Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘conservatism

Quote of the Day – 2

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[All] conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must always be painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.

—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Written by gerrycanavan

May 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Quote of the Day – 1

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Modern American conservatism nearly always specifies the defense and preservation of capitalism as one of its central goals—logically enough, on one level, since capitalism is the economic status quo in the US today. Yet such conservatism is thus structured on an immense self-contradiction. For capitalism is itself the most thoroughly disruptive, the most emphatically anti-conservative, social force in the history of the world: a truth integral to the thought of Burke, for whom conservatism was by definition the defense of a pre-capitalism old order against the revolutionary innovations of the new middle-class regime. Capitalism, after all, is the force that razes historic buildings in order to construct shopping malls, that prizes “growth” over stability, that destroys traditional ways of life wherever there is money to be made by doing so. It melts into air all that was apparently solid, as Marx and Engels observed. In some instances, accordingly, it may well be a left-wing, anti-capitalist position that is in one sense most genuinely “conservative.” In his noel Saints and Scholars, the Marxist author Terry Eagleton gives this line to the Irish revolutionary-socialist leader James Connolly: “Revolution isn’t a runaway train; it’s the application of the emergency brake.”

—Carl Freedman, The Age of Nixon

Written by gerrycanavan

May 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm