The difference between progressives and conservatives

“The liberal sees outer, removable institutions as the ultimate source of evil; sees man’s social task as creating a world in which evil will disappear. His tools for this task are progress and enlightenment. The conservative sees the inner unremovable nature of man as the ultimate source of evil; sees man’s social task as coming to terms with a world in which evil is perpetual and in which justice and compassion will both be perpetually necessary. His tools for this task are the maintenance of ethical restraints inside the individual and the maintenance of unbroken, continuous social patterns inside the given culture as a whole. Hence, the conservative distrusts direct democracy, unrestrained and unpatterned”

Peter Viereck

 h/t: Dover Beach

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  • http://twitter.com/Jake_W Jake Walker

    This quote reminds me of a quote from Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative” (I don’t have the page #, but it was in one of the first two chapters):

    “The root difference between the conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature, The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. WHat is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants.”

    Perhaps my biggest problem with Goldwater’s book, though, is that he doesn’t touch on the spiritual side of things enough.

    Anyways, I think both your quote and Mr. Goldwater’s are right on.

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