On Being Conservative  

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"We know as little and as much about where [the future] leading us as we know about the fashion in hats of twenty years' time or the design of motor-cars." --"On Being Conservative" (1956) by Michael Oakeshott

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"On Being Conservative" (1956) is an essay by Michael Oakeshott on conservatism, later collected in Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays (London: Methuen, 1962), pp. 168–96.

In it, Oakeshott explained what he regarded as the conservative disposition: "To be conservative ... 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."



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "On Being Conservative" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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