January 31, 2012
Obviously, not much being said around here. Mostly, because I haven’t got much to say.
But recently I’ve found it hard to articulate to people what, exactly, it is I tend to believe about politics (and why I get so fed up with so much of the left). As it happens, John Dunn’s remark from his 1968 book on Locke sums things up pretty well:
“Against the morality of those for whom changing the world is such a pressing necessity that the consequences of attempts to change it, however forlorn the efforts or ghastly their results, become wholly trivial, there must be set the morality of those whose moral interpretation of the world is restricted by an accurate sense of the limited possibilities for changing it. The exploration of the moral potentialities of authentically possible social change cannot be assimilated to the reactionary claim that social improvement is impossible. What matters is whether the change commended is derived from the exploration in fantasy of what is desirable but only logically possible or the investigation of what is desirable and sociologically possible. Willing the millennium is not a substitute for exploring the moral potentialities of the possibly available orders of repression. Still less is it a moral improvement on the latter enterprise. There should be no moral prizes for insecurity of grasp on the ‘reality principle’.”
Note that only an idiot would interpret that as a species of conservatism.