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The Meaning of Conservatism [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 15, 2002
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  189031840X  
EAN  9781890318406  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
First published in 1980, The Meaning of Conservatism is now recognized as a major contribution to political thought, and the liveliest and most provocative modern statement of the traditional "paleo-conservative" position. Roger Scruton challenges those who would regard themselves as conservatives, and also their opponents. Conservatism, he argues, has little in common with liberalism, and is only tenuously related to the market economy, to monetarism, to free enterprise, or to capitalism. It involves neither hostility toward the state, nor the desire to limit the state's obligation toward the citizen. Its conceptions of society, law, and citizenship regard the individual not as the premise but as the conclusion of politics. At the same time it is fundamentally opposed to the ethic of social justice, to equality of station, opportunity, income, and achievement, and to the attempt to bring major institutions of society - such as schools and universities - under government control.

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More About Roger Scruton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher. His many books include The Soul of the World and The Aesthetics of Architecture (both Princeton), as well as A Short History of Modern Philosophy; Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left; and The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner's -Ring of the Nibelung.- He lives in Wiltshire, England.

Roger Scruton currently resides in Wiltshire. Roger Scruton has an academic affiliation as follows - Birkbeck College, University of London (Emeritus) American Enterprise.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A thoughtful consideration of conservatism  Sep 7, 2003
The English philosopher Roger Scruton has here written a book, which is, as he explains at the beginning, not so much a work of philosophy as an exercise in doctrine. By this he means that this book is not a reasoned argument for what is now called the paleo-conservative point of view, but is rather instead a systematic presentation of it. Scruton takes it for granted that a conservative philosophy naturally defends that which is virtuous in society as it stands, and that it is up to the progressive to provide the reasoned proof for why the status quo should be changed.
This is both a thoughtfully written and thought provoking book which should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in modern politics. Every subject that Scruton touches upon has obviously been deeply considered by him, and for this reason I have found this work not only interesting, but also a stimulus to deeper reflection on the nature of society and its institutions, even though I don't always agree with the views that he expresses. Although it is only two hundred pages long, this book covers a wide variety of topics, with chapters entitled The Conservative Attitude, Authority and Allegiance, Constitution and the State, Law and Liberty, Property, Alienated Labour, The Autonomous Institution, Establishment, and The Public World. There is also a philosophical appendix dealing with the subject of Liberalism versus Conservatism. These are issues central to politics today, and Roger Scruton's intelligent treatment of them makes this a worthy addition to the bookshelf of anyone who has a serious interest in public affairs.
Conservative or Communitarian?  Jun 3, 2003
This is an extraordinarily well-written and energetic tome of small frame but great stature. Scruton, the Enblish conservative that he is, explains why conservatism is not a theory to be applied but a doctrine to be worked out. The dogmatics of conservatism, a phrase he uses, is that all of us are by nature social beings before we are individuals; indeed, our own individualsim is discovered only in confrontation with the "other". This social animal, known as man, has accured many rites, rituals, ceremonies, institutions, and habits that indoctrinate him before he even gets going. Of course, humans are free to modify and change these institutions, but it is alway thus -- modification and change of existent institutions, ceremonies, and the like. The conservative wants to preserve those rites, ceremonies, and institutions that have been tested by time, not for the sake of preservation, but for the sake of their timeless success.

With the Sixties, all these assumptions were turned on their head; everything was challenged, and much that was good and noble was like the proverbial baby thrown out with the bath water. For conservatives, it is sufficient to demonstrate that these instutions, tradtions, and histories worked; the fact that they worked is dogmatic, not theoretical or possible, but true and sure. Naturally, some of the assumptions and instutitions at the time of the Sixties were in need of reform, but for the most part, these reforms have begotten us worst institutions than preceded them.

Some of the subjects of which Scruton addresses are authority and allegiance, constitution and state, law and liberty, property, alienated labor, autonomous institutions, and the Establishment. He addresses all the familiar gripes by the Far Left in an intelligent and able manner. By the book's end, I couldn't tell whether Scruton was a "conservative" or what these days goes by "communitarian." In many ways, the notions overlap, and those wanting a thorough-going understanding of either "concept" will enjoy reading this short, but fulsome, book.


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