Roger Scruton: British Conservative Thinker Dies
#1
https://www.wsj.com/articles/roger-scrut...1578955867

A great loss to the world and to non-progressive/regressive thinking.


Quote:They say you should never meet your heroes because they always disappoint you. But Sir Roger Scruton, who died Sunday at 75, was as gracious, intelligent and generous in life as he was on the page. His humanity and principled candor made him the most influential conservative thinker since Edmund Burke—and one of the most unfairly slandered writers in modern times.

Conservatism has always been as much a temperament as a philosophy—not an ideology, but an antidote to it. Three thinkers defined conservatism in the 20th century: Russell Kirk, Michael Oakeshott and Scruton. Kirk (1918-94) laid the intellectual foundations of modern American conservatism but is little known outside the U.S. Oakeshott (1901-90) was an academic philosopher, so he remained obscure even in his native Britain. Scruton was both academic and thinker—a rare combination these days—and was read across the English-speaking world and beyond. Only William F. Buckley Jr. commanded so wide an audience. But none of these men had both Scruton’s intellectual range and literary style.
Roger Vernon Scruton was the son of a working-class teacher of radical opinions and a mother of genteel aspirations. He was raised west of London at High Wycombe, a few miles from Burke’s home at Beaconsfield. He won a competitive place to a grammar school, and then a place to study natural sciences at Cambridge. His father considered that a step too far and stopped speaking to him. Upon arrival at Cambridge he switched to philosophy; aesthetics, not politics, were always Scruton’s passion.

Thus far, a mostly typical postwar biography of upward mobility. But in May 1968, studying for his doctorate and dating a French student, Danielle Laffitte, Scruton witnessed the student riots in Paris. The spectacle of middle-class children tearing up cobblestones in working-class neighborhoods, and justifying their violence with “ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook,” caused Scruton to realize that he “wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down.”

In 1974 Scruton was one of the founders of the Conservative Philosophy Group, whose meetings were addressed by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman and attended by Margaret Thatcher. By the end of the decade, Scruton had married and divorced Ms. Laffitte, and his academic career was on a similar path. First a lecturer and later professor of aesthetics at the University of London’s Birkbeck College, he was the school’s only conservative apart from the woman who served the professors dinner. He published a book, “The Meaning of Conservatism,” in 1980 and founded the Salisbury Review, a conservative intellectual journal, in 1982. His career in the academy ended.

Decades later he told me with wry amusement that he’d been one of the first people to be “canceled.” Scruton would be publicly denounced as a racist and physically threatened when he ventured to speak on a campus. He was entirely undeterred, usually right and consistently ahead of his time. Scruton rejected multiculturalism and defended the rooted realities of family and faith, nation and tradition. He denounced architectural brutalism and metropolitan elitism as assaults on taste and democracy. He saw through the “oikophobes” who love every people and country except their own, and he advocated for what we now call Brexit. In “Green Philosophy” (2011), he defined a nonutopian and conservative environmentalism.

The academy’s loss was the world’s gain. Lured by the hunting, Scruton settled in the English village of Brinkworth, Wiltshire, the first philosopher to live there since Thomas Hobbes. There he and his wife, Sophie Jeffreys, an architectural historian, created the Scrutopia Summer School.

He wrote more than 50 books and a tide of articles on topics as varied as wine and Wagner, fox hunting and free trade. His reach, like his taste in architecture, was liberal, in the original sense of humane interest. He even looked for the good in Jean-Paul Sartre.

“The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay,” Scruton wrote in 2015. “They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.” But there was nothing provincial about Scruton.

He enlivened English empiricism with the grandeur of German idealism and the linguistic intricacies of Wittgenstein. He lived his beliefs, whether working for the anti-Communist “Underground University” behind the Iron Curtain, playing the organ in his local church, flying back to England on weekends while teaching at Boston University to ride in the local hunt, or recording his impressions in the seconds between falling off his horse and hitting the ground.

When I visited his farm in 2017 for the annual Apple Day—a village get-together with philosophical lecture and locavore lamb chops—the attendees included a Syrian refugee, Czech philosophy students and a phalanx of local jam makers. Scruton shambled about in his old tweeds, observer and participant. “Having fun?” he asked. He educated us all and fought for truth without forfeiting humor. He leaves a generous and lasting bounty of honest words and brave deeds.
Unfortunately I don't have any "fun facts" about me unless being a practicing Catholic counts.

Trying to get better every day week.
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#2
Oh no! I knew he had cancer, but I didn't realise how serious it was. One of the brightest minds in the philosophical world. I have several of his books. May he rest in peace.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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Deum timete, regem honorificate.
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#3
The Last speech he gave:

“A Thing Called Civilization”

And a obituary/memorial from The Imaginative Conservative

Sir Roger Scruton: In Memoriam
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#4
It looks like the British Conservative Party has largely abandoned Sir Roger's line of thinking. Sad.
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#5
(01-17-2020, 08:50 PM)Bombero Wrote: It looks like the British Conservative Party has largely abandoned Sir Roger's line of thinking. Sad.

That happened long ago. I was a member when it was still a conservative party. When they went economically liberal (in the European sense) and began to adopt socially liberal positions, I dropped my membership.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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