Conservatism

1077 Words May 25th, 2016 5 Pages
‘Margaret Thatcher fundamentally altered conservative ideology.’ Discuss.
Before Margaret Thatcher, there was classical conservatism which had its roots in very traditional ideas such as the status quo, for example. This meant that conservatives would largely stick to what they were familiar with, and would only change their principals if it was absolutely necessary. Property was also a fundamental idea for classical conservatives. They believed that an Englishman’s home is his castle, and that everyone’s main goal in life should be to own property and to be able to protect it. The idea of ‘one nationism’ is also majorly important to classical conservatives. This was the idea that the nation should all be as one, with a paternalist view
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Examples of these were the return to laissez-faire economics, the idea of the market being the most important thing that should be left alone, and the introduction of enterprise zones to the disadvantaged areas such as those that were hit from the loss of the coal industry. Thatcher herself was also quite pessimistic about human nature; a traditional conservative view, which may be slightly pragmatic.
Thatcher discredited Keynesianism and social democracy to support her view of a free market to ensure that there were limits to the amount of state action, with an emphasis on neo-classical economics; that the market is more important than the state.
Thatcher created the ‘New Right’, which was essentially her ideas for wanting the economy to be free of government interference, e.g. a free market. She believed that the economy would flourish with a high supply and demand; as long as people kept buying, shops would keep selling; thus improving the economy. Another fundamental belief of hers was social authoritarianism. She believed that she should have control over the people, and that there would be dire consequences of welfare dependency and moral laxity, therefore there is a need for a strong state.
Furthermore, in many ways Cameron has moved mainstream conservative thinking back to the centre of the political spectrum. He has argued for a more compassionate and inclusive form of conservatism, accepting that ‘there is such
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