Thursday, December 29, 2005

David Gelernter on Disraeli

Gelernter today in The Weekly Standard on The Inventor of Modern Conservatism .

Seems for me the Republicans have taken on the tasks of both the National and Philosophic party leaving the Democrats just the party of those hiding behind pleas of we were bamboozled; without deference to traditions or principles or what they even said in the past.

He [Disraeli] put it like this:

In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines.

(Which is exactly the issue that divides Republicans and Democrats today.) If Tories were "national," the Liberal party was ("to give it an epithet," he said, "a noble epithet--which it may perhaps deserve") the "philosophic" party.

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