Conservative thinkers: Michael Oakeshott (1901-90)

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His main contribution:

  • main contribution to conservative thought was to suggest that politics should not have any fixed goals or specific direction
  • he likened the state to a ship afloat on a boundless sea with no origin and no destination
  • the role of government, which commands the ship, should simply be to keep it on an even level and care for the welfare of its passengers
  • the state should be governed on a pragmatic basis, taking into account the traditions and 'intimations' of the people, by intimations he meant the


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