Conservatism mindmap pt 7

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  • Conservatism: Key thinkers
    • Thomas Hobbes (Traditional) - Leviathan
      • Human nature: cynical, individuals are selfish and driven by a restless, ruthless desire for supremacy and security
      • The state: arises contractually from individuals who seek order and security
      • Society: there can be no 'society' until the creation of a state which brings order and security to human affairs
      • Economy: constructive and enduring economic activity is impossible without a state
      • - His ideas are based on how he imagined the state and society formed, human imperfection but rationality to create a contract that allows the sovereign to make laws
      • - In a state of nature there will be 'a restless desire' for power and 'war of every man against every man', 'nasty, brutish and short'
      • - Humans are needy and vulnerable as they will compete and fight. Humans are easily led astray by their attempts to understand the world around them
    • Edmund Burke (Traditional) - Reflections on the revolution in France
      • Human nature: sceptical, the 'crooked timber of humanity' is marked by a gap between aspiration and achievement, can only conceive perfection but can't achieve it
      • The state: arises organically and should be aristocratic, driven by a hereditary elite reared to rule in the interests of all
      • Society: organic and multi-faceted, comprising a host of small communities and organisations called 'little platoons'
      • Economy: trade should involve 'organic' free markets and laissez-faire capitalism
      • - Change to conserve mindful of the delicate balance inherent in an organic society. Tradition and empiricism to be respected because they represent practices passed down from one generation to the next. 'We procure reverence to our civil institutions'
    • Michael Oakeshott (One-nation) - Rationalism in Politics and on On Human Conduct
      • Human nature: modest, humanity is at its best when free from grand designs and focused on routines of everyday life
      • The state: should be guided by tradition and practical concerns. PRAGMATISM
      • Society: Localised communities are essential to humanity's survival when guided by short-term requirements than abstract ideas
      • Economy: Free markets are volatile and unpredictable and may require pragmatic moderations by the state
      • - People's actions should be guided by pragmatism 'politics of scepticsm' rather than by ideology because they oversimplify complex situations. Maintains social stability and cohesion
    • Ayn Rand (New Right) - The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged
      • Human nature: objectivist, guided by rational self-interest and the pursuit of self-fulfilment
      • The state: confine itself to law, order and national security, resist positive liberty
      • Society: atomistic, the sum total of its individuals
      • Economy: free-market capitalism is an expression of 'objectivist' individualism and should not be hindered by the state
      • - Pursuing happiness is the highest moral aim and people should work to achieve a life a purpose of productiveness "a full, pure, controlled, unregulated laissez-faire" economy
    • Robert Nozick (New Right) - Anarchy State
      • Human nature: egotistical, individuals are driven by a quest for 'self-ownership', allowing them to realise their full potential
      • The state::the minarchist state should outsource, renew and reallocate contracts to private companies providing public services
      • Society: geared to individual fulfillment which may led to small communities reflecting their members' diverse tastes and philosophies
      • Economy: minarchist state should detach itself from a privatised and deregulated economy, merely arbitrating disputes between private economic organisations
      • - Individuals in society cannot be treated as a thing or used against their will as a resource. Individuals own their bodies, talents, abilities and labour


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