right in 1914 and adopted its present name in 1945. It was consistently the largest political party in Luxembourg and dominated politics throughout the 20th century.
The Conservative Party of Norway (Norwegian: Høyre, literally "right") was formed by the old upper class of state officials and wealthy merchants to fight the populist democracy of the Liberal Party, but lost power in 1884 when parliamentarian government was first practised. It formed its first government under parliamentarism in 1889 and continued to alternate in power with the Liberals until the 1930s, when Labour became the dominant political party. It has elements both of paternalism, stressing the responsibilities of the state and of economic liberalism. It first returned to power in the 1960s. During Kåre Willoch's premiership in the 1980s, much emphasis was laid on liberalizing the credit and housing market and abolishing the NRK TV and radio monopoly, while supporting law and order in criminal justice and traditional norms in education
Sweden's conservative party, the Moderate Party, was formed in 1904, two years after the founding of the liberal party. The party emphasizes tax reductions, deregulation of private enterprise and privatization of schools, hospitals and kindergartens.
There are a number of conservative parties in Switzerland's parliament, the Federal Assembly. These include the largest, the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) and the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland (BDP), which is a splinter of the SVP created in the aftermath to the election of Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as Federal Council. The right-wing parties have a majority in the Federal Assembly.
The Swiss People's Party (SVP or UDC) was formed from the 1971 merger of the Party of Farmers, Traders and Citizens, formed in 1917 and the smaller Swiss Democratic Party, formed in 1942. The SVP emphasized agricultural policy and was strong among farmers in German-speaking Protestant areas. As Switzerland considered closer relations with the European Union in the 1990s, the SVP adopted a more militant protectionist and isolationist stance. This stance has allowed it to expand into German-speaking Catholic mountainous areas. The Anti-Defamation League, a non-Swiss lobby group based in the United States has accused them of manipulating issues such as immigration, Swiss neutrality and welfare benefits, awakening antisemitism and racism. The Council of Europe has called the SVP "extreme right", although some scholars dispute this classification. For instance, Hans-Georg Betz describes it as "populist radical right". The SVP is the largest party since 2003.
According to historian James Sack, English conservatives celebrate Edmund Burke as their intellectual father. Burke was affiliated with the Whig Party which eventually became the Liberal Party, but the modern Conservative Party is generally thought to derive from the Tory party and the MPs of the modern conservative party are still frequently referred to as Tories.
While conservatism has been seen as an appeal to traditional, hierarchical society, some writers such as Samuel P. Huntington see it as situational. Under this definition, conservatives are seen as defending the established institutions of their time.
The Liberal Party of Australia adheres to the principles of social conservatism and liberal conservatism. It is liberal in the sense of economics. Other conservative parties are the National Party of Australia, a sister party of the Liberals, Family First Party, Democratic Labor Party, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Australian Conservatives and the Katter's Australian Party.
The second largest party in the country is the Australian Labor Party and its dominant faction is Labor Right, a socially conservative element. Australia undertook significant economic reform under the Labor Party in the mid-1980s. Consequently, issues like protectionism, welfare reform, privatization and deregulation are no longer debated in the political space as they are in Europe or North America. Moser and Catley explain: "In America, 'liberal' means left-of-center, and it is a pejorative term when used by conservatives in adversarial political debate. In Australia, of course, the conservatives are in the Liberal Party". Jupp points out that, "[the] decline in English influences on Australian reformism and radicalism, and appropriation of the symbols of Empire by conservatives continued under the Liberal Party leadership of Sir Robert Menzies, which lasted until 1966".
Conservatism in Brazil originates from the cultural and historical tradition of Brazil, whose cultural roots are Luso-Iberian and Roman Catholic. Brazilian conservatism from the 20th century on includes names such as Gerardo Melo Mourão and Otto Maria Carpeaux in literature; Oliveira Lima and Oliveira Torres in historiography; Sobral Pinto and Miguel Reale in law; Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira and Father Paulo Ricardo in the Catholic Church; Roberto Campos and Mario Henrique Simonsen in economics; Carlos Lacerda in the political arena; and Olavo de Carvalho in philosophy. Brazilian Labour Renewal Party, Patriota, Progressistas, Social Christian Party and Social Liberal Party are the conservative parties in Brazil.
Under Vladimir Putin, the dominant leader since 1999, Russia has promoted explicitly conservative policies in social, cultural and political matters, both at home and abroad. Putin has attacked globalism and economic liberalism. Russian conservatism is unique in some respects as it supports Ecomomic intervention with a mixed economy, with a strong nationalist sentiment and social conservatism with its views being largely populist. Russian conservatism as a result opposes libertarian ideals such as the aforementioned concept of economic liberalism found in other conservative movements around the world. Putin has as a result promoted new think tanks that bring together like-minded intellectuals and writers. For example, the Izborsky Club, founded in 2012 by Aleksandr Prokhanov, stresses Russian nationalism, the restoration of Russia's historical greatness and systematic opposition to liberal ideas and policies. Vladislav Surkov, a senior government official, has been one of the key ideologists during Putin's presidency.
In cultural and social affairs, Putin has collaborated closely with the Russian Orthodox Church. Mark Woods provides specific examples of how the Church under Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has backed the expansion of Russian power into Crimea and eastern Ukraine. More broadly, The New York Times reports in September 2016 how that Church's policy prescriptions support the Kremlin's appeal to social conservatives:
"A fervent foe of homosexuality and any attempt to put individual rights above those of family, community or nation, the Russian Orthodox Church helps project Russia as the natural ally of all those who pine for a more secure, illiberal world free from the tradition-crushing rush of globalization, multiculturalism and women’s and gay rights."— Andrew Higgins (The New York Times: In Expanding Russian Influence, Faith Combines With Firepower)
South Korea's major conservative party, the Liberty Korea Party, has changed its form throughout its history. First it was the Democratic-Republican Party (1963–1980) and its head was Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a 1961 military coup d'état and ruled as an unelected military strongman until his formal election as President in 1963. He was President for 16 years until his assassination on 26 October 1979. The Democratic Justice Party inherited the same ideology as the Democratic-Republican Party. Its head, Chun Doo-hwan, also gained power through a coup and his followers called themselves the Hanahae. The Democratic Justice Party changed its form and acted to suppress the opposition party and to follow the people's demand for direct elections. The party's Roh Tae-woo became the first President who was elected through direct election. The next form of the major conservative party was the Democratic-Liberal Party and again through election its second leader, Kim Young-sam, became the fourteenth President of Korea. When the conservative party was beaten by the opposition party in the general election, it changed its form again to follow the party members' demand for reforms. It became the New Korean Party, but it changed again one year later since the President Kim Young-sam was blamed by the citizen for the International Monetary Fund. It changed its name to Grand National Party (GNP). Since the late Kim Dae-jung assumed the presidency in 1998, GNP had been the opposition party until Lee Myung-bak won the presidential election of 2007.
The meaning of "conservatism" in the United States has little in common with the way the word is used elsewhere. As Ribuffo (2011) notes, "what Americans now call conservatism much of the world calls liberalism or neoliberalism". Since the 1950s, conservatism in the United States has been chiefly associated with the Republican Party. However, during the era of segregation many Southern Democrats were conservatives and they played a key role in the Conservative coalition that largely controlled domestic policy in Congress from 1937 to 1963, The Conservative Democrats continued to have influence in the U.S. politics until 1994's Republican Revolution, when the American South shifted from solid Democrat to solid Republican, while maintaining its conservative values.
Major priorities within American conservatism include support for the traditional family, law and order, the right to bear arms. Christian values, anti-communism and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments". Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government, low taxes, limited regulation and free enterprise. Some social conservatives see traditional social values threatened by secularism, so they support school prayer and oppose abortion and homosexuality. Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world and show a strong support for Israel. Paleoconservatives, in opposition to multiculturalism, press for restrictions on immigration. Most U.S. conservatives prefer Republicans over Democrats and most factions favor a strong foreign policy and a strong military. The conservative movement of the 1950s attempted to bring together these divergent strands, stressing the need for unity to prevent the spread of "Godless communism", which Reagan later labeled an "evil empire". During the Reagan administration, conservatives also supported the so-called "Reagan Doctrine" under which the U.S. as part of a Cold War strategy provided military and other support to guerrilla insurgencies that were fighting governments identified as socialist or communist. The Reagan administration also adopted Neoliberalism and trickle-down economics, as well as Reaganomics, which made for economic growth in the 1980s, fueled by trillion dollar deficits.
Other modern conservative positions include opposition to big government and opposition to environmentalism. On average, American conservatives desire tougher foreign policies than liberals do. Economic liberalism, deregulation and social conservatism are main principles of the Republican Party.
Most recently, the Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, has proven a large outlet for populist American conservative ideas. Their stated goals include rigorous adherence to the U.S. Constitution, lower taxes and opposition to a growing role for the federal government in health care. Electorally, it was considered a key force in Republicans reclaiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.
This is a broad checklist of modern conservatism in seven countries.
|France||Italy||Russia||Poland||United Kingdom||United States||Israel|
|Main parties||Les Républicains, Debout la France, Movement for France, National Rally||Forza Italia, Northern League, Brothers of Italy, New Centre-Right, Conservatives and Reformists||United Russia, Liberal Democratic Party||Law and Justice||Conservative Party, UK Independence Party, Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party||Republican Party||Likud, The Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu|
|Government||Strong defenders of republicanism. Opposed to federalism.||Proponents of presidentialism and federalism.||Strong defenders of historical Russian sphere of influence.
Celebratory of Russia's Tsarist and Soviet strong-man rule.
|Proponents of presidentialism. Opposed to federalism.||Defends monarchism and unionism.
Supports unelected House of Lords chamber.
Defends first-past-the-post voting system.
Originally opposed to, but now accepting of Scottish Devolution and Welsh Devolution.
In favour of English Votes for English Laws and sympathetic to ideas of English devolution.
|Supports federalism and republicanism.||Opposed to federalism. Proponents of presidentialism and Zionism.|
|State control||Bonapartism, Gaullism.
Small sized, but centralized state.
|FI, LN: small decentralized state.
FdI, NCR and CR: small centralized state.
|UR: statism. Strong, powerful, centralized state.
LDPR: strong, powerful, centralized imperialist state
|Strong, centralized state.
Allegations of statism and authoritarianism.
|Small centralized state.||Small, minimal, decentralized state particularly at federal level.
Strongly influenced by libertarianism.
|Small, semi-central state.|
|Social views||Rule of law, traditionalism, authority, liberty, promotion of traditional gender roles, public healthcare.
Strongly supportive of French culture, Francophone and against Americanisation.
Generally critical of abortion.
|Traditionalism, opposition to immigration, criticism of multiculturalism, individualism, cult of personality, law and order, against abortion, same-sex marriage, civil unions and euthanasia. Supportive of legal prostitution.
Critics of the Italian constitution and the Italian judiciary
|Rule of law, authority, cult of personality, state unity, public unity, law and order, traditionalism.
Against modernism and Western culture.
|Promotion of traditional gender roles and Catholicism, opposes abortion, euthanasia, in-vitro, civil unions, same-sex marriage.
|Hierarchy, rule of law, liberty, freedom, traditionalism, British stoicism, against abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.||Individualism, traditionalism, law and order, gun ownership, promotion of traditional gender roles, against euthanasia, abortion, prostitution, pornography and same-sex marriage.
Strong supporters of a textualist interpretation of the American Constitution and the separation of powers.
|Law and order, traditionalism, nationalism, individualism, defenders of the nature of the Jewish state, opposition to non-Jewish immigration, supporters of West Bank settlements.|
|Religious views||Defends secularism.
Influenced by Catholic social teaching.
|Critics of laicism, influenced by the Catholic Church||Strong adherents to the Russian Orthodox Church.||Strong adherents to the Catholic Church.||High Anglicanism.
Presbyterianism in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
|The 2012 Republican platform states: "We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage". Heavily influenced by Evangelical Protestantism in southern and midwestern states and Mormonism in western states.||Influenced by secularism and Modern Orthodox Judaism. Critical of state assistance to followers of Haredi Judaism.|
|Economic views||LR, DLR and MPF: social market economy, distributism, nationalisation of major industries, loosely influenced by neoliberalism, moderate welfare system.
FN: nationalisation of major industries, protectionism and moderate re-distribution of wealth.
|Neoliberalism, protectionism, low taxation, opposition to wealth taxes||Mixture of state regulation and market freedoms, nationalisation only of strategic industries, low taxation, moderate re-distribution of wealth, rejection of communism.||Statism||Neoliberalism, low taxation, privatisation, free trade, small welfare state, but unopposed to nationalized healthcare.||Neoliberalism, economic liberalism, free market, factions are variously free or fair trade, low taxation, minimal welfare state.
Opposes government-run healthcare.
|Generally economic liberalism, privatisation, small welfare state, free trade, but with some more economically statist factions.|
|International government||LR: supportive of the United Nations and NATO. Supportive of the European Union.
FN, DLR and MPF: sceptical about the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.
|FI, NCR and CR: supportive of NATO, various factions are moderately supportive or sceptical about the EU.
LN and FdI: sceptical about the EU and NATO.
|Supportive of Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Sceptical about the United Nations and the European Union and critical of NATO.
|Atlanticism. Mostly supportive of NATO, various factions are soft- and strong-eurosceptic.||Supportive of the United Nations, NATO and the Commonwealth. Sceptical about the European Union.||Supportive of NATO and the so-called "regime change".
Critical of the United Nations.
|Critical of the United Nations and sceptical of the European Union.|
|Military Issues||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.||In favour of nuclear disarmament.||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.||Opposed to nuclear disarmament.|
|International affairs||LR: interventionist, favor closer ties with the United States.
FN, MPF and DLR: non-interventionist, strong scepticism in relations with the United States.
All support closer ties with Russia.
|Factions are variously interventionist or non-interventionist. Support closer ties with the United States, Israel and Russia.||Interventionist, strong scepticism in relations with the United States, Georgia and Ukraine. Support strong relations with other CIS countries, India, Syria, Iran and China.||strong scepticism in relations with Germany, majority support strong relations with the United States.||Conservatives, UUP and DUP: interventionist, favour closer ties with Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.
UKIP: non-interventionist, favour closer ties with Russia.
All favour closer ties with the United States, other Anglosphere states and Israel.
|Factions are variously interventionist or non-interventionist. Strong scepticism in relations with Cuba and Iran. Favor close ties with Israel, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.||Interventionist. Strong scepticism in relations with Iran, Turkey and Palestine. Favors closer ties with the United States, India and Russia.|
Following the Second World War, psychologists conducted research into the different motives and tendencies that account for ideological differences between left and right. The early studies focused on conservatives, beginning with Theodor W. Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality (1950) based on the F-scale personality test. This book has been heavily criticized on theoretical and methodological grounds, but some of its findings have been confirmed by further empirical research.
In 1973, British psychologist Glenn Wilson published an influential book providing evidence that a general factor underlying conservative beliefs is "fear of uncertainty". A meta-analysis of research literature by Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski and Sulloway in 2003 found that many factors, such as intolerance of ambiguity and need for cognitive closure, contribute to the degree of one's political conservatism. A study by Kathleen Maclay stated these traits "might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty". The research also suggested that while most people are resistant to change, liberals are more tolerant of it.
According to psychologist Bob Altemeyer, individuals who are politically conservative tend to rank high in right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) on his RWA scale. This finding was echoed by Theodor Adorno. A study done on Israeli and Palestinian students in Israel found that RWA scores of right-wing party supporters were significantly higher than those of left-wing party supporters. However, a 2005 study by H. Michael Crowson and colleagues suggested a moderate gap between RWA and other conservative positions: "The results indicated that conservatism is not synonymous with RWA".
Psychologist Felicia Pratto and her colleagues have found evidence to support the idea that a high social dominance orientation (SDO) is strongly correlated with conservative political views and opposition to social engineering to promote equality, though Pratto's findings have been highly controversial as Pratto and her colleagues found that high SDO scores were highly correlated with measures of prejudice. However, David J. Schneider argued for a more complex relationships between the three factors, writing "correlations between prejudice and political conservative are reduced virtually to zero when controls for SDO are instituted, suggesting that the conservatism–prejudice link is caused by SDO". Kenneth Minogue criticized Pratto's work, saying: "It is characteristic of the conservative temperament to value established identities, to praise habit and to respect prejudice, not because it is irrational, but because such things anchor the darting impulses of human beings in solidities of custom which we do not often begin to value until we are already losing them. Radicalism often generates youth movements, while conservatism is a condition found among the mature, who have discovered what it is in life they most value".
A 1996 study on the relationship between racism and conservatism found that the correlation was stronger among more educated individuals, though "anti-Black affect had essentially no relationship with political conservatism at any level of educational or intellectual sophistication". They also found that the correlation between racism and conservatism could be entirely accounted for by their mutual relationship with social dominance orientation.
A 2008 research report found that conservatives are happier than liberals and that—as income inequality increases—this difference in relative happiness increases because conservatives (more than liberals) possess an ideological buffer against the negative hedonic effects of economic inequality.
Terms related to 'conservative' first found their way into political discourse in the title of the French weekly journal, Le Conservateur, founded in 1818 by François-René de Chateaubriand with the aid of Louis de Bonald.
militant atheism was incompatible with conservatism
In addition, conservative Christians often endorsed far-right remines as the lesser of two evils, especially when confronted with militant atheism in the USSR.
If anything the reverse is true: moral conservatives continue to oppose secular liberals on a wide range of issues.
In the developed world neoliberalism is often coupled with Thatcherism [...].
Social conservatives focus on moral or values issues, such as abortion, marriage, school prayer, and judicial appointments.
Against accusations of being pre-modern or even anti-modern in outlook, paleoconservatives press for restrictions on immigration, a rollback of multicultural programmes, the decentralization of the federal polity, the restoration of controls upon free trade, a greater emphasis upon economic nationalism and isolationism in the conduct of American foreign policy, and a generally revanchist outlook upon a social order in need of recovering old lines of distinction and in particular the assignment of roles in accordance with traditional categories of gender, ethnicity, and race.
The "And" theory of conservatism is a political neologism that was coined in the 2000s conservatism for the notion of holistic policy, bringing together traditional conservativism with some aspects of liberalism (right-libertarianism) and combining policies like low taxation with traditionally liberal solutions to issues such as poverty and global warming. Examples of the politics of "And" include:
A commitment to opposing same-sex marriages and to securing fair pension and inheritance arrangements for gay people.
A bigger budget for the armed forces and an end to the sale of arms to despotic regimes.
Faster, longer imprisonment of repeat offenders and more care for the vulnerable children of prisoners.
A willingness to confront the Islamic roots of global terrorism and more opportunities for mainstream Muslims to set up state-funded schools.
Controlled immigration policies and a commitment to international development.Conservatism in the United States
American conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, republicanism, support for Judeo-Christian values, moral absolutism, free markets and free trade, anti-communism, individualism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from the perceived threats posed by socialism, authoritarianism, and moral relativism. American conservatives consider individual liberty—within the bounds of conformity to conservative American values—as the fundamental trait of democracy; this perspective contrasts with that of modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice than on social order and tradition.American conservatism, like most American political ideologies, originates from republicanism, which rejected aristocratic and monarchical government and upheld the principles of the United States Declaration of Independence ("All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness") and the United States Constitution (which established a federal republic under the rule of law). Conservative philosophy is also derived in part from the classical liberal tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, which advocated for laissez-faire economics (also called economic freedom and deregulation).Historians such as Patrick Allitt and political theorists such as Russell Kirk argue that the conservative tradition has played a major role in American politics and culture since 1776. However, they stress that an organized conservative movement with beliefs that differ from those of other American political parties has played a key role in politics only since the 1950s. Since the 1960s, the conservative movement has been based in the Republican Party; however, some Democrats were also important figures early in the movement's history, especially in the American South.Cultural conservatism
Cultural conservatism is described as the preservation of the heritage of one nation, or of a shared culture that is not defined by national boundaries.
Other variants of cultural conservatism are concerned with culture attached to a given language such as Arabic or Icelandic.
The shared culture may be as divergent as Western culture or Chinese culture.
Cultural conservatism is distinct from social conservatism, although there are some overlaps. Social conservatives believe that the government has a role in encouraging or enforcing what they consider traditional values or behaviors. A social conservative wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often through civil law or regulation. Social conservatives generally view any social change as suspect, rather than just those related to culture or cultural tradition.Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism (also economic conservatism or conservative economics) is a political-economic philosophy regarding fiscal policy and fiscal responsibility advocating low taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt. Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes, and privatization are the defining qualities of fiscal conservatism. Fiscal conservatism follows the same philosophical outlook of classical liberalism and economic liberalism. The term has its origins in the era of the New Deal during the 1930s as a result of the policies initiated by reform or modern liberals, when many classical liberals started calling themselves conservatives as they did not wish to be identified with what was passing for liberalism.In the United States the term liberalism has become associated with the welfare state and expanded regulatory policies created as a result of the New Deal and its offshoots from the 1930s onwards. Fiscal conservatives form one of the three legs of the traditional conservative movement in the United States, together with social conservatism and national defense conservatism. Many Americans who are classical liberals also tend to identify as libertarian, holding more socially liberal views and advocating a non-interventionist foreign policy while supporting lower taxes and less government spending.Free market
In economics, a free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and by consumers. In a free market the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, or by other authority. Proponents of the concept of free market contrast it with a regulated market, in which a government intervenes in supply and demand through various methods — such as tariffs — used to restrict trade and to protect the local economy. In an idealized free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy.
Scholars contrast the concept of a free market with the concept of a coordinated market in fields of study such as political economy, new institutional economics, economic sociology, and political science. All of these fields emphasize the importance in actually existing market systems of rule-making institutions external to the simple forces of supply and demand which create space for those forces to operate to control productive output and distribution.
Although free markets are commonly associated with capitalism within a market economy in contemporary usage and popular culture, free markets have also been advocated by free-market anarchists, market socialists, and some proponents of cooperatives and advocates of profit sharing. Criticism of the theoretical concept may regard systems with significant market power, inequality of bargaining power, or information asymmetry as less than free, with regulation being necessary to control those imbalances in order to allow markets to function more efficiently as well as produce more desirable social outcomes.Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism is a political ideology combining conservative policies with liberal stances, especially on economic, social and ethical issues, or a brand of political conservatism strongly influenced by liberalism.
Liberal conservatism incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy, according to which individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference. However, individuals cannot be thoroughly depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life, therefore liberal conservatives believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation. They also support civil liberties, along with some social conservative positions. In Europe liberal conservatism is the dominant form of contemporary conservatism and centre-right politics.Libertarian conservatism
Libertarian conservatism or conservative libertarianism is a political philosophy and ideology that combines right-libertarian politics and conservative values. Libertarian conservatism advocates the greatest possible economic liberty and the least possible government regulation of social life, mirroring laissez-faire liberalism, but harnesses this to a belief in a more traditional and conservative social philosophy emphasizing authority and duty. Libertarian conservatism prioritizes liberty as its main emphasis, promoting free expression, freedom of choice and free market capitalism to achieve socially and culturally conservative ends as they reject liberal social engineering, or in the opposite way but not excluding the above, libertarian conservatism could be understood as promoting civil society through conservative institutions and authority - as family, fatherland, religion, education - in the quest of libertarian ends for less state power.List of political ideologies
In social studies, a political ideology is a certain set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class or large group that explains how society should work and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Some political parties follow a certain ideology very closely while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. The popularity of an ideology is in part due to the influence of moral entrepreneurs, who sometimes act in their own interests. Political ideologies have two dimensions: (1) goals: how society should be organized; and (2) methods: the most appropriate way to achieve this goal.
An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. democracy or autocracy) and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism or socialism). The same word is sometimes used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, socialism may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system. The same term may also be used to refer to multiple ideologies and that is why political scientists try to find consensus definitions for these terms. For instance, while the terms have been conflated at times communism has come in common parlance and in academics to refer to Soviet-type regimes and Marxist–Leninist ideologies whereas socialism has come to refer to a wider range of differing ideologies distinct from Marxism–Leninism. Political ideology is a term fraught with problems, having been called "the most elusive concept in the whole of social science". However, ideologies tend to identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the centre or the right), though this is very often controversial. Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g. populism as it is commonly defined) and from single issues around which a party may be built (e.g. opposition to European integration or the legalization of marijuana), although either of these may be central to a particular ideology. There are several studies that show that political ideology is heritable within families.The following list is strictly alphabetical and attempts to divide the ideologies found in practical political life into a number of groups and each group contains ideologies that are related to each other. The headers refer to names of the best-known ideologies in each group. The names of the headers do not necessarily imply some hierarchical order or that one ideology evolved out of the other. They are merely noting that the ideologies in question are practically, historically and ideologically related to each other. One ideology can belong to several groups and there is sometimes considerable overlap between related ideologies. The meaning of a political label can also differ between countries and political parties often subscribe to a combination of ideologies.List of political parties in Australia
This article lists political parties in Australia.
The Australian federal parliament has a number of distinctive features including compulsory voting, with full-preference instant-runoff voting in single-member seats to elect the lower house, the Australian House of Representatives, and the use of the single transferable vote to elect the upper house, the Australian Senate.
Australia has a mild two-party system, with two dominant political groupings in the Australian political system, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal/National Coalition. Federally, 6 of the 150 members of the lower house (Members of Parliament, or MPs) are not members of major parties, as are 19 of the 76 members of the upper house (senators).
Other parties tend to perform better in the upper houses of the various federal and state parliament since these typically use a form of proportional representation.National Review
National Review (NR) is an American semi-monthly editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.
Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries and promoting fusionism while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.The online version, National Review Online, is edited by Charles C. W. Cooke and includes free content and articles separate from the print edition.National conservatism
National conservatism is a variant of conservatism that concentrates more on national interests and upholding cultural or ethnic identity than most other conservatives. In Europe, national conservatives are usually Eurosceptics. National conservatism shares characteristics with traditionalist conservatism and social conservatism given how the 3 variations focus on preservation and tradition. As national conservatism seeks to preserve national interests, traditional conservatism emphasizes ancestral institutions and social conservatism. National-conservative parties often have roots in environments with a rural, traditionalist or peripheral basis, contrasting with the more urban support base of liberal-conservative parties.Most conservative parties in post-communist Central and Southeastern Europe since 1989 have been national conservative.Neoconservatism
Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon when labelling its adherents) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and the growing New Left and counterculture, in particular the Vietnam protests. Some also began to question their liberal beliefs regarding domestic policies such as the Great Society.
Neoconservatives typically advocate the promotion of democracy and American national interest in international affairs, including peace through strength (by means of military force), and are known for espousing disdain for communism and for political radicalism.Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s as neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administration of George W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prominent neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, and Paul Bremer. While not identifying as neoconservatives, senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listened closely to neoconservative advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel and the promotion of American influence in the Middle East.
Historically speaking, the term "neoconservative" refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism during the 1960s and 1970s. The movement had its intellectual roots in the Jewish monthly review magazine Commentary, edited by Norman Podhoretz and published by the American Jewish Committee. They spoke out against the New Left and in that way helped define the movement.One-nation conservatism
One-nation conservatism (also known as one-nationism, or Tory democracy) is a form of British political conservatism advocating preservation of established institutions and traditional principles combined with political democracy, and a social and economic programme designed to benefit the common man. This political philosophy views society as organic and values paternalism and pragmatism. The describing phrase 'one-nation Tory' originated with Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), who served as the chief Conservative spokesman and became Prime Minister in February 1868. He devised it to appeal to working-class men as a solution to worsening divisions in society through introducing factory and health acts, as well as greater protection for workers. Michael Lind defines one-nation conservatism as "a political philosophy that sees the purpose of the elite as reconciling the interests of all classes, labor as well as management, instead of identifying the good of society with the interests of the business class".One-nation conservatism reflects the belief that societies exist and develop organically, and that members within them have obligations towards each other. It particularly emphasises the paternalistic obligation of those who are privileged and wealthy to the poorer parts of society.The ideology featured heavily during Disraeli's two terms in government between 1868 and 1880, during which the British parliament legislated major social reforms. Towards the end of the 19th century, the UK Conservative Party moved away from paternalism in favour of free-market capitalism, but fears of extremism during the interwar period caused the revival of one-nation conservatism. The Conservative party continued to espouse the philosophy throughout the post-war consensus from 1945, influencing the decision to maintain Clement Attlee's Labour government's Keynesian intervention in the economy, forming a welfare state and the National Health Service. Later years saw the rise of the New Right, which attributed the country's social and economic troubles to one-nation conservatism. David Cameron, who led the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016, named Disraeli as his favourite Conservative, and some commentators and MPs have suggested that Cameron's ideology contains an element of one-nationism. Other commentators have questioned the degree to which Cameron and his coalition embodied One-Nation Conservatism, instead locating them in the intellectual tradition of Thatcherism. In 2016 Cameron's successor, Theresa May, referred to herself as a one-nation conservative in her first speech as prime minister and outlined her focus on one-nation principles.Paleoconservatism
Paleoconservatism (sometimes shortened to paleocon) is a predominantly United States-based conservative political philosophy which stresses traditionalism, limited government, Judeo-Christian ethics, regionalism, nationalism and European identity.Paleoconservatism's concerns overlap those of the Old Right that opposed the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s as well as American social conservatism of the late 20th century.
According to the international relations scholar Michael Foley: ... paleoconservatives press for restrictions on immigration, a rollback of multicultural programmes, the decentralization of federal policy, the restoration of controls upon free trade, a greater emphasis upon economic nationalism and non-interventionism in the conduct of American foreign policy, and a generally revanchist outlook upon a social order in need of recovering old lines of distinction and in particular the assignment of roles in accordance with traditional categories of gender, ethnicity, and race.
Political theorist Paul Gottfried is credited with coining the term in the 1980s. He says the term originally referred to various Americans, such as conservative and traditionalist Catholics and agrarian Southerners, who turned to anti-communism during the Cold War.Progressivism
Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of improvement of society by reform. As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.
The meanings of progressivism have varied over time and from different perspectives. Progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society. Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread across the world from Europe.The contemporary common political conception of progressivism in the culture of the Western world emerged from the vast social changes brought about by industrialization in the Western world in the late-19th century. Progressives in the early-20th century took the view that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists, thus claiming that measures were needed to address these problems. Early-20th century progressivism was also tied to eugenics and the temperance movement. Contemporary progressives promote public policies that they believe will lead to positive social change.Social conservatism
Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions. This can include moral issues. Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism.Social conservatism encompasses a range of what may be thought of as reactionary positions on social issues. It developed as a reaction to what was perceived as dangerous tendencies within the liberal movements toward political radicalism and a wholesale rejection of "traditional values". In North America, since the mid to late 20th century, social conservatism arose as a response to federal action on social issues—such as LGBT rights and abortion—which members perceived as a threat to conservative values. Social conservatives also value the influence of religion in the public square, thus supporting state Churches or accommodationism, while opposing secularism and state atheism.Timeline of modern American conservatism
This timeline of modern American conservatism lists important events, developments and occurrences which have significantly affected conservatism in the United States. With the decline of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party after 1960, the movement is most closely associated with the Republican Party (GOP). Economic conservatives favor less government regulation, lower taxes and weaker labor unions while social conservatives focus on moral issues and neoconservatives focus on democracy worldwide. Conservatives generally distrust the United Nations and Europe and apart from the libertarian wing favor a strong military and give enthusiastic support to Israel.Although conservatism has much older roots in American history, the modern movement began to gel in the mid–1930s when intellectuals and politicians collaborated with businessmen to oppose the liberalism of the New Deal led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, newly energized labor unions and big city Democratic machines. After World War II, that coalition gained strength from new philosophers and writers who developed an intellectual rationale for conservatism.Richard Nixon's victory in the 1968 presidential election is often considered a realigning election in American politics. From 1932 to 1968, the Democratic Party was the majority party as during that time period the Democrats had won seven out of nine presidential elections and their agenda gravely affected that undertaken by the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, but the election of 1968 reversed the situation completely. The Vietnam War split the Democratic Party. White ethnics in the North and white Southerners felt the national Democratic Party had deserted them. The white South has voted Republican at the presidential level since the mid-1960s and at the state and local level since the 1990s.
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan solidified conservative Republican strength with tax cuts, greatly increased defense spending, deregulation, a policy of rolling back communism rather than just containing it, a greatly strengthened military and appeals to family values and conservative Judeo-Christian morality. His impact has led historians to call the 1980s the Reagan Era. The Reagan model remains the conservative standard for social, economic and foreign policy issues. In recent years, social issues such as abortion, gun control and gay marriage have become important. Since 2009, the Tea Party movement has energized conservatives at the local level against the policies made by the presidency of Barack Obama, leading to a Republican landslide in 2010 and again in 2014, eventually culminating in the election of Republican Donald Trump as President in 2016.Tory
A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy, known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King, and Country". Tories generally advocate monarchism, and were historically of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction.
The philosophy originates from the Cavalier faction, a royalist group during the English Civil War. The Tories political faction that emerged in 1681 was a reaction to the Whig-controlled Parliaments that succeeded the Cavalier Parliament. It also has exponents in other parts of the former British Empire, such as the Loyalists of British America, who opposed American secession during the American War of Independence. The loyalists that fled to the Canadas at the end of the American Revolution, the United Empire Loyalists, formed the support base for political cliques in Upper and Lower Canada. Toryism remains prominent in the Commonwealth realms, particularly in Canada, and the United Kingdom. Several Conservative parties in the Commonwealth realms, along with their party members, continue to be referred to as Tories.
The term Tory is used regardless of whether they are traditionalists or not. Adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times are referred to as High Tories. The terms Blue Tory and Red Tory have been used to describe the two different factions of the federal and provincial Conservative/Progressive Conservative parties in Canada. In addition, Pink Tory is used in Canadian politics as a pejorative term to describe a member of the Conservative/Progressive Conservative party who is perceived as liberal.Traditionalist conservatism
Traditionalist conservatism, also known as classical conservatism and traditional conservatism, is a philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of a transcendent moral order, manifested through certain natural laws to which society ought to conform in a prudent manner. Shortened to traditionalism and in the United Kingdom and Canada referred to as Toryism, traditionalist conservatism is a variant of conservatism based on the political philosophies of Aristotle and Edmund Burke. Traditionalists emphasize the bonds of social order and the defense of ancestral institutions over hyper-individualism.Traditionalist conservatism places a strong emphasis on the notions of custom, convention and tradition. Theoretical reason is derided over and is considered against practical reason. The state is also seen as a communal enterprise with spiritual and organic qualities. Traditionalists believe that change—if it does happen—is not the result of intentional reasoned thought and it flows naturally out of the traditions of the community. Leadership, authority and hierarchy are seen as natural products. Traditionalism developed throughout 18th-century Europe, particularly as a response to the disorder of the English Civil War and the radicalism of the French Revolution.
In the middle of the 20th century, traditionalist conservatism started to organize itself in earnest as an intellectual and political force.