In a century of ideological extremism like the twentieth century, conservatism often appeared something of an affectation and marginal to the march of history in which the advancing forces of modernization were thought certain to rout the retreating forces of conservatism. Insofar as many people have lost faith in the "grand narratives" of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, like Marxism and other emancipatory ideals, then the conservative disposition may no longer appear so reactionary. Since conservatism never subscribed to the grosser forms of the modernist faith, contemporary skepticism comes as no surprise to it. However, as befits a philosophy of modesty and imperfection, conservatism cannot assume a final victory.
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