The German version of conservatism provides a model, says John Veit-Wilson; while Derrick Joad suggests Michael Oakeshott should be essential reading
Kate Maltby’s analysis of the Conservative party’s disarray (My party has gambled away its reputation, 17 July) fails to see that its neoliberals are the equivalent of what the Trotskyists were in the Labour party of the past. Neoliberals are an entryist group standing for a body of economists’ ideas that can’t be implemented in a real, living diverse society with complex people in it, because it is a simple imaginary theory, totally anti-statist and individualist, as opposed to the far-left totally statist and collectivist version. Both are essentially authoritarian, not democratic.
What Maltby ought to recommend to the Conservative party is paying more attention to the continental version of conservatism, which has continued its success as exemplified in modern Germany, strongly statist to ensure a hierarchical integrated society with a powerful but decentralised state to provide the social and logistical infrastructure for the economy of modern business and industry as well as social order for the population.