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

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Recent Books

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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,...

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Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

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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

22 Feb - UCL event

8/9 Mar - Ghent University

22 Mar - Philosophy Cafe, Oxford

7 Mar - VWH Vintners’ Hall Dinner

22 Mar - The Oxford Literary Festival

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