Books of the Year 2016

Fools Frauds and Firebrands and The Ring of Truth have both been selected in The Guardian Best Books of 2016.  In late November, in part one, John Banville chose Fools Frauds and Firebrands as one of his three favourites this year. More recently in part two, Salley Vickers calls The Ring of Truth a terrific book. 

You can read parts one and two here. 

What's the point of education? - Spectator Life Nov 16

Why does the state take an interest in education? The prevailing view, at least since the end of the last war, has been that the state takes an interest in education because it is the right of every child to receive it. Hence the state becomes the universal provider, and as such must treat all its dependents equally, and make no special favours on grounds of wealth, talent or social status.

'The Trump Card' BBC Radio 4 13 Nov 16

Roger Scruton assesses some of the reasons behind Donald Trump's victory.

Listen back to the Point of View via the BBC iPlayer.

 

National borders are the only sure guardians of democracy. The EU ignores them at its peril. The Telegraph - Nov 16

European civilisation has been steadily replacing religion with territory as the source of political unity. The process began in the 17th century, as the call for popular sovereignty and national unity began to be heard above the noise of religious conflict.Following the French Revolution and Napoleon’s failed attempt at a pan-European Empire, Europe emerged as a collection of nation states.

Full article here

Free Speech and Universities

At the beginning of September Roger addressed a conference on the Future of Higher Education at Buckingham University, his topic being Free Speech and the Universities. The text of this talk can be found here.

Clown Prince of the Revolution - City Journal 29 Sept 2016

During the 1960s and 1970s, the consensus in Western academic and intellectual institutions was very much on the left. Writers like Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu shot to eminence by attacking the civilization they dismissed as “bourgeois.” The critical-theory writings of Jürgen Habermas achieved a dominant place in the curriculum in the social sciences, despite their stupefying tediousness. The rewriting of national history as a tale of “class struggle,” undertaken by Eric Hobsbawm in Britain and Howard Zinn in the United States, became a near-orthodoxy not only in university history departments but also in high schools. For us dissidents, it was a dispiriting time, and there was scarcely a morning when I did not wake up during those years, asking myself whether my teaching at the University of London was the right choice of career. Then came the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, and I allowed myself to hope. 

Read the full article here

Labour of the negative - Spectator Life 22nd Sept 2016

Jeremy Corbyn's disregard for Parliament is terrible for his party and for our representative democracy. 

Read the full article here.

Alicja met Roger Scruton

Earlier this year, Alicja Gescinska spent two days at Scrutopia discreetly filming Roger at home, riding, by the pond and in his library. Broadcast on Dutch television this September, you can watch the film here.

The Spectator Dairy, 27 Aug 16

The only way to make a ‘safe space’ for conservatives at universities
Also in Roger Scruton’s diary: the blessings of a broken femur, and a defence of aristocratic titles

Read the full article here

'Democracy after Brexit'- BBC Radio 4 - July 2016

In these special editions of A Point of View, five of Britain's leading thinkers give their own very personal view of "Brexit" - what the vote tells us about the country we are, and are likely to become.