The only Old Viennese that is worth reading at all times…obviously not (ever) Sigmund, but rather Friedrich. Together with his cognate from Prussia they form a great vaccine against most of what passes for thinking.
QUOTE: "What the liberal must ask, first of all, is not how fast or how far we should move, but where we should move. In fact, he differs much more from the collectivist radical of today than does the conservative. While the last generally holds merely a mild and moderate version of the prejudices of his time, the liberal today must more positively oppose some of the basic conceptions which most conservatives share with the socialists."
And, a little earlier, this zinger that explains more than is possible to ask: "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving. It may succeed by its resistance to current tendencies in slowing down undesirable developments, but, since it does not indicate another direction, it cannot prevent their continuance. It has, for this reason, invariably been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing. The tug of war between conservatives and progressives can only affect the speed, not the direction, of contemporary developments."
Bingo! "Conservatism" is the breaks, not the steering wheel or the engine of any area of knowledge. it's sole function is to "delay gratification" (or change). This is an important function, but let us not ask for direction from a conservative.
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