The Ten Principles Of Conservatism Essay

2307 words - 9 pages

Conservatives believe communities can provide structure for the natural change that they believe should be the real way of progress and that communities are capable of providing a counter force against the concentrated power within the government (Dunn, iii). Thus, community must be near the top in a list of fundamental conservative tenets, and community is the third in this list of ten principles of conservatism (Dunn, iii). Conservatives believe that within the community there are the private and voluntary organizations people can join and be a part of which can help humans grow and flourish (Dunn, iii). This view reveals why conservatives can view the community as such an important part in the lives of individuals.
The fourth item in this list of principles for conservatives is that deity usually appears somewhere (Dunn, iii). A deity on the list may be there because of religious faith or at the very least because conservatives adhere to traditional moral values and are untrusting toward human nature (Dunn, iii). Acknowledging God as a higher power makes both man and government not free but instead, in the end, accountable to Him for their actions (Dunn, iii). Including God will place natural and divine law in a superior position to human laws, which is a way to prevent human nature from having free reign. When there are laws that humans try to implement which are contradictory to divine law, conservatives can call for debate to challenge the validity of the proposed laws.
The fifth standard is that duty and personal responsibility command more importance than individual rights (Dunn, iii-iv). Conservatives contend that citizens would become more passive and expect more government action instead of figuring out what they themselves could do to help and better their own lives if rights were to supersede personal responsibilities. Conservatives believe citizens should think more about what they could and should do for themselves instead of thinking about what the government could do for them (Dunn, iii-iv). The fear is that the central government would end up controlling more and that there would be social and moral decay (Dunn, iii-iv).
The sixth tenet of conservatism is that democracy, in the minds of conservatives, occurs within the “context of a constitutional order carefully designed not only to limit and separate governmental power, but also to refine democratic opinion and encourage deliberation” (Dunn, iv). Conservatives see that the Constitution outlines precise government activity, and so conservatives are in favor of a strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. This means that conservatives want courts to interpret the law as it is written instead of making the law. That would better keep the original intentions of the framers of the Constitution intact by keeping the tradition and natural change instead of injecting one’s own views to cause change (Dunn, iv).
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