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Philosopher, scholar, academic, and perhaps the most articulate conservative of our time, Sir Roger Scruton died this morning, a victim of cancer.
Conservatism, he held, means, above all, protecting what we hold dear—it means conserving. This view made Scruton a champion of freedom (during the Cold War, he smuggled books into Eastern Europe, assisting the Czech freedom movement in particular). It also made him a champion of beauty (read his work on the glories of European architecture), tradition (although never a believer, he admired the Church of England’s music and liturgy), and a patriot of a the most impressive kind (a proponent of Brexit, he devoted much of his final years to explaining, calmly, that centuries of development had given Britain a distinctive character, including a distinctive form of self-government, that was well worth withdrawing from the European Union to preserve).
Herewith my interview with Sir Roger of not quite three years ago.
Farewell to a sane, amusing, brave, and humane man—he represented a living definition of “valor.” Sir Roger Scruton, requiescat in pace.