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Tony Makara

It used to be the core philosophy of Conservatism that it wasn't in any way ideological and that Conservatism encouraged the individual. However over recent years I have noticed a certain amount of ideological block-thinking among Conservatives. From the hegemony of democracy to a faith-like belief in globalization and completely open markets. It seems that Conservatism has locked itself into core ideas that are expected to be accepted come-what-may. The freedom to question is the freedom to think. Even when such questions cast doubt over totally open-trade and ideologically driven foreign policy.

Malcolm Redfellow

One of the most percipient and useful postings on this site in my (recent) experience.

I don't have to agree with every point to recognise its cogency and value.

Thank you.

Simon Newman

"what would the world have looked like if Saddam had remained in power?"

Since Saddam was not an Islamist, and there was no prospect of him being overthrown by Islamists, it would have looked a lot more safer and stable for the West.

"the threats to civilisation posed by Islamic fundamentalism are so great that it has largely been right to act pre-emptively and in ways that have sometimes met the disapproval of more cautious conservatives"

Sometimes actions make things worse. US actions in Iraq are a very good example. It was entirely predictable that invading Iraq would strengthen Islamist forces. Sometimes it seems like Bush-Cheney and the Neocons *want* al Qaeda to win, they certainly seem determined to knock down every obstacle to Islamist advance - currently the secular Alawite-led dictatorship in Syria is in their gunsights.

Simon Newman

That said, this is a very good article. I used to be a classical-liberal, but events of the past few years post 9/11 have forced a change in perspective. I see that the description of Burkean conservatism above fits my revised views perfectly. We need a lot more Burkes. :)

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