Conservatism In Michael Oakeshott's On Being Conservative

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There are two objectives of this essay; first is to prove that conservatism in Michael Oakeshott’s ‘On Being Conservative’ piece is logical and valid on two premises: a) the maintenance of order to promote stability in practicing conservatism in government despite adopting radical approach in its other activity, and b) its cautiousness that makes it relevant to practice. Secondly, to argue that Oakeshott’s conservatism, is however incomplete and flawed as it does not provide the alternative of progressing, plus not considering the variations of individuals in the society. In order to critically analyse this essay, we need to understand what influenced him, hence his political theory. Oakeshott is considered as a skeptical philosopher and is…show more content…
Conservatism, according to Oakeshott, is about holding certain belief concerning how a governing activity should be done and its appropriate tools. This belief is hypothetically grasp and rather traditional.
He believed that the consistency lies in the preservation of order. The government prefers traditionalism over the new changes because in Oakeshott’s view; “…as instruments enabling people to pursue the activities of their own choice with the minimum frustration…”What does he meant here by ‘minimum frustration’? He explained that the frustration happens when there is no such thing as order in a society – a place where myriad of activities and opinions circulating among vast people of different characteristics. Without this order (from my point of view is government system and constitutions), chaos will occur and bring frustration to many who see that the absence of it is not the way ‘any rational human being should live’. ‘Rational’, I suspect brings the meaning of social agreement in terms of moral and behavioural conduct. (Dowling, 1959: 51) Since all human beings yearn
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