How, and Why, Have Conservatives Objected to Social Equality?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By babydodo123
Words 383
Pages 2
Traditional conservatives have objected to social equality on the grounds that society is organic and naturally hierarchical. Social equality is therefore undesirable and unachievable, as power, status and property are always unequally distributed. Conservatives agree with liberals in accepting natural inequality among individuals; some are born with talents and skills that are denied to others. Hierarchy is an inevitable feature of an organic society, not merely a consequence of individual differences. Pre-democratic conservatives such as Burke embraced the idea of ‘natural aristocracy’ (the idea that talent and leadership are innate qualities that cannot be acquired through effort or self-advancement). Society is composed of a collection of different groups, bodies and institutions, each with its own role and purpose, just as the body is composed of a collection of different and 'unequal' organs.

One Nation conservatives have further argued that the natural inequality of wealth and social position is justified by a corresponding inequality of social responsibilities, as the wealthy and prosperous have a social duty to look after the less well-off- noblesse oblige. Thus conservatives are often associated with the idea of paternalism.

Conservatives have also objected to social equality because of the emphasis they put on authority. Unlike the liberals who believe that authority is established by the individuals for their own benefits, conservatives’ belief that authority, like society, develops naturally. According to conservatives we experience authority everywhere; in schools- by teachers, in workplaces- by employers, and in society at large- by government. Conservatives believe that authority is necessary and beneficial as people need the guidance, support and security that comes from knowing ‘where they stand’ and what is expected of them. Thus…...

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