Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional institutions and supports, at most, minimal and gradual change in society. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views.

Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish politician who served in the British House of Commons and opposed the French Revolution, is credited as one of the founders of conservativism in Great Britain. According to Hailsham, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party, "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself."