Fight or flight: Strategies for traditional Conservatives - The Economist Mar 17

Does conservatism aim to uphold or to transform society? Across the West, the political right is split. Some conservatives back a status quo of globalised economies and live-and-let-live societies. Others want to upend that open, international order by putting the nation first, socially and economically. There is, however, a third kind of conservatism, represented by two new short books. Its guiding idea is that political problems at root are spiritual. In different ways, Rod Dreher and Roger Scruton suggest that conservatism’s main task is to cure or abandon a sickened culture.

 One offers a preacher’s simplicity, the other a thinker’s subtlety. Mr Dreher is a devout Christian, an editor at the American Conservative and the author of popular books advertising the personal rewards of faith. Sir Roger is an eminent British counter-example to the commonplace that conservatives distrust ideas. A philosopher, journalist and novelist, he has written around 50 books on political ideas, morals and aesthetics. In 1982 he founded, and for 18 years edited, the Salisbury Review, a conservative quarterly taking its distance from the libertarian right in the name of traditional values.

Read the full review online at The Economist

Latest Articles

'Kant vs cant: How liberals lost their way' - Spectator Life, June 18

I recently attended an academic seminar, along with some of the most thoughtful and distinguished members of what is sometimes called the ‘liberal establishment’. The topic was ‘the crisis of...

The modern dog's life: two families, two homes and a commute - The Times, April 18

There’s nothing like a second home in the country to ease the stress and strain of urban life. After a few weeks marching up and down the Kings Road and...

'How to Build a Skyline at Human Scale' - The American Conservative, May 18

Buildings touch the ground, and the business of resting on the ground, rather than crushing, mutilating, or annihilating it, is one fundamental part of the architectural task. But buildings also...

'Loyalty as a Virtue' - Legatum Institute 10 May 18

Loyalty is a fundamental virtue on which we all depend for survival because it ties families, communities and nations together. In defining, loyalty Sir Roger distinguished between personal loyalty, which...

Recent Books

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Bloomsbury (November 2017) Addressing one of the most politically turbulent periods in modern British history, philosopher Roger Scruton asks how, in these circumstances, we can come to define our identity,...

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Profile Books (August 2017) Roger Scruton looks at the central ideas of conservatism over the centuries. He examines conservative thinking on civil society, the rule of law and the role...

On Human Nature

On Human Nature

Princeton University Press (February 2017) In this short book, acclaimed writer and philosopher Roger Scruton presents an original and radical defense of human uniqueness. Confronting the views of evolutionary psychologists,...

2018 Events

Scrutopia Summer School 2018

21-24 June - Alpine Fellowship Meeting, Venice

21 July - Radical Mischief Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon

1-4 Aug - Summer School Alumni Meeting, Cirencester

20 Sept - Prayer Book Society Conference, Cirencester

5-12 Oct - America