Alex Massie

Libertarians vs Tories

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This, from E.D Kain at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen is a good paragraph:

Conservatism is not only about limited government, and where it seeks to limit government it does so because it sees government as a force of instability.  But what about those times when government is instead a force for stability?  Defense leaps to mind.  Conservatism, I would argue, is first and foremost about preserving or regaining a stable society.  Liberty and prosperity are two of the most profound ways we can achieve a stable civilization.  Limiting government often leads to both these things, and thus it is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.  And when limiting government actually brings about social chaos rather than social stability, then it’s outworn its use. Perhaps this is why anarchy is such an impossible goal.  At some point the benefit of removing the state from the equation no longer outweighs the cost.

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Which leaves me in the position of being a bad Libertarian and a bad Tory. In as much as those categories overlap at all. Happy days.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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