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Monday, May 22, 2006

62. Conservatives and Progressives - G. K. Chesterton

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and
Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes.
The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being
corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his
revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his
tradition. Thus we have two great types -- the advanced person who
rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins.
He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new
blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of
immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or
mutual check, in our Constitution."
-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton
(1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist
Source: Illustrated London News, 1924

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