To What Extent Do Conservatives Believe in Tradition and Continuity

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Tradition is based on practices, ideas and institutions that have passed through time and has been produced from its earliest of origins. Conservatives stress the importance of tradition as it allows continuity between different time frames, traditional conservatives are against change so tradition creates a bases of society staying the same for examples, in terms of being hierarchical. The terms of tradition has caused conflict within conservatism as the New Right – the neoliberals and neoconservatives, have avoided placing any importance of tradition and continuity needed in society thus showing tradition and continuity is less followed by conservatives now.
Traditional conservatives support and defend the idea of tradition and
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The idea of public morality links on with tradition as neoconservative disliked the era of the 1960’s and having the ability ‘to do your own thing’, they believe a permissive society leads to danger. Having the freedom to choose own morals/lifestyle could lead to having ‘evil’ views on society or not necessarily the wrong views but different to the rest of society. Therefore tradition is needed in order to maintain society as a permissive society leads to a pathless route that provides no stability and guidance – something which neoconservatives strongly disagree with.
Neoliberals however have significantly challenged the idea of tradition and focuses more on modern principles are theories such as individualism, rationalism and laissez-faire economics. For example, neoliberals are radical in the sense of trying to dismantle and roll back the interventionist government – this breaks away from tradition as traditional conservatives believe in the government having authority; therefore intervention is a must in order to ensure stability. They also view welfare as having provided a culture of dependency making welfare the cause of disadvantage not the cause. Charles Murray argued that welfare also provided the basis of breakdowns in the family as women no longer feel obliged to depend on the ‘breadwinning’ man in the family; they are given an alternative way to survive in society through welfare.

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