Sir Roger Scruton: A Thing Called Civilization | Intercollegiate Studies Institute

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Source: A Thing Called Civilization – Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Think. Live Free.

The Intercollegiate Studies institute named the late Sir Roger Scruton its “Defender of Western Civilization” for 2019 – a richly deserved honor! – on September 19th, not long before he lost his battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

In his acceptance speech, Sir Roger gave what I think is perhaps the finest short description of Western civilization ever crafted – certainly that I have ever seen:

“Western civilization has come in for a lot of attack because it’s Western. The word Western has been taken to be a standard term of abuse by so many people in the world today, and in particular by people who don’t have the faintest idea what it means, historically, metaphysically, or poetically. Our Western civilization is not some peculiar, narrow little obsession of people who happen to live in a certain geographical part of the world. It is an inheritance, constantly expanding, constantly including new things. It is something which has given us the knowledge of the human heart, which has enabled us to produce not just wonderful economies and the wonderful ways of living in the world that are ours, but also the great works of art, the religions, the systems of law and government, all the other things which make it actually possible for us to recognize that we live in this world, insofar as possible, successfully.”

But please – read the whole essay. It’s splendid. Writings by Sir Roger generally are. May God rest his soul!

 

My wildest fantasy.

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As a friend of mine pointed out, when I posted this on Facebook, “The fact that this is a meme at all points to the shrinking middle class.” This is very, and sadly, true.

What is even sadder (to me) is that, with a few minor changes –  minus the dogs, to which I am allergic, but adding a wife and children, a nice big garden out back, and a few chickens for fresh eggs – this is my fantasy, as well!

Well, and a Christian West which has recovered its faith, its self-confidence, and its vision for the future, and is rebuilding both its population and its influence in the world. But I suppose these days, that is really dreaming…

 

Yale Cancels Prestigious Art History Course For Being “Too White” | Zero Hedge

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So that’s it, apparently: the great masterpieces recognized as such by the entire world for generations are now tainted by their supposed “whiteness” and must be censored by the Robespierre-like mob of the “woke”.

Source: Yale Cancels Prestigious Art History Course For Being “Too White” | Zero Hedge

“It’s not merely that the Western Civilization-focused ‘Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present’ class has been deleted, but the entire concept of ‘Western art’ itself will be a focus of criticism in the multiple new ‘more culturally sensitive’ classes that will replace it.”

The inmates really are running the asylum.

How long before the beautiful centuries-old campus buildings themselves will be ‘discovered’ as part of the Western tradition of architecture? Will they survive the decades to come as the ‘purge’ grows ever fiercer and more anti-intellectual?

I feel like I’m living in a slow-motion (so far…) version of the French Revolution, or maybe the Cultural Revolution of Red China. God preserve us!

 

Roger Scruton: Conservative thinker dies at 75 | BBC News

Sir Roger Scruton

The philosopher, who died from cancer, is hailed as “the greatest conservative of our age.”

Source: Roger Scruton: Conservative thinker dies at 75 | BBC News

This is a tragic loss! One of the towering intellects of our time, and a passionate defender of Western civilization. Yesterday, Sunday the 13th of January, Sir Roger Scruton lost a six month fight with an aggressive form of cancer.

The BBC, of course, cannot resist sniping, but he was a great man, a terrific thinker, and his loss will be keenly felt by many: myself not least.

“The author of more than 50 books on aesthetics, morality and politics, he was also a government advisor. Supporters hailed him as ‘the greatest conservative of our age.’

“A statement on his website said he had been fighting cancer for six months and ‘died peacefully’ on Sunday.

“Historian Timothy Garton Ash said he was ‘a man of extraordinary intellect, learning and humour, a great supporter of central European dissidents, and the kind of provocative – sometimes outrageous – conservative thinker that a truly liberal society should be glad to have challenging it’.”

A Cambridge graduate and the author – as noted above – of some fifty books on morals, politics, architecture and aesthetics, Sir Roger was knighted in 2016 for his services to philosophy, teaching and public education. It was an honour richly deserved!

I have published here on The Anglophilic Anglican several examples of his thought, but here are two I particularly recommend, if you’ve not already seen them:

“Why Beauty Matters” (BBC documentary).

“The End of the University” (First Things article).

Requiescat in pacem, Sir Roger. You will be deeply missed.

 

And on a related note… Be a rebel. Save society.

Be a rebel – and save society

Yes. This.

Settle down, raise a family. This is going to take a while.

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“The real way to leverage your time and make a lasting difference is exponential and generational: get married, have children, practice your faith, raise liberty-minded children, be active in the community, serve your family, homeschool your children, give them a real education, and teach them to be self-sufficient, well-read, healthy, and wise.

The quote above is an excerpt (I’d say, the key excerpt) from a friend and fellow Christian clergyman’s Facebook post this morning. Here’s the whole thing:

“What’s the best way for young people to fight for human liberty in the west? A podcast? A blog? Go on a speaking tour? Run for office?

“Maybe.

“But the real way to leverage your time and make a lasting difference is exponential and generational: get married, have children, practice your faith, raise liberty-minded children, be active in the community, serve your family, homeschool your children, give them a real education, and teach them to be self-sufficient, well-read, healthy, and wise.

“And raise each of your children to do the same thing and create strong families of their own.

“Living the swinging single libertarian life and/or having a biologically unfruitful relationship simply neutralizes and nullifies any long-term influence you might have had, and surrenders the field to others who are doing the hard, generational work of raising their own children to promulgate their values. The cultures that reproduce will push all the others out. And if that culture is oppressive and tyrannical, you don’t want them in the majority.

“This is akin to Aesop’s Fable of the tortoise and the hare – only in this version, the rabbit is sterile while the turtle is prolific.

“The west is dying because most young people don’t have the long view in mind, and also because young women do not understand the old adage about ‘the hand that rocks the cradle [rules the world]’ and are thus clueless about what it means to be truly empowered and strong.”

As our Eastern Orthodox brethren would say,

Wisdom! Attend.

Now, if I could just find someone to raise a family with…! *wry smile*

 

Historian Victor Davis Hanson on why he supports Trump | YouTube

Source: Historian Victor Davis Hanson on why he supports Trump

Far more than just a discussion of why Professor Hanson supports Trump, this interview is a calm, level-headed, and incisive discussion of what is wrong with our current society, and its implications. We are headed in a very dangerous direction, and (not that I haven’t said this many times before) I am deeply worried for the future of our country – and indeed, for Western civilization as a whole – if the current trajectory continues.