The term conservative defines that person, institution or organization that maintains, safeguards, respects and protects. That favors the prolongation and continuation of established ways of life.
Conservatism has roots, expansions and ties in the political, religious, social and economic. He has intervened in the life of all countries, defining from the forms of government to the forms of economic development, which initially leaned towards state protectionism, and which, at present, advocate the free market.
Conservatism refers to a set of attitudes, positions and social, political and ideological approaches that are contrary to the ideas of radical change. That is, to revolutionary ideas that relegate the established order and replace it with other ways of life in all areas.
This political current does not coincide with progressive actions, since it supports the perpetuation of religious, family and social values; And, in the event that there is an imperative need for changes, these must be gradual and controlled.
When was conservatism born?
Conservatism as an ideology was born after the French Revolution, in 1789, in opposition to progressive ideas that sought to eradicate the order that prevailed, and sought to maintain traditions.
The term conservative emerged in the early nineteenth century to refer to views contrary to the ideas of freedom of the French Revolution, in defense of the so-called Old Regime and against the so-called Enlightenment.
Illustration It was a movement that emerged in Europe (specifically in France, Spain and Germany) in the mid-18th century that promoted profound cultural and social changes, and is considered one of the most radical that emerged within the French Revolution.
Conservatism, therefore, is a right-wing or center-right ideology that protects established values as the basis for governance. It maintains three aspects of society as the pillars of its foundations:
As well as the tradition of society to ensure the continuity of the established. Its main function has been to regulate, but not stop or stop, the progress of society, marked by the need for change and adaptation.
It is possible that in political matters conservatism shows some incongruities, because the struggle against the established has brought to power a “progressive” group that has later turned this advanced ideology into a new form of conservatism.
The best example of this incongruity is the regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, who by means of a coup against President Fulgencio Batista broke with the conservatism maintained by the church and politics, and imposed its revolutionary model.
However, sixty years later, those same revolutionaries became conservatives, defending the same model and system of government that they imposed by force for more than half a century.
As for the economic, conservatism has opposed the free market, a system in which the price of products, goods or services (in all its dimensions) is determined between sellers and buyers through the laws of supply and demand, that is, without the intervention or protectionism of the State.
The opposition to the free market by conservatism changed in the last century when economic trends took a turn from the push of a liberal economy, which were promoted by the capitalist system that was gestating and that came into force, in some parts through reforms and others due to the dynamics of the market itself.
In this sense, conservative positions tend to approximate ideological spectrum of the right or center-right, still with some resistance to social change.
What are the values that conservatives defend?
Conservatives defend tradition, the established order in the religious, social and economic, as well as some political and moral positions.
In what is called the established order is centralism, as part of the power structure from which decisions arise.
Order and stability they are also fundamental to conservatives, for whom the movements for social change that may emerge are called anarchists.
Religion and defense of the church They are also part of conservatism, as they are considered fundamental to society.
Other values defended by conservatism are nationalism, with the protection of the local, and tradition, a value where the family plays a primary and privileged role.
Conservatism and liberalism
To speak of conservatism, it is necessary to refer to liberalism, and to the oppositions that are maintained between the two, since they are foundations that, although they prevail, are currently opposed.
Both are part of the modern age and have been the reason for various and obvious political confrontations, even causing wars, such as those that arose in Latin America at the end of the 19th century (emancipation and independence) and the beginning of the 20th.
On the one hand, liberalism arises from individual and social freedom as a belief, while conservatives are based on order and control.
Liberalism seeks the consolidation of the world values of equality, fraternity and freedom that were the premise of the French Revolution, but conservatism puts traditional nationalist values first.
While liberalism and progressivism seek social change as an intrinsic value of society, conservatives reaffirm traditional structures.
Nor can we fail to mention two major aspects that conservatism encompasses, such as the political conservatism and the social conservatism.
The first applies to the fundamental ideas of respect for authority and the paternalistic state, ironclad and inverse to the individualistic model of liberalism, with a vertical and rigid hierarchical relationship that establishes the order between politics and citizens.
And social conservatism related to the rejection of individual freedoms and where any discussion on transcendental issues such as the decriminalization of abortion, social demands against homosexual or sexually diverse groups and gender equality, among others, is eliminated.