By Benjamin Franks
This paper provides an account of ideological hybridity. It describes and categorises four main types of ideological hybrid in order to examine a range of sub-ideologies and crossbreeds but concentrates on identifying and assessing the particular phenomena described as conservative (or ‘Tory’) anarchisms.
The paper demonstrates how an ideological hybrid’s morphological relationship to its parent ideologies can alter in different geographical or historical contexts. Using this model it argues that some differences between conservatism and anarchism are over-stressed (such as those over the role of the state and individual rights) whilst some important similarities are often overlooked, namely those surrounding their political epistemologies.
However, because apparently shared concepts are structured next to radically different core principles (defence/rejection of hierarchies and prioritising/negation of dominant economic institutions), these shared principles are interpreted in radically different ways. As a result, conservative anarchism is a deeply unstable hybrid rather than an innovative new ideological form. It is one which, in most contexts, stabilises into a form of conservatism rather than a form of anarchism.