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Thread: Vale Sir Roger Scruton

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    China was 'changed' into Communism by Mao - so it's a leader in 'equality' of opportunity, even if they had to kill (millions) for it. Erdogan is protecting his country - formerly communist - from unchecked immigration, as that country has a right to do. Putin is still wedded to the structures and regime of the former communist USSR; in fact, he's trying to get humpty dumpty back again. Conservatives are opposed to such social engineering, no matter what the government. They are usually free market types as they know this is the most effective measure of getting people out of poverty. Historically this has been the case. They're not into 'change' for the sake of change.
    Proving yet again that Donald Trump, Boy President, is no conservative (but we all knew that.) We'll add your name to the list of real conservatives that loathe Trump and his sycophants, and who have either quit the "Republican" Party and/or oppose his re-election and/or call for his removal from office. You will be in excellent company!

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    This thread is about Roger Scruton. Some of his work concerned political matters so people could mention that work (e.g. biographical information), but please do not post purely political comments.

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    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    I wouldn't say conservatives hate the idea of profound change; it's just that they've seen change and realized it's not synonymous with 'improvement'. Let's mention change and the Left's embrace of it: the Bolshevik Revolution, Pol Pot, China, Venezuela.

    Carefully calibrated reforms are what conservatives value.
    It seems the "purely political" emerged here, though in response to a comment about Scruton's conservatism, and consequently 'inviting' a counter comment from me. I wonder what should be posted in a thread about Scruton's passing. A mere nod of respect? A thorough explanation of his life and works? A critical analysis of his values and politics?

    What is the best way to honour the passing of any public individual? How can we discuss Scruton without noting the controversy he prompted, and, almost inevitably, replicate some of that dispute?
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    It seems the "purely political" emerged here, though in response to a comment about Scruton's conservatism, and consequently 'inviting' a counter comment from me. I wonder what should be posted in a thread about Scruton's passing. A mere nod of respect? A thorough explanation of his life and works? A critical analysis of his values and politics?

    What is the best way to honour the passing of any public individual? How can we discuss Scruton without noting the controversy he prompted, and, almost inevitably, replicate some of that dispute?
    I understand that discussing Scruton without getting into details of politics is not trivial. I suppose we could have simply deleted this thread before approving it with the explanation that it was political. I think people can talk about Scruton by associating their comments closely with him. Rather than discuss political ideas independent of Scruton, people can relay his thoughts and non-TC member reactions to those thoughts.

    Basically, focus on Scruton and not one's personal views of political ideas. I realize that can be somewhat difficult, but many posts so far don't come remotely close to attempting that.

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    if I read some Scruton quotes
    https://www.goodreads.com/author/quo....Roger_Scruton
    I find myself agreeing with many, but having also objections to some

    for example Scruton says “Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created.”

    but what are those "good things"? Many so called conservatives do not mind the mass extinction of species, although it took milions of years for nature to create them, but we destroy them in a century. I suspect that the reasons are religious, conservatism is almost synonymous with Christianity, and if someone believes that all the species were created by God, they do not mind their dissapeareance.

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    This is wrong. Conservatives are conservationists; one cannot exist without the other. They love the environment - natural and built - because it is regarded as part of society. "The mass extinction of species" is propaganda and hyperbole - especially since you do not know what has gone on for millennia previously.

    Conservatives like myself, for example, want 'the science' to demonstrate with key performance indicators the exact mitigation of global temperatures for any 'action' that we (Australia, for example) take on climate change. Science is used by the eco-evangelists but they don't have or want those same tools for the people they expect to 'fix' the problem. Now, that's more than a little disingenous and I'm calling it out. Science in/science out. Otherwise a nonsense. You wouldn't put somebody on a chemotherapy regime to clean up cancer without evidence about the results. And we need to talk about nuclear, which the Greenies won't have. They do want everything on their own terms.

    Anyway, getting back to Roger Scruton, I loved this quote. He was talking in 2006 about globalists (he called then 'oikophobes') of the type who recently denounced Brexit:

    “The oikophobe repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed from on high by the EU or the UN, and defining his political vision in terms of cosmopolitan values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.”
    Last edited by Christabel; Jan-14-2020 at 17:33.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    ^^^^"Conservatives are conservationists": Well, some are, and some aren't. To assert "conservatives are conservationists" as an axiom at the outset of one's post is to invite immediate disbelief and then laughter.

    To deny that Earth is in the throes of a mass extinction of species occurring right now will be difficult to explain to the grandkids. It also betrays (again) a triumph of ideology over factual evidence. But perhaps there are Alternative Facts.

    Again, given a choice between attending to the overwhelming consensus of the (evil Global!) scientific community, including those most familiar with Earth's environmental concerns, and the noisy Bandar-Log of non-scientist cornucopian "economists" and other assorted ideologues, simple prudence dictates that we address the climate and population issues seriously, rather than waiting "to see what happens". I have no other planet to escape to, though others seem to live in entirely different "factual" worlds.

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    Anyway, getting back to Roger Scruton, I loved this quote. He was talking in 2006 about globalists (he called then 'oikophobes') of the type who recently denounced Brexit:

    “The oikophobe repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed from on high by the EU or the UN, and defining his political vision in terms of cosmopolitan values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.”
    I have the feeling that some of these British conservatives are still mentally living in the past at a time of the British empire, and want to return the past glory of the empire and that is also the basis for their their anti-EU sentiments.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/24...e-colonialism/
    If they were able to realistically weight their options in the current geopolitical situation, they can either become the 51st US state, though even they are having second thoughts in the age of Trump, or they can orient themselves to the EU and accept all its rules but without any say in the shaping of those rules (like Norway). And the conservatism in the US will be of a similar kind. With the power of the US empire slowly waning
    https://theconversation.com/a-new-wo...-lead-it-98362
    both the US elite and the public will need to mentally psychologically readjust to the new reality. And those unable to do so will be living in the past at the height of the US empire and will want to return to some past glory ("make america great again"). So conservatism is not so much about "conserving" what is, but about return to some half-fictious past of glory.
    Last edited by Jacck; Jan-14-2020 at 20:02.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    So conservatism is not so much about "conserving" what is, but about return to some half-fictitious past of glory.
    Half? I call that a generous assessment.
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    I have the feeling that some of these British conservatives are still mentally living in the past at a time of the British empire, and want to return the past glory of the empire and that is also the basis for their their anti-EU sentiments.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/24...e-colonialism/
    If they were able to realistically weight their options in the current geopolitical situation, they can either become the 51st US state, though even they are having second thoughts in the age of Trump, or they can orient themselves to the EU and accept all its rules but without any say in the shaping of those rules (like Norway). And the conservatism in the US will be of a similar kind. With the power of the US empire slowly waning
    https://theconversation.com/a-new-wo...-lead-it-98362
    both the US elite and the public will need to mentally psychologically readjust to the new reality. And those unable to do so will be living in the past at the height of the US empire and will want to return to some past glory ("make america great again"). So conservatism is not so much about "conserving" what is, but about return to some half-fictious past of glory.
    I disagree with this entirely and certainly would take zero notice of "The Conversation" - which always has a political ax to grind to say the very least (their other academic/research articles are often interesting).

    I cannot speak about the British Conservatives since I do not live in that nation, but I do see that post-Blair many of the fashionable PC and 'woke' ideologies have persisted under subsequent so-called conservative governments. In short, the Left is winning the arguments and culture wars but losing all the elections as a consequence. The argument has also been made that conservatives want a return to some prior glory days - as per the post subsequent to yours. I've heard this many times myself, but I think that complaint misses the point (rather conveniently). Firstly, there were periods in the not-too-distant past of full employment, community cohesion, national loyalty and institutionalized religion (which provided a further impetus to the notion of the community). Those things were seen in abundance during periods of existential threat, and for very good reasons.

    Today we have an 'anything goes' culture; you can be any sex you want, say what you like (as long as it is 'approved'), do what you like (again, if it's 'approved'), commit a crime and not seriously be punished, swear at the teacher, your parents, the system and destroy reputations and businesses on Twitter and other social media. Far from being 'progressive', I've never witnessed in my lifetime more aggressive, angry, entitled, drug-addled and disrespectful people and nations. Hate is the engine oil which fuels much of this and it was never a characteristic in my formative years. Hatred's wellspring is, of course, self-loathing. Now my children and their children deal with it and they don't like it one bit. When I was teaching high school there were still lots of conservative kids that came from conservative families; they were, without exception, happy within themselves and often completely trustworthy. They're still around; it's just that there are less of them.

    So, some 'past of glory' has a good deal of truth to it. And I say what I've always said; if you don't have a real stake in the society with family, assets and a modicum of wealth you're not going to care at all if the system is collapsing. As my late father used to say, "everything is ALWAYS all about who gets what".
    Last edited by Christabel; Jan-15-2020 at 01:12.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    So, some 'past of glory' has a good deal of truth to it. And I say what I've always said; if you don't have a real stake in the society with family, assets and a modicum of wealth you're not going to care at all if the system is collapsing. As my late father used to say, "everything is ALWAYS all about who gets what".
    Your late father sounds like a wise man. Everything is indeed always all about who gets what . . . including whether you're in a privileged enough position to look nostalgically on some 'past of glory.'
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    I have the feeling that some of these British conservatives are still mentally living in the past at a time of the British empire, and want to return the past glory of the empire and that is also the basis for their their anti-EU sentiments.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/24...e-colonialism/
    If they were able to realistically weight their options in the current geopolitical situation, they can either become the 51st US state, though even they are having second thoughts in the age of Trump, or they can orient themselves to the EU and accept all its rules but without any say in the shaping of those rules (like Norway). And the conservatism in the US will be of a similar kind. With the power of the US empire slowly waning
    https://theconversation.com/a-new-wo...-lead-it-98362
    both the US elite and the public will need to mentally psychologically readjust to the new reality. And those unable to do so will be living in the past at the height of the US empire and will want to return to some past glory ("make america great again"). So conservatism is not so much about "conserving" what is, but about return to some half-fictious past of glory.
    So what's this 'new reality' that the US public (which includes me) needs to 'psychologically readjust' to?

    For some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that it involves focus-group tested platitudes like 'our diverse and multicultural social fabric' as well as the ceding of political autonomy to supranational quasi-judicial bodies in the name of other platitudes like tolerance or inclusiveness - you know, sort of like the world I've spent my whole life in.

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bz3 View Post
    For some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that it involves focus-group tested platitudes like 'our diverse and multicultural social fabric' as well as the ceding of political autonomy to supranational quasi-judicial bodies in the name of other platitudes like tolerance or inclusiveness - you know, sort of like the world I've spent my whole life in.
    Personally, I'm good with tolerance and inclusiveness. But if you have better platitudes to offer, I'm happy to listen.
    Alan

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  21. #29
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    Anyway, getting back to Roger Scruton, I loved this quote. He was talking in 2006 about globalists (he called then 'oikophobes') of the type who recently denounced Brexit:

    “The oikophobe repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed from on high by the EU or the UN, and defining his political vision in terms of cosmopolitan values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.”
    At first misunderstanding the term 'oikophobia', I congratulate him on his erudition, but not on his sentiment. This is typical of what I have heard of his opinion (though I've never read anything longer than a newspaper article by him, I have seen him speak on TV and heard him on the radio enough over the years to have a fairly clear view of his values).
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bz3 View Post
    So what's this 'new reality' that the US public (which includes me) needs to 'psychologically readjust' to?
    the most difficult idea to drop is the idea of American exceptionalism. That idea was never true during the whole history, though it was reinvigorated by the objective fact that America became the strongest nation on Earth, though the reasons were largely incidental (WW2). But out of this idea some national myths developed, that the US is special and different and thus infallible, and thus has the right to impose its will and rules on other nations etc. It will be difficult to drop this idea and start being more realistic about itself and own place in the world. The more the relative US power is going to wane, the more some people will want to prove American strength through further wars and demonstration of force. And that could be dangerous.

    For some reason I have the sneaking suspicion that it involves focus-group tested platitudes like 'our diverse and multicultural social fabric' as well as the ceding of political autonomy to supranational quasi-judicial bodies in the name of other platitudes like tolerance or inclusiveness - you know, sort of like the world I've spent my whole life in.
    I also believe that the left took its crusade too far. I am for full equality before the law and equality of oportunity irrespective of race, gender and religion, but I am against the SJW agenda, the cult of diversity, affirmative action, political correctness, policing of speech on campuses, toxic feminism etc. I certainly think that society has much more pressing problems than this.

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