6. INTERNATIONAL ORDER

THIS is the place to add a note on the general Conservative approach to the problems of international order.

The clue to the British and to the Conservative philosophy of foreign politics lies in the revolutionary doctrine that in dealing with human beings means are at least as important as ends. This, of course, is a 'doctrine not confined to Conservatives and not confined to foreign politics. But it is not very common in this world. It was therefore with a real sense of gratitude that I found it thus nobly expressed by Mr. Gollancz1.:

"The answer is that in the human interplay it is means and not ends that are the effective reality. My end is dynamic in relation to me. . . . But it is only the means that are dynamic in relation to my neighbour. Only what I actually think or do in the immediate relation can affect the other party to the relation. It is my behaviour that is socially decisive, not the reason for my behaviour. If one man kills another, you show yourself civilised by considering the motive at his trial. But whatever his motive, the second man is dead."

The moral in foreign politics is surely obvious. Any attempt to found a foreign policy on an ideology--an attempt, for instance, like that to create a "Socialist foreign policy" sponsored by dissidents in a recent Parliamentary debate--is morally indefensible and likely to lead to war.

Whatever else may be uncertain about the future of international society this much can be predicted with confidence-- human societies are likely to differ in their social structure in 'their political outlook for as long ahead as the most farsighted of us can foresee. Any idea that we can solve the problems of war and peace by trying to persuade them all to think alike--even if we believe that our own way of thinking is demonstrably correct--can only precipitate conflict and not avert it. The problem of peace is to discover a means whereby differently minded nations can avoid war, not to invent a formula to which all nations to prove their rightmindedness must necessarily subscribe.

British foreign policy has long proceeded in this belief.

____________________
1.
Our Threatened Values, p. 59.

-41-

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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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