Conservatism is... closer to the mission of the university than liberalism is. Liberals, insofar as they are progressives, believe that it is possible to eliminate prejudice from society. When prejudice is gone, truth prevails, and there is no need to reconsider the errors of the past. Progress is irrevocable, and inquiry shrinks to whatever questions remain unsettled. Conservatives, believing that it is not possible to eliminate prejudice, are more tolerant than liberals; they expect society to be, and remain, a mixture of truth and untruth. Conservatives may be prejudiced themselves, or they may be just tolerant of prejudice in others. If society will always be a mixture of truth and untruth, it may be necessary to see what sort of untruth is politically compatible with truth, and what sort is not.The truth is greater than the sum of its parts and together we are strong, even if we bicker a lot. Progressives whittle the truth back until it is just one thing, "diverse" in appearance but sounding much like sheep braying in unison. This is the opposite of humility. See? I can do short posts.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Whittling the truth
From Harvard via Burkean Canuck: