‘Now, the disposition to be conservative in respect of politics reflects a quite different view of the activity of governing. The man of this disposition understands it to be the business of a government not to inflame passion and give it new objects to feed upon, but to inject into the activities of already too passionate men an ingredient of moderation; to restrain, to deflate, to pacify and to reconcile; not to stoke the fires of desire, but to damp them down. And all this, not because passion is vice and moderation virtue, but because moderation is indispensable if passionate men are to escape being locked in an encounter of mutual frustration.’
– Michael Oakeshott, from ‘On Being Conservative’. An important reminder for true conservatives, in today’s environment.
Just what conservatism is meant to be – an approach to political management and government which is focused on the calm solution of the inevitable difficulties and tensions of life – not of deliberately inflaming those difficulties and tensions for short term political advantage.
‘Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.’
-Douglas Adams. For Towel Day.
‘We are needy creatures, and our greatest need is for home—the place where we are, where we find protection and love. We achieve this home through representations of our own belonging, not alone but in conjunction with others. All our attempts to make our surroundings look right—through decorating, arranging, creating—are attempts to extend a welcome to ourselves and to those whom we love.”
‘What’s we decided to do with this game was to go for the non- psychopathic part of the market. And that was a little hubristic because it really isn’t a non- psychopathic part of the market’
– Douglas Adams, recalling when he got involved with making a computer game
Cave furorem patientis.
John Dryden translated this into the more familiar ‘Beware the fury of a patient man‘.
Yes, and the patient woman too – and I can testify, from personal experience, to the accuracy of this wisdom. But ol’ Publilius, who was writing back in the first century BC, probably wasn’t that worried about the distaff side.
I’d never heard of the bloke, but he seems to have come up with some beaut words of wisdom, pearls of insight we still, in our unknowing, unthinking, 21st-century way, still use frequently.
There’s a whole bunch of things he is said to have said, here.