Download e-book for iPad: British Conservatism: The Philosophy and Politics of by Peter Dorey

By Peter Dorey

ISBN-10: 1845113527

ISBN-13: 9781845113520

Safeguard of inequality has continuously been a center precept of the Conservative occasion in nice Britain. but the Conservatives have loved nice electoral luck in a British society marked through frequent inequalities of wealth and source of revenue. Peter Dorey the following examines the highbrow and political arguments which Conservatives use to justify inequality. He additionally considers debates among Conservatives over how a lot inequality is fascinating or appropriate. should still inequality be limitless, for you to advertise liberty, incentives and rewards? Or should still inequality be stored inside yes bounds to avoid social breakdown and political upheaval? ultimately, he examines why a few much less wealthy sections of British society have still supported the Conservatives rather than political events selling equality. This booklet may be a tremendous source for college kids and commentators of latest British politics.

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Additional resources for British Conservatism: The Philosophy and Politics of Inequality (International Library of Political Studies)

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Now this anti-intellectual, empiricist approach reinforces the Conservative rejection of equality in four discrete ways. First, both the historical and present-day existence of inequality ensures that Conservatism, strongly concerned with tradition and empirical reality (rather than some unknown or utopian future), readily accepts inequality as ‘given’; it is an a priori feature of ‘the actual’ and ‘the known’, and thus an incontrovertible fact, the evidence for which cannot be refuted: ‘there is scarcely any instance in recorded history in which mankind has experienced it [equality]’ (Joseph and Sumption, 1979: 89).

What appears to be apathy can be interpreted as a reflection of broad satisfaction with the extant situation, or at least a willingness to wait until the general election in order to replace an unpopular or incompetent governing party (Morris-Jones, 1954). Conversely, the spread of political activism can signify growing mass discontent, which might prove far more of a threat to the political system than a universal suffrage exercised once every four to five years. Whereas some nineteenth-century Conservatives feared that property and wealth were threatened by democratisation and its emphasis on majority rule, the twentieth century engendered a concern that ‘the masses’ now posed a potential threat to parliamentary or liberal democracy itself, due to an apparent susceptibility to demagogues, populism and other forms of extremist or ‘anti-system’ political leaders or parties.

Similarly, a One Nation Conservative has insisted that the mechanisms of the capitalist society ‘have produced more wealth for the alleviation of hardship than has ever been produced by collectivist systems’ (Patten, 1983: 30). By contrast, Conservatives have routinely insisted that it has been those ‘socialist’ regimes professing their commitment to equality which have invariably been characterised by the very ‘immiseration of the working class’ which Marx predicted would become an increasing feature of capitalism.

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British Conservatism: The Philosophy and Politics of Inequality (International Library of Political Studies) by Peter Dorey

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