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Another fine lesson from Scruton’s A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY:

Conservatism is itself a modernism, and in this lies the secret of its success. What distinguishes Burke from the French Revolutionaries is not his attachment to things past, but his desire to live fully in the present, to understand it in all its imperfections, and to accept it as the only reality offered to us . . . .Burke . . . recognized the distinction between a backward-looking nostalgia, which is but another form of modern sentimentality, and a genuine tradition, which grants us the courage and the vision with which to live in the modern world.

Insofar as to be modern is to live abstractly or anywhere but in present reality, we postmodern conservatives add that a realistic accessment of the greatness and misery of the modern world is actually postmodernism rightly understood. That means there is a sense in which postmodern conservatism is a distinctly modern phenomenon. It is all about living well in the modern world, our world.

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