Social conservatism

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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. [1] This can include moral issues. [2] 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. [3]

Morality differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are proper and those that are improper

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".

Social change alteration in the social order of a society

Social change involves alteration of the social order of a society. It may include changes in social institutions, social behaviours or social relations.

Status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs, particularly with regard to social or political issues. In the sociological sense, it generally applies to maintain or change existing social structure and values. With regard to policy debate, the status quo refers to how conditions are at the time and how the affirmative team can solve these conditions for example "The countries are now trying to maintain a status quo with regards to their nuclear arsenal which will help them if the situation gets any worse."

Contents

Social conservatism encompasses a range of what may be thought of as reactionary positions on social issues. [4] 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". [5] 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. [6] [4] Social conservatives also value the influence of religion in the public square, thus supporting state Churches or accommodationism, while opposing secularism and state atheism. [7] [8]

In political science, a reactionary is a person who holds political views that favor a return to the status quo ante, the previous political state of society, which they believe possessed characteristics that are negatively absent from the contemporary status quo of a society. As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore the status quo ante.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free markets.

The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary or other means and changing value systems in fundamental ways.

Social conservatism and other ideological views

There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism;[ citation needed ] some social conservatives such as George W. Bush [9] and Michael Gerson [10] are otherwise apolitical, centrist or liberal on economic and fiscal issues. Social conservatives may sometimes support economic intervention where the intervention serves moral or cultural aims. Many social conservatives support a balance between fair trade and a free market. This concern for material welfare, like advocacy of traditional mores, will often have a basis in religion. Examples include the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the Family First Party and Katter's Australian Party, and the communitarian movement in the United States.

Fiscal conservatism political ideology

Fiscal conservatism 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.

George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States

George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

There is more overlap between social conservatism and paleoconservatism, in that they both have respect for traditional social forms. [11] [ self-published source ]

Paleoconservatism political ideology

Paleoconservatism is a predominantly United States-based conservative political philosophy which stresses traditionalism, limited government, Judeo-Christian ethics, regionalism, nationalism and European identity.

The term social conservatism is not to be confused with an economical left winged conservatism, where conservative ideas are combined with keynesian economics and a welfare state, which is practised by some european conservatives, e.g. One-nation conservatism in Britain or Gaullism in France.

Welfare state Government promoting its peoples welfare

The welfare state is a form of government in which the state protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of the citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for citizens unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The term is associated with the comprehensive measures of social insurance adopted in 1948 by Great Britain, with sociologist T. H. Marshall having described the modern welfare state as a distinctive combination of democracy, welfare, and capitalism.

One-nation conservatism British political philosophy

One-nation conservatism is a paternalistic 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".

Gaullism French political stance based on the thought and action of World War II French Resistance leader General Charles de Gaulle

Gaullism is a French political stance based on the thought and action of World War II French Resistance leader General Charles de Gaulle, who would become the founding President of the Fifth French Republic.

Social conservatism in different countries

Islamic world

Most Muslim countries are socially and morally conservative (such as Sudan, Malaysia and Gambia) due to their interpretation of Islamic law also known as Shariah.

Sudan country in Northeast Africa

Sudan or the Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It houses 37 million people (2017) and occupies a total area of 1,861,484 square kilometres, making it the third-largest country in Africa. Sudan's predominant religion is Islam, and its official languages are Arabic and English. The capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile.

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

Arab world

The Arab world has been historically conservative in social and moral issues due to the strong influence of Islam. All Arab countries have strong censorship laws against illicit and immoral content.

Arab States of the Persian Gulf

Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam and its two holy shrines, the king's (Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) title is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques". Saudi Arabia's role in the Islamic world enforces it to adhere to strict interpretation of Islam, of which it follows the most strict madhab of Islamic jurisprudence imam Hanbal.[ citation needed ]

India

Hindu social conservatism

Hindu social conservatism in India in the twenty first century has developed into an influential movement. Represented in the political arena by the right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party and far-right wing Shiv Sena. Hindu social conservatism, also known as the Hindutva movement, is spearheaded by the voluntary non-governmental organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The core philosophy of this ideology is nativism and sees Hinduism as a national identity rather than a religious one. Due to an inclination towards nativism, much of its platform is based on the belief that Islamic and Christian denominations in India are the result of occupations, and therefore these groups should not receive concessions from the state. [12]

In terms of political positions, Hindu social conservatives in India seek to institutionalise a Uniform Civil Code (which is also a directive under Article 44 of the Constitution of India) for members of all religions, [13] over the current scheme of different personal laws for different religions. For instance, polygamy is legal for Muslims in India but not Hindus.

Muslim social conservatism

There are several socially conservative Muslim organisations in India, ranging from groups such as the Indian Union Muslim League which aim to promote the preservation of Indian Muslim culture as a part of the nation's identity and history, to radical organisations such as the Mujahadeen and Lakshar-E-Taiba which aim to eradicate all other religions in South Asia.[ citation needed ]

Canada

In Canada, social conservatism, though widespread, is not as prominent in the public sphere as in the United States. It is prevalent in all areas of the country but is seen as being more prominent in rural areas. It is also a significant influence on the ideological and political culture of the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia as they were largely settled by American immigrants in the 19th century.

Compared to social conservatism in the United States, social conservatism has not been as influential in Canada. The main reason is that the neoliberal or neoconservative style of politics as promoted by leaders such as former Liberal Party of Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin and Former Conservative Party of Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper have focused on economic conservatism, with little or no emphasis on moral or social conservatism. [14] Without a specific, large political party behind them, social conservatives have divided their votes and can be found in all political parties. [15]

Social conservatives often felt that they were being sidelined by officials in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and its leadership of so-called "Red Tories" for the last half of the twentieth century and therefore many eventually made their political home with parties such as the Social Credit Party of Canada and the Reform Party of Canada. Despite the Reform Party being dominated by social conservatives, leader Preston Manning, seeking greater national support for the party, was reluctant for the party to wholly embrace socially conservative values. This led to his deposition as leader of the party (now called Canadian Alliance) in favor of social conservative Stockwell Day. [16] The party's successor, the Conservative Party of Canada, despite having a number of socially conservative members and cabinet ministers, has chosen so far not to focus on socially conservative issues in its platform. This was most recently exemplified on two occasions in 2012 when the current Conservative Party of Canada declared they had no intention to repeal same-sex marriage or abortion laws. [17]

South Africa

Social conservatism had a huge place in Apartheid South Africa ruled by the National Party. Television in South Africa was not introduced until 1976 out of fear that it would reduce the influence of Afrikaans.[ citation needed ] Pornography, [18] gambling [19] and other activities that were deemed undesirable were severely restricted. The majority of businesses were forbidden from doing business on Sunday. [20] Abortion was illegal, except in case of rape, and danger to the mother's life.[ citation needed ] Sex education was also restricted. [21]

Despite the legalisation of same-sex marriage and polygamy, in modern-day South Africa, the population remains socially conservative on issues such as homosexuality with 80% of the population against homosexuality. [22]

United States

Social conservatism in the United States is a right-wing political ideology that opposes social progressivism. It is centered on the preservation of what adherents often call 'traditional' or 'family values', though the accepted aims of the movement often vary amongst the organisations it comprises, making it hard to generalise about ideological preferences. There are, however, a number of general principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere, such as opposition to abortion and opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Republican Party is the largest political party with socially conservative ideals incorporated into its platform. Other socially conservative parties include the Constitution Party and the Prohibition Party.

Social conservatives are strongest in the South, where they are a mainstream political force with aspirations to translate those ideals using the party platform nationally. In recent decades, the supporters of social conservatism played a major role in the political coalitions of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. [23]

List of social conservative political parties

Albania

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Bangladesh

Belgium

Brazil

Croatia

Canada

Colombia

Costa Rica

Czech Republic

Denmark

Faroe Islands

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Ireland

Northern Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Liechtenstein

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Mexico

Moldova

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

Norway

Pakistan

Philippines

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Serbia

South Africa

South Korea

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom

Northern Ireland only

United States

Social conservative factions of political parties

See also

Related Research Articles

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".

Political colour

Political colours are colours used to represent a political party, either officially or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries while the colour orange symbolizes Christian democratic political ideology. However, the political associations of a given colour vary from country to country: red is also the colour associated with the conservative Republican Party in the United States. Politicians making public appearances will often identify themselves by wearing rosettes, flowers or ties in the colour of their political party.

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.

This article gives information on liberalism worldwide. It is an overview of parties that adhere to some form of liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world.

Liberalism and radicalism have played a role in the political history of Italy since the country's unification, started in 1861 and largely completed in 1871, and currently influence several leading political parties.

Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or simply representing the right-wing of the liberal movement. It is a more positive and less radical variant of classical liberalism. Conservative liberal parties tend to combine market liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues. Neoconservatism has also been identified as an ideological relative or twin to conservative liberalism, and some similarities exist also between conservative liberalism and national liberalism.

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 three 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.

Conservatism in North America is a political philosophy that varies in form, depending on the country and the region, but that has similar themes and goals. Academic study into the differences and similarities between conservatism in North American countries has been undertaken on numerous occasions. Reginald Bibby has asserted that the primary reason that conservatism has been so strong and enduring throughout North America is because of the propagation of religious values from generation to generation. This connection is strongest in mainstream Protestantism in the United States and both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in Canada.

Conservatism in Australia refers to the political philosophy of conservatism as it has developed in Australia. Politics in Australia has since at least the 1910s been most predominantly a contest between the Labour movement in Australia and the combined forces of anti-Labour groups. The anti-Labour groups have at times identified themselves as "free trade", as "nationalist", as "anti-communist", as "liberal", besides other labels. Until the 1990s, the label "conservative" has rarely been used, and when used it tended to be used by pro-Labour forces as a term of disparagement against their opponents.

Conservatism in the United Kingdom is related to its counterparts in other Western nations, but has a distinct tradition and has encompassed a wide range of theories over the decades. The Conservative Party, which forms the mainstream centre-right party in Britain has developed many different internal factions and ideologies.

References

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Bibliography

Further reading