Liberalism And Conservatism And Liberalism

1598 Words May 8th, 2016 7 Pages
Conservatism and Liberalism have, over the last century, changed greatly in how they are represented in people’s actions, but have remained consistent in the core principles which underlie their existence and political ideologies. While Conservatism and Liberalism may share a common goal - as expressed by Robin L. West (1984-1985, p. 673), who wrote that both liberal and conservative ideas share a “commitment to the creation of a state in which all members of the community share in the good life” - It seems to me that this is where their ideological similarities end, and that their ideological differences make them fundamentally incompatible as ideologies. To discuss this conclusion, I will first outline the history and core principles of these two ideas, before analyzing their compatibility.

Conservatism is generally considered to have been primarily developed in response to the socially progressive enlightenment period or, more specifically, the downfall of the ancien regime in revolutionary France. Heywood (2012) attributed this response largely to Edmund Burke, and his letter in “Reflection on the Revolution in France”, hailed as one of the most influential works in the establishment of conservatism. Burke, described as one of the founders of the British Conservative movement (Macat, 2015), launched a scathing critique on the revolution in this pamphlet, arguing that the revolution was a dangerous and immoral experiment that was doomed to fail. Burke believed that the…
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