This is a work of dogmatics: it is an attempt to outline a system of belief, without pausing to argue the abstract questions to which that system provides no answer. The dogmatics of conservatism must be distinguished both from the philosophy upon which it rests, and from the policies which spring from it. The reality of politics is action, but action derives, however covertly, from thought, and consistent action demands consistent thought. Because there is no universal conservative policy, the illusion has arisen that there is no conservative thought, no set of beliefs or principles, no general vision of society, which motivates the conservative to act. His action is mere reaction, his policy procrastination, his belief nostalgia.
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