Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Robert A. Nisbet (1913-1996) on Prejudice

Every person, every custom, every institution, serves some basic need in human life or contributes some indispensable service to the existence of other institutions and customs. Even prejudice, Burke insisted in a striking passage, has, despite the contempt that it arouses in the mind of the rationalist, the indispensable function of holding together the structure of society, of providing a kind of emotional cement for beliefs and habits. There is, in prejudice, an indwelling wisdom that is the product of the centuries and of man's deep needs for security.

(Robert A. Nisbet, "Conservatism and Sociology," The American Journal of Sociology 58 [September 1952]: 167-75, at 170)

Note from mAc: Progressives are rationalists. They view prejudice as a bad thing. Conservatives view it as a good. Keep in mind that we are not using "prejudice" in the same sense as "bigotry," but merely holding a view towards something perhaps from habit or culture, without having wholly examined and studied the topic yourself.


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