Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – This is a review of a book written by a guy named Roger Scruton. I’m only going to read a paragraph or so of this because I thought it was insightful given the current discussion about the state of conservatism and whether or not the Grand Old Party is worthy of your time, attention and money any longer. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: This is posted at The Imaginative Conservative website. You may have noticed that that’s a daily stop for me and should be for you, too. This is a review of a book written by a guy named Roger Scruton. I’m only going to read a paragraph or so of this because I thought it was insightful given the current discussion about the state of conservatism and whether or not the Grand Old Party is worthy of your time, attention and money any longer. Remember, this is supposed to be where the conservatives go. If you’ve been watching the actions of Congress lately, at the federal level anyway, you may have already made your mind up that that’s just the pile. To listen to the way Scruton describes a conservative, does this sound like anyone you know that’s conservative? Listen to this:
Conservatives always need to be on the look-out for new arguments to defend their positions, despite their conviction that there is “nothing new under the sun.” They may wish to live unreflectively by following the customs of their ancestors, but circumstances require that they also be vigilant culture warriors and defiantly critical intellectuals simply to preserve what is best in the past. That is because conservatism arises in response to modernity—as a defense of tradition against the modern spirit of revolution and its insatiable desire to remake society according to utopian ideologies and even to transform human nature through social engineering. A conservative thinker is driven by a kind of reluctant necessity to oppose these trends and often feels like a lonely knight from an ancient chivalric order battling against overwhelming historical forces. [Mike: See The Compleat Gentleman by Brad Miner for a description of the Christian gentleman as a Knights Templar. It has a nice correlation. Read your Earl of Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield Letters to His Son. You’ll find a lot of that knightly behavior in that, too.]
Yet, strangely, this means that a conservative thinker is more a modernist than a naïve traditionalist, and it may even imply that conservatism is the highest form of modernism in the sense of being the most thoughtful and self-conscious way of living in the modern world. One of our chivalric knights who has wrestled with this riddle and can explain it better than anyone else is Roger Scruton— a gentleman farmer, political philosopher, novelist, composer of operas, and fox hunter—who may well be brightest light of English conservatism today.
Mike: I’m going to leave it there. Read the piece. It’s posted in today’s Pile of Prep. It’s my featured quotation of the day in today’s Pile of Prep. I thought that anytime you can include the gentlemanly traits in your discussion of conservatism and how conservative men ought to be chivalrous and ought to be conducting their affairs as gentlemen as they can is worthy of your consideration. Folks, if you can show me where else someone is promoting this, please do. I’m happy to make alliances with them. It is, to me, one of the key missing ingredients in our current malaise. Not enough statesmanship because there’s not enough gentlemanly behavior because there’s not enough chivalry, chivalry derived from the actions and acting Christ-like. There’s not enough of that to go around. The tradition has been largely abandoned. That is a major obstacle to overcome to fix any of these things that many of you think need to be fixed. That’s posted in today’s Pile of Prep and it’s from the Imaginative Conservative website.
End Mike Church Show Transcript