On what grounds have conservatives defended property

Topics: Conservatism, Liberalism, Property Pages: 2 (424 words) Published: October 20, 2013
On what grounds have conservatives defended property? [15]
Property is one of five specific beliefs that make up the central themes of conservatism. It is an asset that possesses a deep and, at times, almost mystical significance for conservatives. Conservatives believe that property has four functions in society: economic incentive, psychological security, social values and a stake in society, and an extension of an individual’s personality.

It is believed by conservatives that psychological security can be achieved by the ownership of property. The idiom “an Englishman’s home is his castle” is reflected in conservative beliefs that in an uncertain and unpredictable world, a source of protection can be found in the ownership of property. A sense of confidence and assurance comes from property, whether it be the ownership of a house or savings in the bank, provides something to ‘fall back on’. Conservatives also believe that property ownership also promotes a range of social values, for example, respecting the property of others and the awareness that property must be safeguarded from disorder and lawlessness. Property owners therefore have a ‘stake’ in society; they have an interest in maintaining law and order – promoting the ‘conservative values’ of respect for law, authority and social order. Property ownership is regarded as an extension of an individual’s personality. Conservatives that people ‘realise’ and ‘see’ themselves in what they own. Possessions are not just seen as external objects, valued because they are useful, but also reflect something of the owner’s personality and character. This is why conservatives see burglary as a particularly unpleasant crime, because not only has the victim’s possessions been lost or damaged, but also their personality is seen to have been violated. Conservatives view an owned home as the most personal and intimate of its owner and therefore reflects his or her personality. Conservatives believe that property...
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