Download British Conservatism: The Philosophy and Politics of by Peter Dorey PDF

By Peter Dorey

Protection of inequality has regularly been a center precept of the Conservative celebration in nice Britain. but the Conservatives have loved nice electoral luck in a British society marked via common inequalities of wealth and source of revenue. Peter Dorey right here 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, as a way to advertise liberty, incentives and rewards? Or may still inequality be saved inside of sure bounds to avoid social breakdown and political upheaval? eventually, he examines why a few much less filthy rich sections of British society have still supported the Conservatives rather than political events selling equality. This e-book could be a massive source for college students and commentators of up to date British politics.

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

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Iv) Concrete particulars are a better basis than general ideas (Thatcher MSS, Oxford University Conservative Association, Policy Sub-Committee Report, Michaelmas Term 1945) A particularly eloquent summation of this aspect of Conservative empiricism was provided, in the 1960s, by Michael Oakeshott, when he explained that To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss … The man of conservative temperament believes that a known good is not to be lightly surrendered for an unknown better … he has no impulse to sail uncharted seas … to wish for or to look for something else … or what may be.

In such circumstances, Conservatives will not blame the business community for its decision to close down its British operations in order to relocate overseas, nor will capital be accused of selfishness or lack of patriotism. Such decisions will be deemed an entirely rational response, in accordance with commercial considerations and in the context of ‘market’ criteria, to the ‘anti-business’ policies of the ‘socialist’ government motivated by ‘the politics of envy’. Nor would such an exodus be confined to capital in the form of companies and corporations: many entrepreneurs, innovators and other individual creators of wealth would also be likely to follow suit, and take their skills and talents to countries where they will be viewed with rather less envy, and consequently taxed less punitively.

The dual emphasis in such models of democracy is on the stability of the political system and the dominance of governmental (executive) authority, with ‘the people’ largely confining themselves to either re-electing or replacing the governing party every four to five years. As such, the health of the body politic is largely predicated on, and proven by, the relative passivity of ‘the masses’. 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).

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