Other than John Stuart Mill, there is no philosopher whose works I have read more comprehensively than those of Roger Scruton who has now passed away. The book beside my bed right now is his How to be a Conservative. I was an early-on subscriber to The Salisbury Review (and still am, for that matter). He was both brave and articulate. The word “conservative” is an unfortunate necessity today since “liberal” has been absconded by the hard left who know nothing of what liberalism means. Roger Scruton does and one could only wish he had lived on to write more, but has left behind much of great value. I will complete this post with these from Instapundit which also includes a tribute from Steve Hayward at Powerline.
ROD DREHER: Sir Roger Scruton Is Dead. Dreher quotes this passage from Scruton:
The witch-hunting hysteria has returned with a vengeance, not in Eastern Europe but here, where open enquiry and the presumption of innocence have been, until this moment, the foundation of moral order and the guarantee of civil peace.
Even the Divinity School at Cambridge, which once bravely helped us in offering degrees to our students, has joined in the witch-hunt, revoking a fellowship offered to the conservative thinker Jordan Peterson in response to a petition littered with the signatures of ignorant snowflakes.
And when, just a few months ago, I was summarily removed as the (unpaid) head of a Government quango – Building Better, Building Beautiful – for things I had neither thought nor said, my Czech colleagues said: ‘Yes, it is starting again.’ And by ‘it’ they really did mean It.
Now in Britain, as then in Czechoslovakia, the true intellectual is a dissident, and if our national memory is to survive, it will be because we have succeeded in building here, as once we built there, an underground university devoted to knowledge.
Read the whole thing.
Related: More from Steve Hayward of Power Line who adds, “I could go on all day about Sir Roger, but for now at least I’ll sign off with perhaps my favorite short quote from him: ‘A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.’”
RIP: Roger Scruton: 1944-2020. “Coming close to death you begin to know what life means, and what it means is gratitude.”