Sport and Conservatism

Authored by: Lincoln Allison

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679


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The suffix “ism” has two distinct implications, though they may be combined. The first is doctrinal: “Marxists” are defined by beliefs, propositions derived from the thought of Karl Marx, even though the meaning and relative importance of those propositions is likely to be interpreted diversely and contested. The second implication suggests tendencies of attitude and behaviour rather than belief as such: “racism” means a tendency to react in a discriminatory way towards people perceived as being racially different rather than any conscious beliefs about race. Thus many “racists” could truthfully deny that they believed overtly racist propositions about racial difference or inferiority, but it is not beliefs that make them racist. “Conservatism” in most of its ordinary usages is logically much more like “racism” than it is like “Marxism”. It is much easier to describe typically conservative responses and to outline the context in which conservatism has developed than it is to list any defining beliefs of conservatism. (For a fuller account of the nature of conservatism see Allison 2009.)

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