William F. Buckley Jr., the "intellectual godfather" of the modern conservative movement in America, who wrote the long-time column On the Right, maintained that conservatism, especially in Anglophone countries, supports individual liberty, free markets, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional moral values.In the first issue of the magazine National Review in 1955, Buckley outlined his political beliefs:
Among our convictions:
It is the job of centralized government (in peacetime) to protect its citizens’ lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress. The growth of government (the dominant social feature of this century) must be fought relentlessly. In this great social conflict of the era, we are, without reservations, on the libertarian side. The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to conform with scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order. We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring election results, binding though these are for other purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience. On this point we are, without reservations, on the conservative side.
Right-wing politics typically justifies a hierarchical society on the basis of natural law or tradition.To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is detrimental to society.
Traditionalism has existed in various forms in the West since its beginning, however it was in the 18th century that modern traditionalist conservatism emerged and even then it was not until the mid-twentieth century in the United States that it was an organized intellectual force. Traditionalism was found in the writings of a group of U.S. university professors (labeled the "New Conservatives" by the popular press) who rejected the notions of individualism, liberalism, modernity, and social progress, promoted cultural and educational renewal,and revived interest in what T. S. Eliot referred to as "the permanent things" (those perennial truths which endure from age to age and those basic institutions that ground society such as the church, the family, the state, and community life.) The term "family values" has had different meanings in different cultures. In the late 20th- and early 21st Centuries, the term has been frequently used in political debate, especially by social and religious conservatives, who believe that the world has seen a decline in family values since the end of the Second World War. The term has been used as a buzzword by right-wing parties such as the Republican Party in the United States, the Family First Party in Australia, the Conservative party in the United Kingdom and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India. Right-wing supporters of "family values" generally oppose abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and adultery. Leftists and feminists often accuse the right of supporting patriarchy and traditional, hierarchical gender roles
In modern times the phrase "right-wing" has sometimes been used to describe laissez-faire capitalism. In Europe, capitalists formed alliances with the Right during their conflict with workers after 1848. In France, the right's support of capitalism can be traced to the late 19th century. The so-called neoliberal right, popularized by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, combines support for free markets, privatisation, and deregulation with traditional rightist beliefs. Right-wing libertarianism (sometimes known as libertarian conservatism or conservative libertarianism) supports a decentralized economy based on economic freedom, and advocates policies such as property rights, free markets and free trade. Russell Kirk believed that freedom and property rights were interlinked. Anthony Gregory has written that right-wing, or conservative libertarianism, "can refer to any number of varying and at times mutually exclusive political orientations." He listed some as: being "interested mainly in 'economic freedoms'"; following the "conservative lifestyle of right-libertarians"; seeking "others to embrace their own conservative lifestyle"; considering big business "as a great victim of the state"; favoring a "strong national defense"; having "an Old Right opposition to empire." He holds that the issue is not right or left but "whether a person sees the state as a major hazard or just another institution to be reformed and directed toward a political goal."
The Right often advocates equality of opportunities as an alternative to equality of outcome. Russell Kirk, a major figure of American conservatism included "civilized society requires orders and classes" as one of the "canons" of conservatism. Western-style corporate capitalism but not full-fledged laissez-faire economics or individual autonomy was adopted by reformist governments in Singapore and Taiwan during a period of authoritarian rule and economic reform. These countries continue to venerate tradition in what has been described an "Asian model" of capitalism.