“Roger Scruton…the preeminent exponent and defender of Anglo-American conservatism, has spent his career explaining why conservativeideas endure.” Gerald J. Russello
For our intellectual and cultural elites, conservative ideas can never win. When the Cold War ended, conservatives got little credit; they supposedly had nothing left to fight against and now had to “invent” enemies, such as terrorism, to avoid their fall into irrelevance. When Barack Obama was president, conservatives were on the losing side of history, as the “arc” bent toward justice. Now with Trump, liberals are crowing again, about how his election shows that conservatism is incoherent and in disarray.
Roger Scruton will have none of this. As the preeminent exponent and defender of Anglo-American conservatism, he has spent his career explaining why conservative ideas endure. Author of books on topics ranging from fox-hunting to wine, Spinoza to sex, Scruton has perhaps done more to create the vision of a conservative way of life than any writer in English other than Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr. As with those authors, reading Scruton is an aesthetic as well as an intellectual revelation; conservatism becomes much more than political positions or arguments to own the liberals, as fun as those are. Drawing on the work of David Hume, Michael Oakeshott, Pierre Manent, and Kirk, as well as lesser-known writers such as the Hungarian economist Peter Bauer, Scruton explicates the major lines of what he calls “philosophical” and “cultural” conservatism. Scruton argues that conservatism is about home, how we figure out what home is and how to create and sustain one. Continue reading