This is not to say that conservatives want war with China. China, after all, does not take communism all that seriously. And even if it did, there must always, in the conservative worldview, be space to consider the circumstances of the individual case. Burke’s call for Europe’s armies to rise up against the French revolutionaries was not a template for conservatives to call for war against the Soviet Union; Burke would not have countenanced global nuclear conflict. Similarly, conservatives should resist such facile transposition of Burke’s ideas in the case of China. The second thing to say is that conservatism, which tends to be associated with aristocracy and inherited privilege, is often reluctant to admit new players onto the political stage. As Waleed Aly noted in his recent Quarterly Essay, ‘What’s Right?’, British conservatives of their time resisted democracy and the extension of suffrage.
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