Portal:Conservatism/Selected quote

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Selected quote 1

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It is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

Selected quote 2

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I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad.

— Benjamin Disraeli, speech at High Wycombe, England (27 November 1832)

Selected quote 3

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I do not know which makes a man more conservative — to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.

— John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire (1926)

Selected quote 4

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The conservative is a person who considers very closely every chance, even the longest, of "throwing out the baby with the bath-water," as the German proverb puts it, and who determines his conduct accordingly.

— Albert Jay Nock, in The Atlantic Monthly (October 1936)

Selected quote 5

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To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.

— Michael Oakeshott, On Being Conservative (1962)

Selected quote 6

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The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.

— George Orwell, in a letter to Malcolm Muggeridge (4 December 1948)

Selected quote 7

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The kind of Conservatism which he (Keith Joseph) and I...favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr. Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists.

— Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture (11 January 1996)

Selected quote 8

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Conservative: One who admires radicals a century after they're dead.

— Leo Rosten, in Woods's The Modern Handbook of Humor (1967)

Selected quote 9

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The struggle between the opponents and defenders of capitalism is a struggle between innovators who do not know what innovation to make and conservatives who do not know what to conserve.

— Simone Weil, "The Power of Words" in Selected Essays 1934-1943 (1957)

Selected quote 10

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It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.

Selected quote 11

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Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

— Edmund Burke, letter to a Member of the National Assembly of France (1791)