Quote of the Week: Quintin Hogg, “The Case for Conservatism”

Quintin HoggThe profit motive is accepted and is used as the normal driving force, but it is not permitted to dominate, for if it does we shall do violence to the heritage which we have received from the old …

The theory of laissez-faire … preached that in the long run it paid to buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market. It was cheaper to buy the products of those who raped the virgin prairie of America without restoring what they took out, and were thus busy in creating new deserts in a highly fertile land, than to buy the costly products of England’s highly dunged and fertile fields, which could be handed on better and more beautiful than they had been inherited. Rather than pay wages which would have enabled the poor to buy British products, they gave them access to the markets of the world …

“The doctrine of buying in the cheapest and selling in the dearest  market includes a great deal of truth. But it ignores the long-term welfare of the race – the land, the virility and health of a people, and the spiritual and religious values it deliberately excludes from policy. It is dust bowl farming – both literally and metaphorically – and the Conservative protests that unchecked it will produce a desert.

▪ Quintin Hogg, The Case for Conservatism (Penguin Books, 1947) as cited by R. J. White in The British Political Tradition vol IV “The Conservative Tradition” (Nicholas Kaye, 1950) extract from pages 204 through to 205.

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