Defined as the “commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation,” as well as “the holding of political views that favour free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas,” conservatism is widely regarded as one of the mainstream ideologies in today’s political climate. So, without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the beliefs and ideas that make up this political theory.

Social conservatism

This is the aspect of conservatism that deals specifically with social and cultural values. Those who subscribe to this ideology generally believe that society should hold traditional values, which include conventional marriage, opposition to abortion, established family values, etc. You can see, therefore, that it is an ideology that’s fairly resistant to change and favours the norm. This is one of the reasons you usually see older people aligning themselves with conservatism (they like the way things are and always have been; it’s what they’re used to) and young people drifting away from it (they don’t like the way things seemed to have been in previous generations; they want change).

Fiscal conservatism

This is the other half of conservatism, and is certainly no less important; it refers to the policies surrounding government spending, taxes, debt: all that’s economical. Fiscal conservatives generally believe in limited government intervention into their homes and businesses. Therefore, they tend to favour lower taxes of all kinds, fewer regulations on their businesses (e.g. they oppose the implementation and augmentation of the minimum wage) and lower government spending.

As a place of reference, great examples of staunch social and fiscal conservatives include the likes of American political commentator Ben Shapiro and British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg.

What are your thoughts on what conservatism looks like in today’s society, and do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with it?

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