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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 3, No. 4. 1940

[Letter to Salient Vol. 3, No. 4. 1940 from Ken Johnstone]

Dear Salient,

Not being a great "common-room philosopher", I sometimes sit and listen. Omitting the brawl concerned with the performance of "Mitti" in the last race, most discussions usually contain the elements of new thought directed against conservatism.

For this reason; I have tried to analyse conservatism. My analysis falls into four categories and since I am concerned with a psychological state, it is permissable for me to represent each category by a different person:—
1.The first person is one who suffers from a lack of I. Q. With such a person the need for a sense of mental security is vital. Any change unless very gradual is liable to upset that security. Observation has shown that such a person shrinks from any responsibility.
2.The second person is conservative because, of his conservative environment. A youth whose father is a banker has a certain primitive passive sympathy with "the old Dad". Such a state is suitable for an Evangelical Church but in a University it is rather deplorable.
3.The third I style as a "newspaper and pub counter intellectual". He is usually an extravert who amplifies common opinions with the use of analogies (a dangerous form of reason) He is usually of average I. Q. and is found everywhere. With sufficient schooling and personality he finds his way into the clergy, the Chamber of Commerce and Parliament.
4.The fourth person is a rare bird - the intellectual conservative. Although I don't agree with his views I must respect them as they are a product of rational thinking and not of notion.

Next time that you take the conservative attitude in any page break argument, survey yourself and find the fundamental reason.

Ken Johnstone.