Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Quote of the day 13th December 2017

"There will always be a conservative faction and it will always be powerful. In fact, except at times of revolution and great upheaval, it will usually tend to be dominant."

"When I say 'conservative' I am not speaking of any particular political philosophy. I am using the term in lower case, so to speak. I am referring to the basic attitude of most people that unless conditions are intolerable it is usually best to err on the side of caution."

"The essence of conservatism is not a political philosophy of any kind. It is a general attitude."

(Every country has) "a plethora of saws expressing that attitude"

"'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' That's my personal favourite, and by the way, a piece of wisdom I subscribe to myself.

'Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.'

That's another. A third - I'm quote fond of this one also, is

'Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.'

And finally there is the famous Murphy's Law which perhaps encapsulates the heart of conservatism;

'If something can go wrong, it will.'"

(Eric Flint, extracts from a political speech by a character in the novel "The Ottoman Onslaught.")

(For the avoidance of doubt I subscribe to one of Niven's laws which says

"There is a technical, literary term for those who mistake the opinions and beliefs of characters in a novel for those of the author. The term is 'idiot'."

Eric Flint may or may not believe the words he puts into the mouth of his character, but I thought there was enough sense in them to make the comment worth quoting.)


Jim said...

murphys law and sods law go hand in hand,

As you correctly point out, Murphy's law states "if something can go wrong, it will". Sod's law states "Murphy was an optimist"

Chris Whiteside said...

I was taught the buttered toast version of Sod's law but I think that one's better.