„The political policies that are called conservative these days would appall any genuine conservative“

Quotes 1990s, 1990-1994, Interview by Adam Jones, 1990
Context: The political policies that are called conservative these days would appall any genuine conservative, if there were one around to be appalled. For example, the central policy of the Reagan Administration - which was supposed to be conservative - was to build up a powerful state. The state grew in power more under Reagan than in any peacetime period, even if you just measure it by state expenditures. The state intervention in the economy vastly increased. That's what the Pentagon system is, in fact; it's the creation of a state-guaranteed market and subsidy system for high-technology production. There was a commitment under the Reagan Administration to protect this more powerful state from the public, which is regarded as the domestic enemy. Take the resort to clandestine operations in foreign policy: that means the creation of a powerful central state immune from public inspection. Or take the increased efforts at censorship and other forms of control. All of these are called "conservatism," but they're the very opposite of conservatism. Whatever the term means, it involves a concern for Enlightenment values of individual rights and freedoms against powerful external authorities such as the state, [or] a dominant Church, and so on. That kind of conservatism no one even remembers anymore.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
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american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928

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