What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
In [the Irving Kristol] era, rather than being the "stupid party," Republicans became the party of ideas. Neoconservatism's task was, he said, to "convert the Republican Party and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy."
conservatism is itself a modernism, and in this lies the secret of its success.roger scruton
conservatism, though a necessary element in any stable society, is not a social program; in its paternalistic, nationalistic and power adoring tendencies it is often closer to socialism than true liberalism; and with its traditionalistic, anti-intellectual, and often mystical propensities it will never, except in short periods of disillusionment, appeal to the young and all those others who believe that some changes are desirable if this world is to become a better place.friedrich hayek
Mr Palliser was one of those politicians in possessing whom England has perhaps more reason to be proud than of any other of her resources, and who, as a body, give to her that exquisite combination of conservatism and progress which is her present strength and best security for the future.Anthony Trollope
Caution and conservatism are expected of old age; but when the young men of a nation are possessed of such a spirit, when they are afraid of the noise and strife caused by the new applications of the truth, Heaven save the land! Its funeral bell has already rung.henry ward beecher
All Taleban are moderate. There are two things: extremism ["ifraat", or doing something to excess] and conservatism ["tafreet", or doing something insufficiently]. So in that sense, we are all moderates - taking the middle path.mohammed omar
Had there been no Buckley, there would likely have been no Reagan administration, no Morning in America, no “Tear down this wall,” and no Cold War triumph for liberty and the West. It may sometimes be confusing, what with all the intramural squabbling among libertarian conservatives, neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, and the like, to know exactly what “conservatism” stands for these days. But Buckley more than anyone made clear that there are things it would not stand for.buckley, william f., jr.
Bill was responsible for rejecting the John Birch Society and the other kooks who passed off anti-Semitism or some such as conservatism. ... Without Bill if he had decided to become an academic or a businessman or something else without him, there probably would be no respectable conservative movement in this country.buckley, william f., jr.
[T]he degree of confirmation assigned to any given hypothesis is sensitive to properties of the entire belief system … simplicity, plausibility, and conservatism are properties that theories have in virtue of their relation to the whole structure of scientific beliefs taken collectively. A measure of conservatism or simplicity would be a metric over global properties of belief systems.jerry fodor
Here lies one of the world's rare generalized TINAs. There Is No Alternative to creativity and innovation: these days, obscurantism and conservatism will do for you every time.
If movement conservatism is less about hating the state than about fighting Godless modernism, this might explain why conservatives have always found actual or cultural wars to fight, but have never got around to shrinking or controlling the growth of government (though centrists like Eisenhower and Clinton did).
"...one can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy."
Small grants to non-Christian groups allow Bush and his supporters to speak of faith-based initiatives in pluralistic terms, but they don't change the essentially sectarian nature of "compassionate conservatism."
The two parties which divide the State, the party of conservatism and that of Innovation are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made ... Now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities ... Innovation is the salient energy; conservatism the pause on the last movement.ralph waldo emerson
Suppose you had to remember to beat your heart, contract in exact sequence the muscles you use for every step. … conservatism comes out of the body, the sense of many things being done for us that any attempt to re-think, or even make conscious, would fatally disrupt.james richardson
conservatism, we are told, is out-of-date. This charge is preposterous and we ought to boldly say so. The laws of God, and of nature, have no dateline. […] These principles are derived from the nature of man, and from the truths that God has revealed about His creation. […] To suggest that the Conservative philosophy is out of date is akin to saying that the Golden Rule, or the Ten Commandments or Aristotle ’s Politics are out of date.barry goldwater
The task of the political philosopher can only be to influence public opinion, not to organize people for action. He will do so effectively only if he is not concerned with what is now politically possible but consistently defends the "general principles which are always the same." In this sense I doubt whether there can be such a thing as a conservative political philosophy. conservatism may often be a useful practical maxim, but it does not give us any guiding principles which can influence long-range developments.friedrich hayek
It was only in April 1974 that I was converted to conservatism. (I had thought I was a Conservative but I now see that I was not really one at all.)keith joseph
They offer me neither food nor drink intellectual nor spiritual consolation... [conservatism] leads nowhere; it satisfies no ideal; it conforms to no intellectual standard, it is not safe, or calculated to preserve from the spoilers that degree of civilisation which we have already attained.john maynard keynes
Ambition will take you And ride you too far and conservatism bring you to boredom once more Sit down by the river And watch the stream flow Recall all the dreams That you once used to know The things you've forgotten That took you away To pastures not greener but meaner.van morrison
conservatism is the policy of making no changes and consulting your grandmother when in doubt.
The two parties which divide the state, the party of conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made.