Sullivan Mistakes Nostalgia For Conservatism

Normally, I don’t comment on Sullivan, because he is so philosophically incoherent, but I can’t resist this one time. In Misreading Obama, he makes the common mistake of thinking nostalgia is conservatism. Obama’s idealization of village markets is as bad as the 19th century critics of British industrialization who used to go on about the joys of English village life. Nostalgia is a longing for an ideal that never was. Conservatism is a reluctance to make cultural changes that have uncertain outcomes. True, a lot of conservatives suffer from nostalgia, but that doesn’t make them identical.

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