Tributes paid to ‘unusually rich legacy’ of philosopher Sir Roger Scruton | Ludlow Advertiser

Investitures at Buckingham Palace

Tributes have been paid to the “unusually rich legacy” of philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, lauded as “the greatest conservative of our age,” who died at age 75 after a six-month battle with cancer.

Source: Tributes paid to ‘unusually rich legacy’ of philosopher Sir Roger Scruton | Ludlow Advertiser

A small selection, from among many:

The journalist and author Peter Hitchens wrote on social media,

“RIP Sir Roger Scruton, a man of immense courage, intellect and fortitude, whose loss we can ill afford in these narrow, conformist times.”

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said on Twitter,

“Professor Sir Roger Scruton, the greatest conservative of our age, has died. The country has lost a towering intellect. I have lost a wonderful friend.

“There was no subject he could not light up with his effulgent prose: architecture, theology, music, fox-hunting, painting, wine, philosophy. I honestly can’t think of a wiser or more complete contemporary writer.”

And this – from author and historian Anne Applebaum,

“In the 1980s, Roger Scruton organised money and books for dissidents in Eastern Europe.

“I was one of the student couriers who helped smuggle them ‘across the iron curtain.’ I am still grateful for what Roger did for them, and for me.”

I encourage you to read this compilation of heartfelt and heart-warming tributes, memories, and reflections on the life and legacy of a truly great man!

 

How Prince Harry Turned Into Lena Dunham | The Federalist

How Prince Harry Turned Into Lena Dunham

“As Prince Harry’s recent behavior proves, composure and class, stoic fortitude, and a sense of duty are not due to bloodline or money.”

Source: How Prince Harry Turned Into Lena Dunham | The Federalist

The above statement is all too sadly true, although traditionally those belong to the Royal bloodline were expected to display all of the above (composure, class, stoic fortitude, and a sense of duty).

The greatest living exemplar of this is Her Majesty herself, Queen Elizabeth II, forged in the crucible of World War Two, who – while still Princess Elizabeth, on the occasion of her 21st birthday, in 1947 – promised,

I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service, and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,”

and who has spent the rest of her life living up to that promise.

Alas, as the linked article by Sumantra Maitra points out,

“Unfortunately, Harry has too much of Princess Diana in him, from compulsively breaking orthodoxy and tradition, to extreme and fatalistic narcissism. As Emma Freire recently wrote, with him it is all noblesse, with zero oblige. Meghan can be forgiven, as she’s American, and not used to royal protocols. But Harry was born and brought up in that discipline. There’s no excuse.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for Prince Harry’s physical courage, as demonstrated by his military service, which by all accounts was exemplary. Fighting in Afghanistan, he earned the respect of the U.S. Marines, which is no small accomplishment for anyone.

But that does not make this article’s assessment any less accurate. Courage under fire does not always or necessarily translate to wisdom in civilian life. To quote Maitra again,

“The reason for Harry and Meghan’s departure is pure liberal-individualist narcissism. And both are equally responsible for that. Due to its symbolic and apolitical nature, British aristocracy are not supposed to publicly espouse political opinions, much less actively lecture people about mental health, toxic masculinity, or climate change. They are supposed to go to war, open hospitals, and silently take part in charitable causes. Duty, stoicism, propriety, and patriotism are supposed to be the four cornerstones of nobility.”

However, this has not occurred where the Sussexes are concerned. As noted above, Meghan is an American actress, and can be afforded a certain amount of slack. Prince Harry should know better. Prince Harry does know better; he just chooses not to act accordingly:

“You can either be a Hollywood hypocrite, or an aloof, true-blue aristocrat above daily politics. You cannot simultaneously enjoy the perks of both… Aristocratic life brings its own burden, of class, polish, fortitude, and propriety. Not every Tom, Dick, or Harry can chin up, keep calm, and carry on. If you behave like a petulant celebrity, you’ll be treated with as much respect as a petulant celebrity deserves.”

To quote in full the line with which this opened,

“this incident reinforces that composure and class, stoic fortitude, and a sense of duty and propriety are not due to either bloodline or money. Some people possess them, and most do not.”

Sadly, it seems that HRH Harry, Duke of Sussex, does not. And The Anglophilic Anglican is more than a little disappointed – not shocked, not even really surprised, as the signs were there, but disappointed – to see this made so publicly and dramatically clear.

 

Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay | The Brookings Institution

Image result for custodial worker

Source: Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay

I am still struggling, myself, to be honest; but back when I was really struggling, I used to (try to) make this point on a number of occasions, when well-meaning friends and relatives tried to tell me that “any job is better than no job.”

Well, no, it isn’t. If it doesn’t make ends meet, it may be worse than no job at all, b/c it may make you ineligible for public assistance… and you still can’t live on it.

People who have never been abjectly poor have no idea how horrible a position that is to be in, and it is often in many ways the “working poor” who have the worst of it, because they are overlooked by most assistance programs: “oh, they don’t need help, they have a job.” Not necessarily true!

This is also why I am not in complete agreement with Mike Rowe, although I respect what he’s trying to do. It is also why I am distrustful of many conservatives’ faith in “the market” to do the right thing: “the market” is made up of fallible, mortal – and often greedy and selfish – human beings, and these do not always do the right thing.

Yes, there are a good number of jobs out there, looking for workers. That is true. But many (most?) of them do not pay a living wage. In which case, what I wrote above kicks in…

[Note: Although many people do it, taking a second job – and sometimes a third – is not really a viable solution long-term, either. I am leaving aside short-term stints, to get extra money for holiday shopping, a vacation, or maybe to fund an unusual purchase; I am also leaving aside “hustling” to turn one’s sideline into one’s career.

I’m talking about working two or more jobs, consistently, to make ends meet. The more hours you’re working, the fewer you have to a) look for a better job, b) perform ordinary but necessary maintenance / domestic tasks, and c) get the rest and sleep you need in order to perform any job(s) at a high level of efficiency.]

As the linked article points out, two-thirds (64%) of low-wage workers are in their prime working years of 25 to 54; more than half (57%) work full-time year-round, the customary schedule for employment intended to provide financial security; and about half (51%) are primary earners or contribute substantially to family living expenses (FWIW, I am currently in all three of these categories).

We have a problem, here, as a society; and we need to work together, as a society, to find reasonable, workable, and effective solutions. The problem is, we’re largely talking past each other.

The Left wants to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, which has the effect of increasing automation, and forcing smaller businesses to lay off workers or even close. The neoliberal/libertarian Right says “just get a job” – which as both the article and my comments point out, isn’t necessarily, by itself, a viable solution to poverty.

I’m not sure what the solution is; if I knew, I’d be making tons of money, myself, from appearing on early-morning talk-shows and giving presentations to well-known think-tanks! But I do know we need to find one. If we don’t, the future looks dire, for a lot of people: and therefore, for society as a whole. This is important!

 


N.B. Perhaps this Chesterton quote, and the concept it embodies, may have relevance for us as we struggle toward a solution…