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Ideologies of ConservatismConservative Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century$
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E. H. H. Green

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205937

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205937.001.0001

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(p.280) Chapter 10 Conclusion
Ideologies of Conservatism


Oxford University Press

The chapters in this book identify leitmotifs in Conservative thought which enable one to answer the question ‘What is Conservatism?’ This answer confirms and builds upon arguments developed by Anthony Quinton and Michael Oakeshott, particularly the former's ideas of intellectual imperfection, political scepticism, traditionalism, and organicism. At all levels of political debate and action throughout the 20th century, Conservatives articulated a range of positions, norms, and beliefs that were designed to identify the nature and meaning of Conservatism, and which fitted the patterns discerned by Quinton and Oakeshott, with the exception of Thatcherism. Thatcherism's implications were wholly at odds with the organicist emphasis on social association that had previously been such a marked feature of Conservative thought. As the Conservative century came to an end, it seemed that even if the Conservative Party had survived, Conservatism had not.

Keywords:   Conservatism, Anthony Quinton, Michael Oakeshott, intellectual imperfection, political scepticism, traditionalism, organicism, social association, Thatcherism

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