To Prefer the Familiar

Because it is a classic:

To be conservative … is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss. Familiar relationships and loyalties will be preferred to the allure of of more profitable attachments; to acquire and enlarge will be less important than to keep, to cultivate and to enjoy; the grief of loss will be more acute than the excitement of novelty or promise.

Michael Oakeshott, “On Being Conservative” in Rationalism in Politics (London: Methuen, 1962).

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