The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

Mervyn FBendle is one of Australia’s foremost conservative intellectuals. He frequently contributes to Quadrant magazine and Quadrant Online, Australia’s foremost organ for the display of conservative thought. Quadrant‘s importance is highlighted by the constant attempts of Australia’s dominant leftist class to shut it down. It is a magazine that belongs in the library of every philosophical conservative. The article below is a survey of the philosophy of the world’s foremost conservative intellectual Roger Scruton. There could hardly be a more readable survey and introduction to Scruton’s thought than this article. Lovers of the writings of Edmund Burke will recognise Burke’s deep influence on Scruton. Continue reading “The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton”

Roger Scruton on Newspeak and the manipulation of language

The following excerpt is from my book Tony Abbott: The Student Years due for publication early 2018. In this excerpt, I summarise Scruton’s description of the core beliefs of the New Left. This is in line with the central theme of my book that Abbott is the ‘most dangerous’ representative of a world view the Left repudiate and without its destruction consider freedom and social justice not possible.

This brings me again to the subject of ideology which must be understood to follow Abbott’s political combat with the tightly organised left at Sydney University. Although most leftist activists aligned themselves with different interpretations of Marxism, by the mid-seventies New Left ideas had modified their Marxist vision. For an explanation of the fundamentals of New Left thinking, I will draw on Roger Scruton. Before doing so, I want to remind the reader of the fundamentals of classical Marxism which was in blooming health during Abbott’s university years. Continue reading “Roger Scruton on Newspeak and the manipulation of language”

Roger Scruton comments on Trump’s victory

Roger Scruton, the world’s preeminent conservative philosopher, gave an analysis on BBC radio of what Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections means – for America and the world. Many conservatives would agree with him on most points of his analysis but would differ on his estimation of Trump’s political understanding and his ability to lead, which is low.

Some of us do not think his character so much worse than many people we meet in our daily lives. Trump’s fault is that he is more open and vulgar about it. To repeat the reply of many men and women to the charge of misogyny based on the ‘locker room talk’, Bill Clinton went one up on Trump by doing far more than verbally abusing women.

On the question of leadership and political understanding, there is no necessary logical connection between bad character and bad policy – something Scruton would readily admit. In fact, Trump has extensive experience in leadership and negotiation, all in the rough and tumble of business. Not a bad grounding.

Trump may not succeed as president of America, but nothing in his experience and character would seem to make him less fit than many who pursue a career in politics. Indeed, he would seem to have an advantage over most, for no other reason than that he understands his constituency and is not afraid to defend them.