Conservatism, liberalism and socialism are ideologies because they entail a comprehensive set of believes and attitudes about social, economic institutions and processes. Each of the three ideologies supports different issues concerning the society. The ideas of the three have been analyzed many times, and several faults found on their application in the society. There have been controversies and criticisms because instead of bringing positive values to the society, some have brought discrimination and indifferences among the people. 2) Conservatism a. Definition
Conservatism is the disposition to preserve what is established and to promote gradual development rather than abrupt change, according to the Webster’s Encyclopedia. Michael Oakeshott defines conservatism in his classical essay, “On being conservative” in 1956. He says,” To be conservative is to prefer the unfamiliar to the un known, to prefer the tied to the untied, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbound, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laugher to Utopian bliss.
” b. Criticisms against conservatism Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy. Political analysts say that conservatism is incompatible with prosperity, democracy and civilization in general. It has been said to have no place in the world because it is founded on deception, and is a destructive system of prejudice and inequality. The tactics of conservatism are different depending on time and the place. However, the most common feature of conservatism is deference.
This is a psychologically internalized attitude by the common man, that the aristocracy is better than them. Today, liberals theorize that conservatives use “social issues” as a way to mask economic objectives. However, the real goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, a psychological and social condition of inequality. Conservatism ensures that the people love and admit their differences from those who dominate them. To the conservatives, democracy is not about fair voting and office holding, but rather a psychological condition that is used to blind the common man.
One of the things haunting conservatism in the modern times is mass society. The fear of the mass society is as a result of two possibilities, the first being the disintegration of traditional allegiances, in that it is a hindrance to liberation and personal freedom. Conservatives say that such allegiances are the condition of identity; the result is loss of individuality. Conservatism ensures that there are social classes in the society. While there are some people who are allowed to live expensive lives, others are left out in the streets.
Conservatism favors a certain class of people and the rest are not. It ensures that those in high the social classes live comfortable lives, leaving the people in the lower classes to live in misery. It is also worse to know that those who can afford the luxurious life extend it to their generations, so that their genealogies are all rich. On the contrary, most people from the low social classes are not able to work hard enough to get their lineage from poverty, so in most cases, their generation remains in the same low social class.
(Philip E. A, 2004, pg 56) It is also a fact that when those in the low social classes rise to a higher class, they tend to forget where they came from. An example of conservatism in the society is the former president, Mr. Bush who was among the last students to be admitted to Yale under its old aristotic admission system. He attended classes with the students that were admitted under the meritocracy, who considered themselves smarter than him.
However, he later started to oppose the aristotic admission system that benefited him; people said that it was just a tactic, a part of the package deal to eliminate affirmative action, and hence allowing conservative social hierarchies to continue existing. The rich people are not bad, and neither are their descendants. The main issue is that they should try to eliminate the type of conservativeness that makes the rich to dominate the poor in the society, the kind of aristocracy that tricks the rest of the society in to believing or complying with it. (Philip E. A, 2004 pg 56)