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Flashcards in Conservatism - Key Thinkers Deck (5)
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Thomas Hobbes (traditional conservative)

- Ordered society: Rational people would sacrifice their freedom and natural rights for security through the establishment of political authority.
- Human nature: human are needy, vulnerable and easily led astray in their attempts to understand the world around them.


Edmund Burke (traditional conservative)

- Cautious change: Reform should be limited and cautious. The state resembles a living organism like a plant that may be changed through gentle 'pruning' to preserve stability and social and political order.
- Tradition and empiricism: Must be respected because they represent practises passed down from one generation to the next.


Michael Oakeshott (one-nation conservative)

-Society: A 'rationalist' political leader is inclined to make decisions based on the 'authority' of his own reason (rather than practical experience)
- The state: Political thinking and action should be guided by pragmatism and practical experience.


Ayn Rand (new right)

- Objectivism: Rational self-interest is a virtue. The pursuit of rational self-interest is morally right, based on 'the virtue of selfishness'.
- Freedom: Support for a completely unregulated, laissez faire economy, compatible with the free expression of human rationality.


Robert Nozick (new right, neo liberal)

- Libertarianism: Individuals have rights to their lives, liberty and the rewards of their labour. They cannot be treated as things or used against their will.
- Self-ownership: Individuals own their own bodies, talents, abilities and labour. This is threatened by enforced taxation to fund welfare state and by state regulation over the individual.
- Atomistic individualism: individuals are rational, self interested and self sufficient