Conservatism is a political and social philosophy which promotes retaining traditional social institutions.
The term conservative has a rather wide range of interpretations. Some refer to it as a from of socio-political traditionalism, others - as an alias for modern-day neoconservatism but also anything in between which might fit within the broad term 'right-wing politics'.
Traditional conservatism is a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and organic unity, classicism and high culture, and the intersecting spheres of loyalty. National conservatism is heavily oriented towards the traditional family and social stability as well as in favour of limiting immigration. As such, national conservatives can be distinguished from economic conservatives, for whom free market economic policies, deregulation and fiscal conservatism are the main priorities. Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments, and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism. This is also the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition, such as the United States, and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous.
Many people admit that conservatism is not an ideology. It is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.
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