chapter  3
17 Pages

Some Consequences of Conservatism

WithRobert Nisbet, Brad Lowell Stone

No one acquainted with the history of modern European thought can fail to mark the difference between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in respect to the thinking in the two centuries about man and society. There are persistences of the eighteenth-century mind, of course. The new style is evidenced in its language. It is impossible to miss the newly found popularity of the many synonyms, derivations and empirical manifestations of the social-and in a short time the cultural, which in its anthropological reference was as new and encompassing in the nineteenth century as the social. Individualism is by no means routed in the nineteenth century; the strength of utilitarianism and of instinct-psychology is proof enough. The supremacy of conservative, contrasted with liberal-radical, ideas is nowhere more apparent in the century than in sociology. In the fields of law and government Burkean ideas of organic structure and growth made their way in the nineteenth century.