RIP Sir Roger Scruton

I just read that Roger Scruton has died from cancer. He was 75. I feel sad about losing an ally in the fight.

What are your thoughts on Sir Roger Scruton?

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10 thoughts on “RIP Sir Roger Scruton”

  1. Sir Roger was a great conservative philosopher. His diary for 2019, posted at the Spectator, lists some of the important events of his last year. The December entry:

    During this year much was taken from me — my reputation, my standing as a public intellectual, my position in the Conservative movement, my peace of mind, my health. But much more was given back: by Douglas Murray’s generous defence, by the friends who rallied behind him, by the rheumatologist who saved my life and by the doctor to whose care I am now entrusted. Falling to the bottom in my own country, I have been raised to the top elsewhere, and looking back over the sequence of events I can only be glad that I have lived long enough to see this happen. Coming close to death you begin to know what life means, and what it means is gratitude.

    Peter Robinson interviewed him about three years ago.

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  2. My comment posted over at the other place:

    Several years ago, I attended a chamber music concert at the studio of a local artist. The program notes sounded very Scrutonesque to me so I asked the artist if he was familiar with Scruton’s writings. He replied that not only was he familiar with Roger Scruton but that Scruton had sat for a portrait on a recent visit to the area.

    Sir Roger’s influence is to be found in the most unlikely of places. He will be missed.

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  3. I have only heard him on a couple of things — interviews, short form.  He’s on my list of people to hear more from.  He has good friends and excellent enemies.

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  4. I found him to be more right than wrong, if you will, on many topics. Perhaps my favorite aspect about him was his defense of Western Civilization. His voice will be missed in this regard.

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  5. Here is an hour and a half conversation recorded in May, 2019 between Roger Scruton and Douglas Murray of the Spectator about the future of conservatism.

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  6. On the most recent Quillette podcast, Daniel Hannan is interviewed by Toby Young on Scruton’s work and his influence on philosophy. The following passage, about 20 minutes in, caught my attention. It is in the context of the EU as the supranational body.

    I just don’t see how you can interpret the fall of … or any other supranational body as other than a reminder that freedom and individual autonomy and accountable government only really work in a unit within which people feel enough in common one with another to accept government from each other’s hands. This is what Roger used to always speak about as the politics of the first person plural. He understood for any of the other things to work… there had to be a we.

    He went on to compare it to Syrian or Iraqi situation in which the nation state lacks a common affinity that makes democracy work. It made me wonder if the US is at the point where it lacks such an affinity. This is somewhat related to an earlier post, which argues democracies tend toward an egalitarian end-state that ultimately will result in their destruction. As one of the commenters noted,

    Democracy in America has survived because there has been enough agreement among people. Once government decides not only taxes but what thoughts and beliefs one can have. There will be fissures that open up that may be irreparable.

    I wonder if increasing diversity is the culprit: there is no we. The civic-nationalist notion that simply mouthing words of agreement with the founding principles is not enough to make a we. I mean, how many people even understand all the words in the Naturalization Oath.

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  7. drlorentz:
    On the most recent Quillette podcast, Daniel Hannan is interviewed by Toby Young on Scruton’s work and his influence on philosophy. The following passage, about 20 minutes in, caught my attention. It is in the context of the EU as the supranational body.

    I just don’t see how you can interpret the fall of … or any other supranational body as other than a reminder that freedom and individual autonomy and accountable government only really work in a unit within which people feel enough in common one with another to accept government from each other’s hands. This is what Roger used to always speak about as the politics of the first person plural. He understood for any of the other things to work… there had to be a we.

    He went on to compare it to Syrian or Iraqi situation in which the nation state lacks a common affinity that makes democracy work. It made me wonder if the US is at the point where it lacks such an affinity. This is somewhat related to an earlier post, which argues democracies tend toward an egalitarian end-state that ultimately will result in their destruction. As one of the commenters noted,

    Democracy in America has survived because there has been enough agreement among people. Once government decides not only taxes but what thoughts and beliefs one can have. There will be fissures that open up that may be irreparable.

    I wonder if increasing diversity is the culprit: there is no we. The civic-nationalist notion that simply mouthing words of agreement with the founding principles is not enough to make a we. I mean, how many people even understand all the words in the Naturalization Oath.

    Diversity only works when there are shared beliefs. The body has diverse organs that work in unison.  When the body has some growth that works at cross purposes it can be a form of cancer. That “diversity” brings death.

    I had to look who the commenter was, DocLor. I thought it might have been you.

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