16 April 2007

Conservatism (contd)

Modern conservatives look up to Michael Oakeshott (1901-90), not Burke, as their guru. Oakeshott defined conservatism as, "To be conservative is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, the tried to the untried, and the actual to the possible". This sounds more like a definition of timidity and cowardice. However, one could argue that while boldness and risk-taking are good for an individual, at a societal level it is better to go in for incremental change.

As an aside, this article points out that Margaret Thatcher - the darling of conservatives - was anything but conservative. She was a radical.

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