Tag: Roger Scruton

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Roger Scruton on Government

 

State solutions are imposed from above; they are often without corrective devices, and cannot easily be reversed on the proof of failure. Their inflexibility goes hand in hand with their planned and goal-directed nature, and when they fail, the efforts of the state are directed not to changing them but to changing people’s belief that they have failed. – Roger Scruton

Like Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman and others, Roger Scruton quotes seem obvious, but they also show great wisdom. Even after his death on January 12, 2020, the quote above rings true with the present nonsense from all governments – villages, cities, states, countries, and especially the pan-national World Health Organization. Ricochet includes many conversations about Scruton, including those on Conservatism and Good Things in the Quote of the Day series.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Scruton on Faces

 

In The Soul of the World, Roger Scruton writes:

My face is … the part of me to which others direct their attention, whenever they address me as ‘you.’ I lie behind my face, and yet I am present in it, speaking and looking through it at a world of others who are in turn both revealed and concealed like me. My face is a boundary, a threshold, a place where I appear as the monarch appears on the balcony of the palace….

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Here are my reflections on Sir Roger, published today in The Bulwark. They focus on his remarkable work and legacy in Central Europe. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Basia and the Squirrel: Scruton’s Tale of Eros Transubstantiated

 

“The apostolic church is a church of the heart. When you steal from it you steal the heart. Hence the theft is easy, and amends are long and hard.” A strange way to sum up a story of erotic love. Nonetheless, it was Scruton’s way, as he described, in the second half of his essay, Stealing from Churches, the thwarted love affair that taught him a “narrative of transubstantiation” transmuting body into soul. In truth, the love affair wasn’t thwarted at all, but one that fulfilled its purpose, a purpose his stubborn young beloved, Basia (pronounced “Basha”), saw more clearly than he did.

Scruton had organized a subversive summer school for the Catholic University in Poland, bringing together Polish and English philosophy students to resist communism. Under the codename “Squirrel” (in Polish “Wiewiorka”, for his red hair) and tailed by at least one jug-eared agent, Scruton had stumbled into more James-Bond mystique than most ginger-haired philosophy dons could hope for. It would be almost cliche, then, for an exotic young thing to throw herself at him. Wry-smiling, stunning Basia was no cliche, though. Or rather, if she were, it would be the cliche in a kind of story too little told these days to count as cliche anymore.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘It Was Worth It’: A Personal Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton

 
Sir Roger Scruton

At a certain age on the path to adulthood, we begin to realize not just that our heroes are human, but that they are mortal. In the last five years, we have said goodbye to Harry Jaffa, Kenneth Minogue, Rene Girard, Bernard Lewis, Gertrude Himmelfarb, and Forrest McDonald, among brilliant others, and I have watched each go with an increasing sense that I was seeing my pantheon of intellectual greats fade rapidly.

Roger Scruton always held a special place in my heart, much as he might despise the trite cliche, because he was with me almost from the very beginning (I first read one of his books when I was 14) and because he spanned such a wide variety of mediums and topics with stunning skill. He showed me that a conservative could claim a place in academia, could show true genius and originality of expression in their field, and also claim a place outside of it, in the culture. On an even more personal level, his love of Britain, so beautifully expressed in much of his work, and the way that he had simply represented British academia for me was one of the things that inspired me to push aside myriad fears and take up a place at a British university.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Sir Roger Scruton 1944-2020

 
Sir Roger Scruton

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).

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After soliciting suggested readings in philosophy from Ricochet members, I constructed a reading list. I’m happy to announce I’ve completed the first book in the list, Roger Scruton’s An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy. My (sparse and hasty) review can be found on Goodreads. Plato is next up, but I’m concluding more and more that […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “Under God,” or, What Europe Can Teach Us Now

 

Earlier this month, the great British philosopher Roger Scruton delivered a lecture at the Heritage Foundation on the future of Europe — and the lessons we can learn from that struggling continent. The entire lecture is brilliant and important (and I don’t even care how pretentious it may sound to say so, because the entire lecture really is brilliant and important).

On this day after Christmas, an excerpt:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. True Prejudices, Rational Prejudices, and Conservative Philosophy

 

ThinkerRoger Scruton as quoted by Daniel Hannan on a podcast here on Ricochet: “The role of a conservative thinker is to reassure the people that their prejudices are true.”

It’s a wonderful quote, but I’m tempted to modify it: The role of a conservative thinker is to reassure the people that their prejudices are rational. I think the challenge to — for example — disapproval of embryonic stem-cell research is rarely “You are mistaken,” but rather “Your view is only held by nutjobs who hate science.”

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Academic-speak these days is quite easy to imitate. Here is a representative specimen that might well be found in your email in-box if you happen to work in American higher education: “As a community we must all rededicate ourselves to dialogue about inclusion, diversity, and social justice and, and to rejecting the hegemonic discourse of […]

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Member Post

 

Zweig evoked an enchanted world, ordered toward comfort and high culture. He told me that I lived in a place where everything reliable and good had been twice destroyed, like pieces in a peaceful game of chess swept to the floor by the hand of some passing sadist. And he wrote of a spiritual force […]

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