Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Roger Scruton at Right Reason

Max Goss of Right Reason interviews the noted English conservative Roger Scruton. I first became aware of Scruton almost twenty years ago when I bought and read avidly his wickedly incisive collection of essays entitled Untimely Tracts. He made his "name" with The Meaning of Conservatism, a book that I have placed on my must-read list.

At any rate, I strongly recommend that you read Goss's interview of Scruton, of which Part I appears today. There's so much that's quotable, but I'll restrain myself and quote only this trenchant paragraph:
It is part of the blindness of the left-wing worldview that it cannot perceive authority but only power. People who think of conservatism as oppressive and dictatorial have some deviant example in mind, such as fascism, or Tsarist autocracy. I would offer in the place of such examples the ordinary life of European and American communities as described by 19th century novelists. In those communities all kinds of people had authority -- teachers, pastors, judges, heads of local societies, and so on. But only some of them had power, and almost none of them were either able or willing to oppress their fellows.