Poverty, the market and the state

Prospect Magazine  - 26.11.2013

Almost any thinking citizen, asked if we should seek to end poverty in our country, would answer yes. What political goal could be more clearly desirable? And yet, when asked to define what poverty consists in, or why, on some given definition, poverty is bad, many people find themselves stumped for an answer.

The questions that have no answers

NewStatesman - 23.9.2013

If I ask myself what makes us human, one answer jumps out at me straight away – it is not the only answer but it is the one suggested by the question. What makes us human is that we ask questions. All the animals have interests, instincts and conceptions. All the animals frame for themselves an idea of the world in which they live. But we alone question our surroundings. We alone refuse to be defined by the world in which we live but instead try to define our nature for ourselves.

Democracy and Islamic Law

BBC Magazine - 23.8.2013

To understand what is happening in the Middle East today we must look back to the end of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had been destroyed, and from the ruins emerged a collection of nation states.

Should countries be more like families?

BBC Magazine - 30.8.2013

Many writers have warned against the tyranny of the majority. Majority opinion may be wrong. Majority desires may be wicked. Majority strength may be dangerous. There is someone more important than the crowd, which is the person who disagrees with it. We must protect that person, for he's the one who can raise the question that no crowd wants to listen to, which is the question whether it is in the right.

Why it can be good to give in to your enemies

BBC Magazine - 16.8.2013

A Point of View: Why it can be good to give in to your enemies
In a democracy, leaders and the opposition must accept each other's legitimacy, says Roger Scruton.
Last week I examined some of the institutions that form part of democracy as we in the West understand it. But I have yet to consider the fundamental point, which is that in a democracy we consent to be governed by people we dislike.

No mere academic

Kenneth Minogue - In Memoriam

The American Spectator - September 2013

READERS OF THIS magazine will know that conservatism has been going through a dark time in Britain. Since the premiereship of Margaret Thatcher, the state has expanded relentlessly to take control of just about every aspect of civil life.

Is Democracy Overrated?

BBC News Magazine - August 2013

For some time the leading Western nations have acted upon the assumption that democracy is the solution to political conflict, and that the ultimate goal of foreign policy must be to encourage the emergence of democracy in countries which have not yet enjoyed its benefits. And they continue to adhere to this assumption, even when considering events in the Middle East today.

Wagner and German Idealism

*This article was aired on BBC Radio 3 as part of the series 'Wagner's Philosophers' - 20.5.2013

The German universities of Wagner's youth were in a state of intellectual ferment, the main cause of which was the proliferation of philosophical systems in the wake of Immanuel Kant, widely recognized today as the greatest philosopher of modern times.

The Need for Nations

*This is a lecture I recently delivered in Hungary.  An English translation follows the Hungarian.

Európai értékek és a nemzetállamok

Az európai integráció terve, amelyet a II. világháború nyomán a legyőzött nemzetek elitje és poltikusai karoltak fel, arra a hitre épült, hogy elsősorban a nemzeti lét és akarat okozta az Európát romba döntő háborúkat.

The Fundamental Principle of Common Law

Posted on barristerblogger.com - 7.6.2013

We are used to the idea that the common law of England, which is the foundation of judicial systems in many places besides England, is a 'judge-made' system. But judges could not do their job if they thought that they were merely inventing the law.

Latest Articles

'The Burdens of Belonging: Roger Scruton's National State' American Affairs - Dec 17

From his position as the dean of English conservatism, Roger Scruton explains the ideas, habits, and traditions that made the West a civilization not only of immense learning and wealth,...

'The social media lynch-mob degrades our culture. We must resist and rebuild what is truly valuable' The Telegraph - 5 Dec 17

Suppose you woke up one day to discover that you were headline news. A leading newspaper has spread across its front page a story that you were seen entering a...

Scrutopia Summer School 2018

Now running for a second year, the Scrutopia summer school offers a ten-day immersion experience in the philosophy and outlook of Sir Roger Scruton, the British writer and philosopher who...

'Politics needs a first-person plural' The Conservative - Nov 17

Populists recruit their following by direct appeal, are largely indifferent to their opponents, and have no intention, if elected, of allowing a voice to those who did not vote for them. If “populism” threatens the political stability of...

Recent Books

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,...

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Profile Books (August 2017) Roger Scruton looks at the central ideas of conservatism over the centuries. He examines conservative thinking on civil society, the rule of law and the role...

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,...

2017 Events

8-9 Dec - Morality and the Sacred, University of Antwerp

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