Conservatives are often criticised, and often fairly, for being nothing more than liberals who can pace themselves – that is, that they seek the same ends but through reforms and not radical change. What this obscures is that conservatives have, or should have, far more limited expectations of “reform” than liberals, socialists or the more extreme forms of reactionary. Possessing what Thomas Sowell calls the “constrained vision” they acknowledge, or should acknowledge, that the nature of man and his environments ensures that it is impossible, or at least hugely improbable, that there will ever be a world without conflict, border restrictions and wealth inequality. In addition, their values are different. As various as their ideals might be they do not put a single secular idea, such as “freedom” or “equality” above all else, appreciating that their virtues must be qualified.
Conservatives, then, should not simply move at a different pace. They should instead be moving towards a different world.