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Conservatism needn’t be the opposite of progress—it only asks that we think things through

Simple arguments offered by radical and ideological voices on the left and right are seductive. The moderation of true conservatism is needed today more than ever

By Ryan Shorthouse  

Conservatives delegates queue to enter the main hall at party conference. Photo: PA

Conservatism is more of a mindset than an ideology. It encourages scepticism when hearing about grand plans, abstract ideas and simple solutions for problems, knowing that people are prone to overestimating their importance and knowledge on human affairs. Essentially, it teaches: don’t rush in. To judgement or action.

Sounds rather plodding, fogeyish. And it can often be confused with—and provide intellectual cover for—simple reactionism.

But conservatives should not be—indeed, historically have not been—resistant to reform. Rather,…

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