Interdisciplinary Studies: The Relevance of Late 19th and Early 20th Century Classical Theories in the Globalized Society – Page 2

Classical Theories: Conservatism and Retro-Progression

One of the principle items of interest in the classical social theories is conservatism. Most individual in the modern society have adopted this term without having a clear picture of what it really means. This social construct has been successfully carried into the contemporary world where it has failed to mesh into the social environment yet the societal grip is still locked tightly around it. It is important to note that the techniques used in conservatism are not constant and they are defined differently with consideration of time and place. However, deference is the core feature of conservatism (Wilson, 2013). This is an internalized attitude among the common people in the society that deems the aristocrats more important than they are. The classical theories may portray conservatism as the utilization of social issues in masking economic objectives. However, this is not the case. Instead, the actual objective of conservatives is to create a condition of psychological and social inequality. The regressive taxation and economic inequality experienced in the modern society are means used by conservatives in attaining their major goal of becoming aristocrats. As much as it may sound bizarre to individuals in the modern society, conservatives believe that the people ought to love the dominating order (Kruse, 2005). The modern society calls for democracy as a way through which individuals would equally contribute towards and equally benefit from the development of the society. However, classical theories, with conservatism embedded in between, observe democracy as a merely psychological condition. Unlike democrats who believe that each individual in the society holds the same level of social worth, conservatives hold that aristocracy rules society because it is intrinsically superior.

Interestingly, as much as aristocracy may be presented as a phenomenon that is natural, it is not the case. Each aristocracy strives to make its social order appear timeless and permanent, as much as it is evident that there is need to reinvent conservatism in each generation. This is because of institutional shifts caused by markets, climates and warfare; internal aristocrat feuds; and the losses and gains experienced in the ideological struggle against democracy (Post, 2010). However, successive re-establishment of this conservatism into every forming generation is because of the availability of classical sociological theories, which comprise of the foundation of conservatism. Conservatism is thus built on deception that is highly sophisticated especially since the modern society holds a sufficiently democratic culture.

One of the arguments that is reinforced in the classical theories in the pursuit of conservatism is that social institutions are capital. As such, this capital is a tangle of patterns and social arrangements of thought, which are inherited from generation to generation-comprised in culture (Miller, 2010). Conservatives maintain that such capital cannot be analyzed rationally as it is tacit and thus it should be conserved in order to protect the society from falling into tyranny and anarchy. Conservatives use this notion to conserve certain institutions in the society, especially those that benefit aristocrats, thus limiting rational analysis of such institutions and overshadowing any prospective change that can promote equality in the society. Such a view promotes prejudice in the modern society and stumbles upon innovation. It is important to note that for such a notion to be mitigated and a new approach that allows for innovation in the societal institutions to be promoted, there is need for contemporary approaches that appreciate such change to be applied in the study of sociology.

Another argument that is major in classical sociological theories is the need for the society to be organized into a hierarchy of classes and order that are controlled by the hierarchical stratum that is at the top (Eidelman, Crandall, Goodman, & Blanchar, 2012). These classical arguments against egalitarianism are promoted in the modern society through classical theories and studies. As much as hierarchy cannot be removed from the society, there is need for modernized research to be promoted in order to allow for a better understanding of various positions that individuals may gain in the society. Unlike classical sociological research, such research should be aimed at ensuring that the differences between individuals in the society are well interpreted with a few individuals establishing dominion over others. Rather, such researches should focus at explaining the importance of each ones points of difference in developing a compact society that upholds both democracy and interdependence as required by the modern society social environment.

Freedom is an important part of the modern sociological needs, as individuals require the liberty to explore their physical, psychological, social, and intellectual boundaries aimed at both individual and societal development (Eidelman, Crandall, Goodman, & Blanchar, 2012). Classical sociological theories have focused on freedom in different aspects though upholding conservatism instead. The conservatism promoted by these theories varies in the depth of authority that it adopts in the society in order to blindfold the society regarding its definition of freedom. For aristocrats to limit freedom to levels that cannot promote a dominant societal coalition in the contemporary society, they use the conservatism in the classical theories. The merging of modern society institutions with cultural constructs ensure domination and intervention in the social structure through threats with an aim of ensuring that the system does not change to allow for equality (Nail, McGregor, Drinkwater, Steele, & Thompson, 2009). Conservative theorists from the classical era argued against the possibility of freedom in the society. Proper contemporary sociological research and development of theory thus has to be upheld in order for such a mindset to be changed among the members of the society and to provide another definition of freedom that will limit dominion and control of those who still hold on to the classical theories as weapons of oppression.

The manner in which the classical theory works to derail development and adjustment in the modern sociological environment for the equal good of all individuals is mainly related to the destruction of language, conscience, reason, and democracy. All this are factors that define civilization, and thus, through the destruction of civilization, conservatism in the classical theories mitigate any chances of real change (Leeuwen & Park, 2009). In the destruction of consciousness, the classical theories define conscience in a way that promotes deception and portrays modern day liberals as pulling back the development process. This can be seen through the establishment of arbitrariness into the modern day culture, which promotes authority in the place of reason and subsequently leads to the decay of democracy. This in turn promotes the dominion of the aristocrats over the society. On the other hand, conservatism promotes the ‘political correctness’ notion with the aim of twisting the role of conscience (Hughes, 2010). As much as conscience movements have heaped demands on individuals in the society at a faster rate than societal culture can absorb, this is just a side effect of progress in the social environment. However, conservatism uses this as an opportunity to paint a negative picture of the inconveniences brought about by conscience, making it look like a form of oppression (Janoff-Bulman, 2009). As such, conservatives use the classical theories to search and destroy all conscience vestiges in the modern society, in their campaign against political correctness. Thus, various conservative rhetors portray the destruction of conscience in the society as a form of liberation. Proper sociological research and establishment of new forms of theoretical approaches would change the societal view of modern life and the need for democracy and freedom and thus initiate the true wave of liberation from the hands of a few individuals that use classical theories as mindset destruction weapons.

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