Conservatism is a political and cultural philosophy that promotes the preservation of traditional social institutions. Conservatism focuses on maintaining social order and may support a variety of traditional institutions, such as organised religion, the family unit and traditional forms of government.
Conservatism has been used to refer to a wide range of political views and is frequently combined with support for capitalism, monarchism, anti-communism, republicanism, imperialism and foreign interventionism. Less frequently, conservatives might support socialist economic programmes or secularism. Conservatives on the far right might be characterised by racist, xenophobic and misogynistic views while those who consider themselves liberal conservatives may support gay and lesbian rights and feminist politics.
Forms[edit | edit source]
Liberal conservatism[edit | edit source]
Liberal conservatism incorporates liberal principles into the conservative framework. Liberal conservatives may also describe themselves as classical liberals, and are likely to support socially liberal policies such as legislation of drugs or gay and lesbian rights. Liberal conservatives typically also support free market capitalism.
Social conservatism[edit | edit source]
Social conservatism is conservatism in the domain of social affairs. Social conservatives may have different economic views but have a shared desire to preserve and defend traditional social institutions such as the church and the nuclear family.
National conservatism[edit | edit source]
National conservatism is a conservative ideology that focuses particularly on the preservation of national identity. In different countries, this may have different implications but typically it means being anti-immigration and supporting the preservation of traditional national institutions.
National conservatives typically stand in opposition to supranational governance and globalism, defending national interests instead. In some cases, national conservatism may share properties with far-right ideologies such as fascism, based on a shared emphasis on the nation-state as an institution.