Conservatism and the conservatory

This article was published in National Review-December 21 2015

The observation is often made that political conservatives do not have anything much to say about the arts, either believing, with the libertarians, that in this matter people should be free to do as they please, or else fearing, like the traditionalists, that a policy for the arts will always be captured by the Left and turned into an assault on our inherited values.

The National Review

Roger Scruton and the New Left, National Review. Ron Capshaw (Dec '15)

In his new book, Roger Scruton offers a diagnosis of and an antidote to the New Left.

‘ ​The important thing is that you should not argue with [Communists]. . . . Whatever you say, they have ways of twisting it into shapes which put you in some lower category of mankind, ‘Fascist,’ ‘Liberal,’ ‘Trotskyist,’ and disparage you both intellectually and personally in the process.”

Wall Street Journal Review

Groupthink in the Ivory Tower, Wall Street Journal. Barton Swaim (Dec15) 

How did an ideology supposedly predicated on struggle and revolution become the worldview of tenured professors with hefty pension plans?

In 1985, the English philosopher and polymath Roger Scruton published a book titled “Thinkers of the New Left” in which he systematically exposed the bogus intellectual underpinnings of 14 leftist intellectuals, among them Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, György Lukács and Eric Hobsbawm.

Fools, Frauds and Firebrands by Roger Scruton review – a demolition of socialist intellectuals

Fools, Frauds and Firebrands review – a demolition of socialist intellectuals. Steven Poole for The Guardian (December 15)

The New Left is rather old news. Hence the title change for this new version of Roger Scruton’s critique of rampant intellectual socialism, which was originally published in 1985 as simply Thinkers of the New Left.

The Book Bag Review

Fools, Frauds and Firebrands - reviewed by Patricia Duffaud for The Book Bag

Thinkers of the New Left first came out in 1985, under Thatcher's government. British left-wing intellectuals gave it savage reviews. The publisher was threatened with a boycott and the book was withdrawn from bookshops. Roger Scruton feels this caused his university career to decline. In the introduction, he says he is reluctant to return to the scene of such a disaster.

Why we need grammar schools

Why we need grammar schools. Spectator Life (5 December 15)

Keeping high culture alive is vital for the preservation of peace and democracy.

The news that England is to have its first new grammar school in 50 years elicited a hostile reaction from almost the whole of the left. This was predictable. For there is a tension between our democratic culture and the kind of traditional education you’d expect to find at a good grammar school.

The Polly Toynbee Debate

Roger Scruton vs Polly Toynbee Debate

Hot on the heels of the Corbyn earthquake, this timely Guardian Live debate was refereed by LBC's James O'Brien. It took place on 19 November 2015 at Islington Assembly Hall, London.

You can listen to an audio recording of the event using this link.

Thinking Allowed on Radio 4

Frauds of the left, Siblings. Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4 (Dec 25) 

'Frauds' of the Left: Laurie Taylor examines the intellectual credibility of key thinkers of the New Left. Roger Scruton, argues that the modern academy is gripped by a form of 'group think' which fails to challenge the positions of theorists such as Michel Foucault and Antonio Gramsci. Has left wing fashion trumped credible argument? They're joined by Mark Fisher, Lecturer in Visual Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Living with a Mind

Living with a Mind by Roger Scruton. First Things Journal (Dec 15)

"I was brought up in a culture that made no special place for the “intellectual” as a distinct human type, and which regarded learning in the same way as any other hobby: harmless and excusable, so long as you kept quiet about it.

The Edmund Burke International Summer School Programme

roger-scruton-edmund-burke-international-summer-school

****THE EBISS FULL PROGRAMME HAS NOW BEEN RELEASED**** FIND OUT MORE HERE

This event will take place between Sunday June 19th and Saturday June 25th 2016, at Bloomfield House Hotel, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.

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I confess, I am an anti-communist. During the 1970s and 1980s, anti-communists were shunned in the UK’s universities. After all, we were attacking the revolution that offered to liberate mankind...

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Dear Mr. Speaker,Dear Madam President,Ladies and gentlemen, Ministers,but above all, Dear Professor, our distinguished guest,Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! I am delighted that I could today honour Mr. Professor with the...

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Recent Books

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

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,...

2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Sat 15th June - Philosophy Day

Thurs 19th Sept - ISI Gala for Western Civilization, Philadelphia

Sat 29th June - Sat 6th July - Brazil

Thurs 22nd Aug - Edinburgh Book Festival