The Corner

Re: On Sherpa Conservatism

From my Oakeshott Guy:

Jonah,

In Efraim Podoksik’s In Defense of Modernity, Vision and Philosophy in Michael Oakeshott there is the following:

“Liberalism in its specifically historical sense is the political ideology that developed in the course of the nineteenth century in major European countries like France, Prussia, Spain and Italy.  Its explicit major principle was the idea of freedom.  ‘Putting liberty first’ constitutes the political identity of European liberals.  But liberty is understood by these thinkers not so much as an abstract ideal but as the actual practice of two societies which are perceived as ‘free’: Britain and the United States.  The explicit purpose of European liberalism was to implant new political institutions which would be similar to English or American ones.” [my emphasis]  Page 161

Thus, standing in continental Europe Oakeshott is a liberal, in Britain or the United States a conservative, for no other reason than that the latter already has what the former desires.

The idea that a Bill Buckley would be obligated as a conservative to defend a full on Marxist state in the event it came to power in the United States, because it came to power, is really too stupid for words.

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