Are conservatives bastards?
in What’s in it for me?
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Conservatism advocates free markets and tradition. Support bases of conservative parties include capital owners and managers; a state which avoids economic intervention, leaving economic inequality intact, is in the interests of these citizens. This raises the question of whether conservative parties are solely agents of the rich. Though conscious self-interest explains the motivation of some conservative voters, such an interpretation is crude; many conservatives are motivated by moral concerns and consider conservatism to be in the general interest. Institutional influences, including the tendency of governments to pursue the common good, also impede such a goal. Conservatism thus demonstrates mediating influences upon self-interest with which we must be familiar.

Conservatism is riven by a fault line. Because free market beliefs associated with conservative self-interest often cause social discontent, those impoverished by conservative cuts seldom being tranquil, there are threats to order which conflict with conservative belief in tradition. Conservatives propose several ways of resolving this difficulty, including charity and draconian law and order methods, which are at best ineffective and sometimes worsen such problems. This illustrates a problem affecting many worldviews, which is called externalization. Different citizens have varying interests, yet live in one world with finite resources; there is thus need for an equilibrium which satisfies separate interests. Externalization is a process in which the pursuit of self-interest by one group threatens prerogatives of others, jeopardizing the good of all.

What’s in it for me?

Self-interest and political difference


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