Fight or flight: Strategies for traditional Conservatives - The Economist Mar 17

Does conservatism aim to uphold or to transform society? Across the West, the political right is split. Some conservatives back a status quo of globalised economies and live-and-let-live societies. Others want to upend that open, international order by putting the nation first, socially and economically. There is, however, a third kind of conservatism, represented by two new short books. Its guiding idea is that political problems at root are spiritual. In different ways, Rod Dreher and Roger Scruton suggest that conservatism’s main task is to cure or abandon a sickened culture.

 One offers a preacher’s simplicity, the other a thinker’s subtlety. Mr Dreher is a devout Christian, an editor at the American Conservative and the author of popular books advertising the personal rewards of faith. Sir Roger is an eminent British counter-example to the commonplace that conservatives distrust ideas. A philosopher, journalist and novelist, he has written around 50 books on political ideas, morals and aesthetics. In 1982 he founded, and for 18 years edited, the Salisbury Review, a conservative quarterly taking its distance from the libertarian right in the name of traditional values.

Read the full review online at The Economist

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Recent Books

The Ring of Truth

The Ring of Truth

Penguin Books (June 2016) Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung is one of the greatest works of art created in modern times, and has fascinated both critics and devotees for...

Confessions of a Heretic

Confessions of a Heretic

Notting Hill Editions (March 2016) Twelve hard-hitting essays arising from a decade of engagement with the public culture of Britain and America that touch on matters of concern to all...

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

30 July - 8 Aug - Scrutopia Summer School

24-27 Aug - Alpine Fellowship Annual Symposium, Venice

28 - 30th July - The 12th Annual Vanenburg Meeting, Berlin

2nd Sept - Philosophy in the Bookshop - Blackwells, Oxford

8-10th Oct - Forum 2000, Prague

15 - 17th Oct - Paris

21st Oct - Apple Festival, Sunday Hill Farm

29 Oct - 'Beauty & the Restoration of the Sacred' Conference, Chicago

30 Oct - 'Culture and Art in a Populist Age' ACII & EPPC Conference , Washington

1 Nov - Washington College

2 Nov - 'Tradition & Culture' Keynote lecture, St Johns University School of Law, New York

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