[...] Consider the standard claim about conservatism put forward by Michael Oakeshott in 1956 (also cited by Robin):
“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.”
Now consider how someone who actually held these views in the Britain of 1956 ought to have regarded trade unions. Of all British institutions, they were surely amongst the most familiar and factual, embodying the preference for actual present benefits over utopian projects. Yet that was not, as far as I can tell Oakeshott’s position at all (though his refusal of an honour from the Thatcher government may suggest some reconsideration later in life).
Robin’s thesis is that claims like Oakeshott’s about conservatism (and also, those of Hayek about classical liberalism) are nothing more than a mask for attempts to resist, and where possible, roll back the claims of the working class against their rulers.
I think this is broadly correct. Although there are people with the conservative disposition described above (and also, people who are attracted by radicalism as such), there is no inherent correlation between conservatism as a [character] disposition and support for the political views commonly associated with conservatism.
Ég er hjartanlega sammála. T.a.m. þá er nýfrjálshyggja okkar tíma byltingar-hugmyndafræði með það markmið að umbreyta samfélaginu á radical hátt, ekki að halda í hið gamalgróna, örugga og kunnuga.
Á norðurlöndunum eru það í raun kratarnir sem eru "íhaldið". Ég fjallaði stuttlega um nákvæmlega þetta í grein minni í safnritinu Eilífðarvélin: Uppgjör við nýfrjálshyggjuna, ritstj. Kolbeinn Stefánsson, Háskólaútgáfan 2010.
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