Roger Scruton is a voice of reason with rare insight and wisdom in an age of fuddled thinking and cliché. He examines this subject with dispassionate enquiry that is no rabid right wing manifesto. His writing is like a detox to cleanse our rear view mirror by examining the evidence throughout the 20th century of the failures of the left’s social and economic programme.
Professor Scruton points to the evidence around the world which highlights its failures as a benign social and economic programme. However he does point to socialism’s truths as well as its falsehoods just as he cites the value and failures of capitalism.
You feel he’s not engaged in scoring but trying to discover some philosophical foundation of conservatism; that we destroy things at our peril; that incremental non ideological reform is preferable to wholesale destruction by the revolutionary theories propounded by the far left.
A man of prodigious learning and genuine humility who is both willing and able to confront the most cherished assumptions of the left with evidence based argument. He quietly destroys their major premises with historical reference and rational evaluation.
The book should be mandatory reading for all open minds to re-evaluate our perspective on the broad political canvas that informs our thinking. He makes the case for philosophical conservatism which is difficult to counter.
It’s the antidote to the stream of views put forward by the Guardianista chattering classes. He does not proclaim a crude right wing free market philosophy, his thinking is far more nuanced and informed. Conservatism has had bad press in the 20th century …
Roger Scruton presents it in a far more dynamic and progressive light, one that accords with most peoples views on society and its values. Open minds will gain some insight from this book, only the ideologues on the left will not look to recalibrate and think these broad perspectives afresh.
–Amazon Review by Philip