Can conservatism survive the 21st century? é o tema desse interessante debate realizado em 2011 que reuniu Steve Davies (diretor do Institute of Economic Affairs e autor do The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought), Greg Lindsay (fundador e diretor-executivo do Centre for Independent Studies), Tim Montgomerie (editor do ConservativeHome), Kieron O’Hara (pesquisador da Universidade de Southampton e author de Conservatism) e James Panton (professor).
As pertinentes questões apresentadas nas intervenções podem continuar alimentando as discussões sobre o pensamento conservador britânico, a defesa de seus princípios e valores e a sua aplicação política:
Conservatism can be defined as belief in traditional social values, the nation and a natural order of things. Typically, though, this has been qualified by an awareness of, as Edmund Burke put it, the occasional need ‘to change in order to conserve’. This pragmatic approach was a reaction to the French Revolution in 1789, strengthened further by the Russian Revolution in 1917. It has often led to tensions within conservative thought, however, such as an enduring ambivalence about the desirability of free markets. Nonetheless, the defence of the existing order and traditional institutions was the driving mission of conservatism in the West, and made the Britain’s Tories ‘the natural party of government’ for much of the 20th century. Today, however, many conservatives feel uneasy with both the market and traditional morals. A belief in the organic society, deference and authority has been replaced by the managerial society, inclusion and relativism. The old insistence on traditional family values has given way to support for civil partnerships and gay couples adopting. A Thatcherite championing of the free market, prosperity and growth has been replaced by green restraint, austerity and measuring ‘happiness’ rather than GDP.
For many liberals and radicals, the marginalisation of conservative values in mainstream politics is to be welcomed, as Britain finally becomes a progressive and inclusive society. But are they kidding themselves? If conservatism was so despised, why was it so successful for so long? Has something more fundamental to politics and society been lost with the demise of conservatism? And are today’s new establishment values really any more more progressive than old conservatism?E aqui uma lista de leituras recomendada no próprio site:
- The Future of Conservatism: values revisited
- The birth of the non-political party
- I'm starting to think that the Left might actually be right
- The death of the Tory Party is announced at Glasto
- The Conservative right wing squares up to fight for the party's soul
- Cameronism: a wholly new conservatism
- The strange death of Tory England