Roger Scruton 1944-2020

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.’”

And this:

RIP: Roger Scruton: 1944-2020. “Coming close to death you begin to know what life means, and what it means is gratitude.”

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19 Responses to Roger Scruton 1944-2020

  1. Old School Conservative says:

    The witch-hunting hysteria has returned with a vengeance,

    Coincidentally, Murdoch University is suing one of its own academics after he raised concerns about international students with poor English.
    In a move to suit the irony brigade, Murdoch has parted ways with the agency supplying Indian students.
    But the witch-hunt of Dr Schroder-Turk continues.

  2. Rafe Champion says:

    What a great role model, he wrote great columns about ordinary things as well as philosophy.
    He had a blind spot for Karl Popper but, rather like the otherwise admirable Clive James.

  3. Confused Old Misfit says:

    Sir Roger’s health last year had, until now, paralleled my own. I am devastated by his passing. The world is now a poorer place.

  4. Mr Rusty says:

    Well this news has put a downer on the day. Didn’t realise he was so ill. Met him on a couple of occasions and he was always generous with his time.
    Who will take his mantle?

  5. The West (and the World) has lost a great warrior and contributor to making the World a better place than he found it. His skill with the pen and brain were legendary. Fortunately, he has left us all a collection of books and essays that will continue to defend us from the woke insanity now pervading the planet. He made a difference – something to which we could all aspire.

  6. Bela Bartok says:

    What a shame… I was only reading an article by him writing how he’d escaped a near miss.
    A real gent… I emailed him once (as a postgrad student looking for info) and he replied with a very nice email. A real loss.

  7. Annie says:

    RIP Sir Roger Scruton. The world is poorer for your passing but was enriched by your presence.

  8. Nob says:

    He was relentlessly demonised by the left in the UK , particularly in academia.

  9. Nob says:

    Mr Rusty
    #3290858, posted on January 13, 2020 at 10:10 am
    Well this news has put a downer on the day. Didn’t realise he was so ill.

    It’s only about six months since he found he had cancer. Had several bouts of chemo since then.

  10. dopey says:

    From Gentle Regrets.
    “The reluctance to accept modernism in architecture has, l believe, a foundation in human nature. For many people, the best thing about modern music is that you don’t have to listen to it, just as you don’t have to read modern literature or go to exhibitions of modern painting. Architecture, however, is unavoidable.”

  11. Turtle says:

    A great man

  12. I_am_not_a_robot says:

    Unfortunately Roger Scruton’s views on architecture were a-historical and authoritarian and contradicted his professed views on freedom of expression and property rights.
    The quango that he co-chaired, the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, is a preposterous institution.
    A committee of so-called experts cannot and ought not decree what is beautiful or ugly.

  13. Clam Chowdah says:

    A superb thinker and one of those very rare people who could speak off the cuff and effortlessly produce beautiful argued insights that others would take days to script.

    As with Bill Leak, I have no hesitation in damning the left for hastening his departure from this life.

  14. P says:

    If Britain Unites, It Will Be Renewed:
    Previously Unpublished Roger Scruton Interview on Brexit, Migrant Crisis

    Previously unpublished responses by conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton to questions asked in 2016 demonstrate his prescience on the Brexit vote, the future of Europe, and the migrant crisis.

  15. Infidel Tiger says:

    Unfortunately Roger Scruton’s views on architecture were a-historical and authoritarian and contradicted his professed views on freedom of expression and property rights.
    The quango that he co-chaired, the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, is a preposterous institution.
    A committee of so-called experts cannot and ought not decree what is beautiful or ugly.

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    The lack of beauty in the public square and private space now is probably why we are all depressed and topping ourselves.

  16. Neville says:

    Sorry to be picky, Steve, but …
    “… abducted* … by the hard left …”

  17. dover_beach says:

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    The lack of beauty in the public square and private space now is probably why we are all depressed and topping ourselves.

    Indeed.

  18. I_am_not_a_robot says:

    Couldn’t disagree more

    OK, it’s a free country.
    Anyone who’d like a deeper insight than Sir Roger offers into modern architecture and planning in a historical context can’t do better than Sigfried Giedion’s classic: Space, Time and Architecture (1941).

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