Fully to understand the Easter story it helps to be hounded by the mob, to know that nothing that you say or do can deflect the hostility, and that in any case the distinctions between true and false, just and unjust, good and evil have all been suspended.
I recently gave an interview to the New Statesman, on the assumption that, as the magazine’s former wine critic I would be treated with respect, and that the journalist, George Eaton, was sincere in wanting to talk to me about my intellectual life. Not for the first time I am forced to acknowledge what a mistake it is to address young leftists as though they were responsible human beings. Here is my brief response to an unscrupulous collection of out of context remarks, some of them merely words designed to accuse me of thought-crimes, and to persuade the government that I am not fit to be chairman of the commission recently entrusted to me.
An interview with Jane Owen in advance of the FT Oxford Literary Festival, the full article can be read online here.
How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings that inspire them, have found themselves confronted with the cry “that’s not relevant?” In the world of mass communication today, when people are marshaled into flocks by social media, intrusions of the unusual, the unsanctioned, and the merely meaningful are increasingly resented if they come from outside the group. And this group mentality has invaded the world of education in ways that threaten the young.
I began my career as an academic philosopher, and am often asked what philosophers do. ‘Philosophy’ means ‘the love of wisdom’, but what is wisdom? Does the person with wisdom turn things to advantage when the one with mere knowledge is stumped? In my own case philosophy has involved accepting little or nothing at face value, and wanting to pursue each question to the end. But what use has that been, either to myself or to anyone else? Is it not one cause of the storms of hostility that I encounter and one reason why, earlier this year, I was judged by some not to be an acceptable choice for a public appointment? Should I not practise the art that the Druze and the ‘Alawites call taqiyya, and hide behind a veil of ludicrous orthodoxies, while inwardly scorning the people who repeat them?
'Apprehending the Transcendent'
A conversation between Dr Jordan Peterson and Sir Roger Scruton, moderated by Dr Stephen Blackwood, introduced by Professor Douglas Hedley, presented by The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism and Ralston College, held on November 2nd, 2018 in Cambridge, England.
Sir Roger Scruton & Ben Weingarten discuss political unrest in the West & its historical context, the puritanical nature of progressivism & attempts by its adherents to stifle dissent, the imperative to defend free speech & more.
Watch the interview here.