Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Conservatism is the body (or disease) to be corrected. Error is its opponent - and so is science. Conservatism is opposed to both. Error is like a stream set in motion, governed by no theory, only chance. Science is the wisdom that directs error. Conservatism is the body to move.
Now put language into these elements, and you will hear how they reason. Now as I said, conservatism is a disease. Error is progression without wisdom. Wisdom gives direction to error - and conservatism is a dead weight (or the thing to destroy).
To illustrate it, take the application of steam. Error would set steam in motion without any regard to science. Science would instruct error. Conservatism would oppose both and reason in this way:
“You can’t make steam propel anything.” Error says, “I can propel everything.” Science asks, “How?” Error can’t tell. Science explains. Error does not understand. Conservatism says, “You both are too fast; let steam alone, and I will come out right - but you are both wrong.”
But as error keeps up the fire, the steam holds back, till science makes the engine, and the steam forms and tries to escape from the _______, yet it won’t start. But when science unites the steam to the piston, then the body “conservatism” moves off in triumph.
Then conservatism says, “Now this is just what I said. I told you to wait; the time had not arrived. But now it has come.”
So the water is made into steam by the force of error controlled by the wisdom of science. The steam never dreamed that it had gone through any change - for steam is water, hot or cold. So conservatism is matter (or weight) at rest or in motion, and it never had the element of wisdom in it. It is the element to destroy, and it destroys itself as fast as it moves.
So with all progression. Take governments. All governments are like individuals. They either hold their identity-body (or government), or they dissolve and take new identities. The principles (or science) live. Take this government. Its life is its principles. Its principles are progression and freedom. So it contains, like individuals, the trinity (or element) of the Godhead – progression - without any definite idea of any kind.
element contains also freedom. Therefore as it has the element of
freedom, it will not be bound, if it can help itself. But as it has
in this element no wisdom, it acts against its own reason - for when
it wants freedom, it will enslave its opponent. Now as freedom is the
principle to be obtained, science has to direct error. So science is
the only element that can exist. All the other elements are always
changing. This is death.