fbpx

Dismantling the Leftist Academic Complex: A Conversation with Roger Scruton

with Sir Roger Scruton

Editor’s note: This podcast was originally published on January 27, 2016. A new episode of Liberty Law Talk will return on June 15th with George Will on his recently released book The Conservative Sensibility.

Roger Scruton is certainly no stranger to Liberty Law Talk. His return is occasioned by Bloomsbury’s republication of his 1985 title, Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands, a book that caused tremendous academic controversy, threats against the publisher, and the book’s eventual scuttling by Longman, its original publisher. Scruton’s crime was to have attempted to take the New Left seriously, finding it severely wanting, if not absurd. We revisit the book’s fallout, discuss its ideas, and consider the state of contemporary Leftist thinking.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on February 25, 2016 at 08:25:30 am

Scruton’s crime was to have attempted to take the New Left seriously, finding it severely wanting, if not absurd. Where did you get this information?

read full comment
Image of cudboico
cudboico
on March 04, 2016 at 11:16:25 am

This is an excellent interview!

Much ado about 'nothing'

To quote Theodore Dalrymple:

"There is virtually no aspect of modern society's disastrous sexual predicament that does not find its apologist and perhaps its "onlie" begetter in the work of the sexual revolutionaries 50 or 100 years earlier. It is impossible to overlook the connection between what they said should happen and what has actually happened. Ideas have their consequences, if only many years later."

"The sexual revolutionaries' ideas about the relations between men and women—entailing ever greater sexual liberty, ever less mastery of the appetite—were so absurd and utopian that it is hard to understand how anyone could have taken them seriously. But mere absurdity has never prevented the triumph of bad ideas, if they accord with easily aroused fantasies of an existence freed of human limitations."

http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_3_urbanities-all_sex.html

Lust is the root of all evil, the motive force underlying the Rush From Judgement (emancipation from responsibility, conscience)

"This patient had only one violent man to contend with; many of my patients have had a succession of them. I ask where they met them, and almost without exception it was in a bar or a nightclub when they were both at a loose end, a previous relationship having broken up the week, or even the day, before. I ask what they had in common, apart from loss and loneliness. The invariable answer: sexual attraction and the desire for a good night out.

These are not contemptible in themselves, of course, but as the foundation of long-term relationships and parenthood, they are a little thin and soon wear even thinner. I ask what other interests the women and their lovers have in common, and invariably there are none. The day-to-day flux is their whole world: a little shopping, a little cooking, a little tidying up, a lot of television, a visit to the social security office, and a few hours in the pub while the money lasts. This aimless routine soon palls but nevertheless remains a subject for continual and acrimonious disagreement. Moreover, there is no pressure—either moral pressure from the community or economic pressure from the system of taxation and social security benefits—to keep couples together. Before long, neither necessity nor desire cements relationships—only inertia, punctuated by violence. For the violent man, to have a woman trembling in fear of him is his only guarantee of personal significance."

http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_3_oh_to_be.html

read full comment
Image of Kiljoy
Kiljoy
on March 24, 2016 at 12:35:35 pm

Enjoyed it. Thanks.

read full comment
Image of Daniel Klein
Daniel Klein
on June 05, 2019 at 20:54:57 pm

Thanks for reminding me why I have always admired the thinking and eloquent writing of Theodore Dalrymple.

read full comment
Image of Richard
Richard
on January 23, 2020 at 07:35:05 am

[…]         Dismantling the Leftist Academic Complex […]

read full comment
Image of Remembering Roger Scruton
Remembering Roger Scruton

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.