Conservatism is a positive doctrine; it asserts that certain political institutions—the monarchy, for example—if not divinely ordained, are at least of absolute validity, and that all our efforts should be directed to maintaining such institutions throughout the variations of our economic fortunes, which are regarded as superficial phenomena. The principles of conservatism are traditional—the handing down from generation to generation of a cultural pattern, expressed in a form that is hieratic or aristocratic. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine. It vigorously denounces an existing situation—the situation as such—and seeks to establish a contrary situation. It is revolution in reverse.