Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His latest book, How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism, has just been published by Oxford University Press.

No Mere Academic

 

READERS OF THIS magazine will know that conservatism has been going through a dark time in Britain. Since the premiereship of Margaret Thatcher, the state has expanded relentlessly to take control of just about every aspect of civil life. The media, the universities, and the schools have adopted a soft-left orthodoxy that allows little room […]

Continue Reading

Waving, Not Drowning

 

WHEN THE SELF-POLICING REGIME of morality breaks down, the state must take charge of the mess and rescue the victims—both the unwilling victims, like the fatherless children of casual relations, and the willing ones, who have chosen dependency on the state as the easy option. Faced with this situation, many conservatives feel inclined to blame […]

Continue Reading

P Is for Poison

 

People poison themselves through consuming stuff that harms them. They also poison the world, by spreading venomous thought, venomous entertainment, and venomous waste. It is a strange feature of our societies that governments increasingly seek to control the first kind of poison, which threatens only the individual, while largely ignoring the second kind, which threatens […]

Continue Reading

Made in Heaven

 

The British prime minister has “come out” with a commitment to gay marriage, arguing that it is not despite being a conservative, but because he’s a conservative, that he favors it. He is not the only one to have voiced this idea, but of course he is by far the most influential since ideas in […]

Continue Reading

Monumental Egos

 

The controversy over Frank Gehry’s design for a “memorial park” to President Eisenhower—a vast array of hideous metal walls, covered with reflections on the President’s humble origins, and mutilating (should it be built) an important public area of the capital city—has alerted Americans to the difficulty, in modern conditions, of obtaining an appropriate monument. Simple […]

Continue Reading

Facing Up to Darwin

 

It is fair to say that “Darwin’s dangerous idea,” as Daniel Dennett has described it, has caused more trouble to the ordinary conscience than just about any other scientific hypothesis. We cannot easily reject the theory of evolution, which explains so much that we observe in the lives of plants and animals; and we cannot […]

Continue Reading

Paying the Price

 

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” Thomas Sowell’s aphorism is of special relevance to us now, when we discover that, without the matter having been discussed or […]

Continue Reading

Curiouser and Curiouser

 

Changes in the technology of communication are occurring so rapidly that we human beings now move through a cloud of messages as dense as a locust-storm. Every new device increases the speed and the outreach of the last, and young people are now governed by the gadgets in their hands, which don’t merely contain their […]

Continue Reading

Riots of Passage

 

The riots in British cities over the summer have been assimilated by our opinion-formers into the easy categories that govern their thinking. Leftwing writers have cited urban deprivation, poverty, and racism–in other words, factors for which the rioters cannot be blamed. Right-wing writers have pointed their fingers at multiculturalism, the welfare trap, and the breakdown […]

Continue Reading

The Importance of Culture

 

I first visited Greece 50 years ago, hitchhiking with a school friend from England, in search of the glorious world of Homer, Plato, and Thucydides. Of course, we didn’t find that world. But we found something almost as remarkable, which was a place where the church and the priesthood dominated rural life, where villages were […]

Continue Reading