Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chesterton On Progressives And Conservatives

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types--the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine."

G.K. Chesterton, from a newspaper column of 1924 - and very appropriate in an age when English conservatives were beginning to support capitalism, exactly the innovation that English conservatives had opposed and Whigs had supported a century earlier.


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