For Elliot, rightist traditional beliefs are a posteriori demotic and may be defined by intellectual humility, resistance to change and a certain villein optimism owing to belief in God and countrymen. Elliot then contrasts this creed with that of rationalistic, mechanistic thought owing largely to Lockean and Benthamite convictions. He criticised such rationalism for its inability to provide panaceas for problems of human organisation and higher aspirations. Consequently, Elliot desired to coalesce Tory political statecraft with scientific advancements in order to create a popular creed.
Much of Elliot’s political oraculations echo Heathite language of the following generation. Scottish conservatism first articulated a managerialist, Keynesian discourse before its counterpart in England. In many respects, Elliot augered Conservative approaches to the postwar consensus state. For this, he deserves to be appropriately analysed within the study of Twentieth century Toryism.
Edited by Jonathan Paquette on February 27th, 2015.
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