4. COUNTRY

CONSERVATISM exists, like other political parties, for the sake of promoting the good of the country in which we live.

The Conservative Party is based on its love of country. "The Conservative Party is national", said Disraeli, "or it is nothing." Britain is the first of our political principles, her honour--by which I mean the fulfilment of her moral purpose--her security, her prosperity.

By saying that our party is based on love of country, we do not mean that only Conservatives are patriots. That would be a false and unworthy doctrine. Nor could any country long survive in which one party enjoyed the monopoly of patriotism.

Still less do we mean by love of country that false and tawdry sentiment summed up in the phrase. "My Country, Right or Wrong". To love one's country truly, says Lord Hugh Cecil in his book Conservatism--and in this I think he does no more than echo Burke--is first to mean to make it lovely.

Nevertheless, by claiming love of country as the first of Conservative principles, I have in mind something quite definite and distinctive. I have no desire to traduce or misrepresent Socialist ideals on this point; if I did so, indeed, I should fail in the object which I have, which is to define differences in a form in which the definition will be acceptable even to those who are not Conservatives.

Most of us have heard, or read, some hundreds of Socialist speeches and articles in our time, and on the whole I do not think I am being unfair to Socialists when I say that Socialism on the whole derives its inspiration and policy from the differences and injustices which have existed among human kind for time out of reckoning, but which none the less it is our duty to seek to remedy in our time.

Conservatism begins from the opposite end.

Conservatism derives its inspiration and seeks to base its policy on what Conservatives believe to be the underlying unity of all classes of Englishmen, their ultimate identity of interest, their profound similarity of outlook, the common dangers and difficulties they have shared in the past, and with which they are

-31-

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The Case for Conservatism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Part I. Preliminary 7
  • 1. the Philosophy of Conservatism 7
  • Part II. Basic Conservative Ideas 16
  • 2. the Religious Basis of Society 16
  • 3. the Organic Theory of Society 24
  • 4. Country 31
  • 5. Commonwealth and Empire 36
  • 6. International Order 41
  • 7. Authority 44
  • 8. the Liberal Heresy 48
  • 9. the Socialist Heresy 54
  • 10. Liberty 60
  • 11. the Idea of Law 68
  • 12. Natural Law 70
  • 13. the Rule of Law 76
  • 14. Progress 83
  • 15. Continuity 86
  • 16. Enterprise 89
  • 17. Incentives, Liberal and Socialist 91
  • 18. Property 97
  • 19. Trading for Profit 103
  • 20. Competition, Big Business and Public Ownership 107
  • 21. the Land 119
  • 22. Trade Unions and Co-Operatives 125
  • 23. the Politics of Abundance 133
  • 24. Education 143
  • Part III. the Socialist Case Examined 147
  • 25. Introduction to Part III 147
  • 26. Profit and Use 150
  • 27. Public Ownership 154
  • 28. Planning 163
  • 29. Inequality of Income 167
  • 30. Inequality of Wealth 174
  • 31. Poverty--Its Cause and Cure 181
  • 32. War 189
  • 33. Standard of Life 192
  • 34. Housing 197
  • 35. Public Health 200
  • 36. Social Insurance 202
  • 37. Unemployment--The Facts 207
  • 38. Unemployment--Cause and Cure 213
  • Part IV. Policy To-Day and To-Morrow 225
  • 39. General Election, 1945 225
  • 40. Foreign Affairs 235
  • 41. Social Policy 250
  • 42. Economic Policy 260
  • 43. Food and Agriculture 277
  • 44. Nationalisation 284
  • 45. Britain at the Cross Roads 296
  • 46. the Politics of the Next Election 303
  • 47. Epilogue 311
  • Index 315
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