March 17, 2013

"STUPID" IS A COMPLIMENT, NOT AN EPITHET:

Right Again : The passions of John Stuart Mill (Adam Gopnik, 10/06/08, The New Yorker)

After Harriet's death, Mill entered Parliament, in 1865, as a liberal backbencher, and did about as well as intellectuals usually do there. He was often hooted, and became notorious for having once described the Conservatives as "necessarily the stupidest party." What he meant wasn't that Conservatives were stupid; Disraeli, who was running the Tory Party then, was probably the cleverest man ever to run a political party, and Mill's own influences from the right were immense and varied. He meant that, since true conservatism is a complicated position, demanding a good deal of restraint when action is what seems to be wanted, and a long view of history when an immediate call to arms is about...

Who would argue against the truism that conservatism is restrained, rather than impulsive, and based on taking the long view rather than seeking immediate gratification?
Posted by at March 17, 2013 6:08 AM
  

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