The following is an excerpt of an article by Bradley Goodwin. This features in our fifth print issue, available now.
Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.
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If there is anything of which the conservative can boast, it is the tradition of our philosophy; it is the cornerstone of the foundation of conservatism, and the thing that sustains it. From Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas, to David Hume and Edmund Burke, our tradition has contributed much to humanity’s understanding of the order of existence, the nature of things, and quite simply why things are the way that they are.
It is an unfortunate mark of our revolutionary times, however, that the very pillar of tradition faces attack, demolished in favour of everything novel. Whoever wants to defend the conservative tradition nowadays has the very conditions of modernity working against them.
However, in our times, the intellectual might of Sir Roger Scruton can surely rise to the challenge. With several decades of work and devotion to the conservative cause (with a litany of works and a peerage to show for it), if there is anyone who can fight the good fight, it is Sir Roger. I hope as a result of his efforts, history will show a kind face and place him amongst the grand lineage of our conservative tradition.
In the chaos that follows this liberal age, in order to solve the problem you have to be able to diagnose it, and this is where Scruton comes in. In particular his work Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left is invaluable for exposing the errors, the confusion, and the contradiction at the heart of the revolution and its 20th Century contributors.
The most important lesson, and the recurring theme of the work, is that language matters to the Left. Although the book does not look at the UK’s situation in particular – instead focusing more on the thinkers of Europe and the USA to a degree – I believe that we can easily turn our focus to the UK to see why the Left have dominated our society. I would argue that for the UK, the most pernicious use of language by the Left is demonstrated by the use of the word ‘community’.
At the heart of the problem is that Leftism itself has undergone a revolution; from the Left of Marx and his contemporaries, to the Leftism of Jean-Paul Sartre and Antonio Gramsci, there are numerous occupiers of the New Left label who Scruton so extensively exposes and demolishes for their nonsensical guff.
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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.
Photo by Fronteiras do Pensamento in Flickr.