Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bookbag: The Anatomy of Thatcherism by Shirley Robin Letwin

In practice, it is perfectly possible to be coherent without having a theory. The sculptor fashioning his statue out of marble has a coherent aim, and realizes this aim in an object which manifests and embodies that coherence, but he need not be, and generally is not, guided by any theory. So, too, a politician working to fashion concrete results out of concrete circumstances may have, and manifest in his achievements, a coherent aim without ever being guided by theory.
I tend to get hostile when I am told that "conservatism is the absence of ideology," but this quote helps me refute that fallacy with near-British calm.

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