Conservative Radicalism: A Sociology of Conservative Party Youth Structures and Libertarianism, 1970-1992

Synopsis

If you share the commonly-held notions about the New Right, which typically associate it with a reactionary ideology of social and economic change, then you are in for a surprise: this study - the first to be carried out from the inside - shows that, at least so far as its young members are concerned, their core values rest upon a radical agenda that is explicitly internationalist, individualist, culturally relativist and secularist. After examining the social background and political psychology of the young Libertarians, the author comes to the conclusion that in adhering to a world view that has more to do with individualism - or "property-rights anarchism"- than any form of collectivist ideology, such as Fascism; they represent the antithesis of traditional Burkean thought. For, while Conservatives have historically adhered to the authority of religion, prescription, instinct and communitarianism, Libertarians place their faith in the authority of reality, reason, mankind and capitalism. As a school whose epistemology is reason,ethics - self-interest and politics - and anarcho-capitalism, they represent, so the author argues, an important post-modern paradigm shift in both Conservative thought and activism.

Timothy Evans , who holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Politics, has held positions as researcher or director at a number of organizations such as the Adam Smith Institute. He has also worked in Bratislava as Chief Economic and Political Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Slovak Government and currently holds the position of Public Affairs Manager at the Independent Healthcare Association in London.