moderately troubled, moderately conservative thinkers (quote)

Conquest’s three laws of politics:

  1. Everyone is conservative about what he or she knows best. (Hence the parish priest who said, ‘I’m against all change, especially change for the better.’)
  2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left wing. (Conquest gives as examples Amnesty International and the Church of England.)
  3. The simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

The political scientist and historian Robert Conquest (quoted by John McDade, “Christians and Jews: Competitive Siblings or the Israel of God?” The New Blackfriars 89 (2008), p. 267-268.

With regard to point #1, McDade goes on to say,

we should have a spontaneous sympathy with moderately troubled, moderately conservative thinkers in whatever religious tradition they, or we, are. They usually see things more clearly than anyone else. We do not need to be reminded that it is only conservatives who can be radical because only conservatives have roots.

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