CONSERVATISM2Theorizing about Conservative Ideology2
Development of Conservatism during 20th Century 3
Kinds of Conservatism3
Conservatism in Turkey4
Conservatism is support the constrained governmental power 4
Conservatism feeds the democratic culture 5
Conservatism support free market5
The Relation between Conservatism and Liberalism 6
Conservative Democrats 6
Islam and Democracy, together? 6
Theorizing about Conservative Ideology
“The mere intention to spin out at a theory of conservatism is
somehow an unconservative impulse…1″
When you have pessimistic view to change and when you protect your
life style and when you prevent the changes in your life these all means
you are influenced by conservatism consciousness or no consciousness.
Conservatism was stated during the French Revolution. The new
radical powers, during the French Revolution, desired to industrialize the
economy but some other intellectuals tried to prevent these new flows. Thus
“‘Conservatism’ was first used to describe a distinctive political position
or ideology in the early 19th century2″
“Consideration of conservative thought, however, may query whether
conservatives escape the features of that very definition of ideology.
But even were conservatism to seek shelter outside the family of
total and comprehensive ideologies, it could not escape categorization
within the approach which these pages have advanced, namely, that of
presenting ideology as a structural configuration of political concepts-the
inevitable accompaniment to entertaining ideas about the political world.
On that understanding, to allege that conservatives do not have an ideology
is a particularly offensive insinuation, since it implies that they are
incapable of thinking about politics in a way that can be analyzed or
understood by even the rawest of observes or scholars.3″
The development of conservatism caused a difference show itself in
the political perspective. The politics became harsh and as a result it
essentially determined power in terms of world politics.
Development of Conservatism during 20th Century
In the earliest 80s at the US and UK the conservative parties used
reformist ideas which were new concepts for conservatism. In the lead of
Thatcher, the Conservative Party’s winning in the election caused a flow
that influence the US and the whole continent of Europe and increased its
effect and influenced rest of the world.
Thatcher was unconventional conservative; her prescience was not
compromising with other conservatives. She triedtopreventstate
interaction, and tried to canceling nationalizing policy, and stopped the
policy of Welfare State and applied the hard financial policy and she broke
down the power of unions4.
Kinds of Conservatism
Some flows named itself in the framework of conservatism thus in
this period new flows became adjectives to conservatism such traditional,
liberal, classical, neo-. Each concept varies at each country.
The distinction between new volumes and old volumes were depended on
as a result of not only socio-cultural structure but also the basic
The socio-cultural tradition of the US is liberalism. The US
conservatives state their consideration to constitutional democracy and
market economy5. So the US conservatism is liberal conservatism. The US
conservatism emphasizes on local authorities, communitarianism, and the
The English conservatism emphasizes on central authority especially
the legislation, the virtue of secular society7. The English conservatism
was affected positively during the 70s radical movement’s failure therefore
the new trend was tolerance to other ideas.
Conservatism in Turkey
The right parties were binding over the development of conservatism.
The progress of conservatism is interrelated withnationalistsand
religious people in Turkey8. The first representatives’ believe in common
property. They were supporter of modernizing although they, who believed in
change paradigm, were not the foreign to national culture9. They assisted
Turkish people to identify themselves with conservatisms at right.
Nationalism is a notion that bring patriotism with itself so that
each conservatives known as patriot in the public minds.
First representatives prefer to reference thin line between Islamism
and local and national values rather than absolute one notion. Despite the
first representatives the resources of the debates are especially around
the religion and democracy. They notice the line was so important so they
tried to not come near more than the other one.
Conservatism is support the constrained governmental power
Conservatism, which accommodates different understandings never,
loses its affects. Conservatism has basic parameters and criteria.
The limitation of governmental power is a progressed solution
against to repressive governments. The meaning of constrained government is
protecting the differentiationbetweenpublicsphereandprivate
sphere10. In the light of the italic sentence policy is state to
compromise within the real social varieties.
Conservatism feeds the democratic culture
There are so many debates about how much democracy and conservative
political organizations are harmonic. Conservatism tried to giveto
individual a social identity 11so the individual is not an absolute
individual. The entire problem is underlying this argument.
According to arguments the compromise of democracy and conservatism
are hardly possible as the argument sounds. Participation of public and the
sovereign of public is came front so that a relation can be establish. It
is easy to see we coercion the arguments to find a relation.
Conservatism support free market
It is not right to assume that conservatism is a political economy.
Conservatism wants a formation, which let produce and protectsome
values12 so that some conservative support free market and some are
In the experiences we can observe sometimes state interfere the
market or sometimes consider the Liberal perspective “Let be, Let pass”.
Developed economy is necessary for political and social stability13
therefore the developed economy is no a purpose it is a tool for approach
The Relation between Conservatism and Liberalism
In the light of arguments which given before, conservatism has
volumes. New volume has several similarities with socialism and liberalism
and it is sound argument to claim that new volume has nearly on the left
side of political linear spectrum14. The Marxist thought claim that the
individuals only has consciousness within community namely with collective
life style. This is nearly same withtheconservativeindividual
The Liberals and the conservative criticize about the “Welfare
state”. The argument is this notion causes chaos within the state.
The Liberals and the conservative both against to totalitarian state
structure, radical utopianism and the socialism and fascism that they think
both two-carry whole the notion that sounds bad.
The Liberals and the conservative have supported the free market,
property, and constrained state; it is ok each of them support same thing
with different reason.
The Liberals and the conservative have tolerance to the radical
approaches, they both agree on relativism.
The Liberals and the conservative are totally compromise at their
attitudes against to authoritarianism, dogmatism, and the constraints of
government with law15.
Islam and Democracy, together?
The democratic values, which cause interrelation within the cultures
and people, should be built on the base of spiritual things16. Thus the
democracy can easily be acceptable by the human beings all around the
It is an important subject for Turkey to realize democracy at the
structure of social and cultural parts. Therefore Judging and Developing
Party has a great responsibility to achieve this purpose.
The structure of culture and the structure of social life were
shaped by Islamic tradition in Turkey. The founders of Party are coming
from a traditionally Islamic party therefore currently they are the only
people who can gather Islam and democracy in the current system.
Until the end of 2002 the different parts of societies had a
frightened effect on the rest. The varieties and the differences in Turkish
democracy17. The necessity of society is tolerance. There are no such
experience that utility supplied with struggle, polarization and radical
The pluralism and tolerance in democracy are getting along well with
Islam18. The pluralism should be accepted. Islam gives chances to Muslims
to think different on a subject and advice to discuss on that subject so
Islam is not a constrained organization that limits the people thought
namely it is not dogmatic, democracy does.
In Islamic countries Turkey leads the others in terms of being
democrat so that it can be a good model for Islamic countries. Democratic
and Islamic Turkey will make itself the respectful leader of others and
give him pole position in the region of Caucasian and in the Middle East.
The Party needs an identity. The identity should response the
expectations of both the religious and non-religious people. Non-religious
people can easily accept the democracy and the religious people are used to
conservative identity and tradition thus the new identity response both
expectations. There are still questions are they really conservative
democrats or social democrats?
1 C. Rossiter; Conservatism, in international Encylopedia of the social
sciences (NY, 1968) p.293
2 Heywood, Andrew; Political Ideologies; an introduction (Macmillan-NY
2003 3rd edition) p.69
3 Freeden, Michael; Ideologies and Political Theory (NY Oxford, 1996)
4 Byk Larousse 16th volume p.8349
5 Beneton Philippe; Muhafazakarl1pick Translator:Cneyt Akal1picn,
(0picstanbul, 0picleti_picim Yay1picnlar1pic, 1991) p.84
6 Mert, Nuray; l?k Translator:Cneyt Akal?n, (?stanbul, ?leti?im
Yay?nlar?, 1991) p.84
7 Mert, Nuray; ?slam ve Demokrasi-Bir Kurt Masal?, (?stanbul:?z
Yay?nlar?, 1998) p.109
8 Mert, Nuray; a.g.e. p.109
9 Dr. Akdo?an, Yal?n; Muhafazakar Demokrasi, (2003), p.25
10 Dr. Akdo?an, Yal?n; a.g.e. p.25
11 O’Sullivan Nol, Conservatism,(J.M. Dent&Sons Ltd., London, 1976) p.12
12 Dr. Akdo?an, a.g.e. p.32
13 Dr. Akdo?an, a.g.e. p.35
14 Giddens Anthony, Sa? ve Solun tesindeki Radikal Politikalar?n
Gelece?i, Translator:Mge Szen, (Metris, ?stanbul 2002) p.30
15 Giddens Anthony, a.g.e. p.43
16 Dr. Akdo?an, a.g.e. p.40
17 Carothers, Thomas, “Civil Society”, Foreign Policy (University Pres of
America, Winter 1999-2000)
18 Dr. Akdo?an, a.g.e. p.12
19 Dr. Akdo?an, a.g.e. p.13