Conservatism Favours Pragmatism over Principle

667 Words3 Pages
Conservatism is seen to favour pragmatism over principle through aspects of classical conservatism, one nation conservatism and Thatcherism. Pragmatism is seen as dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. To prefer pragmatism over principle, is to prioritise practical considerations over ideological values. In the context of conservative ideology, this means to sacrifice core beliefs of individualism, authoritarianism, capitalism, and tradition and Parliamentary sovereignty, in favour of political and electoral considerations. The Conservative party has embraced many different and contrasting ideological policies, from Toryism to the New Right to Thatcherism to One Nation conservatism. Each policy differs from core conservatism and in effect, its preference of pragmatism over principle. Classical conservatism favoured a pragmatic approach rather than the core ideologies of conservatism. Edmund Burke famously quoted; 'a state which doesn’t change cannot conserve'. This means that if a government doesn’t change to help society, then the poor will take action. Peel also believed that where change is needed, then government should change. Conservatives believe that institutions and customs such as the monarchy which have survived the test of history should be preserved. However, the glorious revolution was seen as reconnecting with ancient liberties because it asserted ancient rights. Conservatives believe that humans are imperfect and that society is too complicated for them to understand and make their own decisions. They believe that people fear isolation and instability and like to know their place. Margaret Thatcher stated 'there is no such thing as society, merely people and their families'. One nation conservatism which was led by Benjamin Disraeli was seen as pragmatic. He
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