Communism started out with an emancipatory agenda and turned out to be the worst ethical nightmare in the history of humankind precisely because it started out as liberation project. Conservatism on the other hand was always been reactionary and there is a straight path from reactionary anti-democrats to nazis.
The enemies of the French Revolution have hardly been enlightened. That's like calling the contemporary reactionary forces who undermine democracy, ignore climate change and are fine with financial disorder and derivative products on food that cause hunger enlightened just because they are nice guys who do not go around shooting people.
I am a moderate social democrat with the basic 'reform instead of revolution' worldview. But deciding between a bunch of democratic Jacobins who kill tens of thousands and a reactionary Napoleon who sets Europe on fire and kills millions is still a no-brainer.
In terms of pure results, social democracy is probably one of the most successful ideologies in history. I've frequently thought that the UFP can most closely be described as a utopian social democracy: no citizen goes hungry and all have access to a certain amount of resources, yet clearly voluntary markets for consumer goods and exchanges are still legal and prevalent.