- Social conservatism
Social conservatism is a political or moral ideology that affirms the government's role in encouraging or enforcing traditional values or behaviors in the belief that these are what keep people civilized and decent. However, the accepted meaning of traditional morality often differs from group to group within social conservatism. Thus, there are really no policies or positions that could be considered universal among social conservatives. There are, however, a number of principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere.
A second meaning of the term has developed in the
Nordic countriesand Continental Europe. Here it refers to liberal conservatives supporting modern European welfare states.
Social conservatism is distinct from
cultural conservatismwhich focuses on cultural aspects of the issues, such as protecting one's culture. Although there are some overlaps.
Present social conservative issues in the United States
* favor the
pro-lifeposition in the abortion controversy
* support restriction of
civil marriageand child adoptionrights to couples in homosexual relationships
public moralityand traditional family values
* promote the
nuclear familymodel as society's foundational unit
secularismand privatization of religious belief
Social conservatism and economic systems
There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism. In fact, some social conservatives are otherwise apolitical or even
left-wingon fiscal issues. For example, social conservatives may also support a degree of government intervention in the economy, and as such will tend to support the concept economic interventionto further this aim. This concern for material welfare, like advocacy of traditional mores, will often have a basis in the religion of the social conservatives in question. Whereas a fiscal conservative is only concerned with conserving limited taxes to protect their money, a social conservative is more concerned with conserving traditional values, beliefs, and ideals. Examples include the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the Family Firstand Democratic Labor Partyof Australia, the so-called red torymovement in Canada, and the Communitarianmovement in the United States.
There is more overlap between social conservatism and paleoconservatism in that they both have respect for traditional social forms. However, paleoconservatism has a strong cultural conservative strain which social conservatism, in and of itself, is not necessarily allied with. For example, John Burger, writing in "
Crisis Magazine" in 2005, said:
"The presence of a significant population of culturally Catholic immigrants offers hope that their culture will permeate a decadent American society and contribute to the re-evangelization of native-born Catholics. . . Abortion is still illegal in most
Latin American countries. And in most areas, it’s not even part of a person’s consciousness"." [http://www.crisismagazine.com/julaug2005/burger.htm]
Social conservatism and confessionalism
Social conservatism and nationalism
In Europe, some social conservative parties also support
nationalism, regionalism and to a certain extent xenophobia, based on ideas according to which the national wealth and the traditional values would loose from free immigrationand free trade.
However, these positions are contradictory with Christian religious beliefs and repetitively criticized by representatives of Catholic and Protestant churches. Dominant conservative parties, also called "moderate right" parties refrain from nationalism, trying to integrate citizens from ethnic minorities.
List of social conservative political parties
Democratic Labor Party
* Christian Democratic Party
* A large number of Liberal Party, National Party, and to a lesser extent Labor Party members in Australia are also considered socially conservative.
far rightand separatist ideas"
Family Coalition Party of Ontario
Christian Heritage Party of Canada
* A large number of Conservative Party members in Canada are considered socially conservative.
Independent Democrat Union
* Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) Union for a Popular Movement
* Forum des républicains sociaux (FRS), Forum of Social Republicans"and, including
far rightand nationalistideas"
* Mouvement pour la France (MPF), Movement for France
* Front National (FN), National Front
* Mouvement National Républicain (MNR), National Republican Movement
Bharatiya Janata Party
Shiv Sena Party
Muintir na hÉireann
* Unione dei Democratici Cristiani e di Centro (UDC), Union of Christian and Centre Democrats
* Alleanza Nazionale (AN), National Alliance"and, with nationalist and separatist ideas"
* Lega Nord (LN), Northern League
New Komeito Party
British National Party
* Conservative Party
Democratic Unionist Party
* [http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article2640.html What is a social conservative?]
* Carlson, Alan, "The Family in America: Searching for Social Harmony in the Industrial Age" (2003) ISBN 0-7658-0536-7
* Carlson, Alan, "Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis" (1991) ISBN 1-56000-555-6
* Fleming, Thomas, "The Politics of Human Nature," (1988) ISBN 1-56000-693-5
* Gallagher, Maggie, "The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love" (1996) ISBN 0-89526-46 4-1
* Himmelfarb, Gertrude, "The De-moralization Of Society" (1996) ISBN 0-679-76490-9
* Hitchens, Peter, "
The Abolition of Britain". (1999) ISBN 0-7043-8117-6
* Jones, E. Michael, "Degenerate Moderns: Modernity As Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior". (1993) ISBN 0-89870-447-2
* Kirk, Russell, "The Conservative Mind," 7th Ed. (2001) ISBN 0-89526-171-5
* Magnet, Myron, "Modern Sex: Liberation and Its Discontents" (2001) ISBN 1-56663-384-2
* Medved, Diane and Dan Quayle, "The American Family: Discovering the Values That Make Us Strong" (1997) ISBN 0-06-092810-7
* Sobran, Joseph, "Single Issues: Essays on the Crucial Social Questions" (1983) ISBN 1-199-24333-7.
Social Conservative News Services
* [http://www.theinterim.com/ The Interim]
Social Conservative Web Sites
* [http://groups.google.com/group/ascus Alliance of Social Conservatives of the United States]
Traditionalist world view (American)
Social conservatism (Canada)
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