VIDEO:  Sir Roger Scruton | Oxford Union

Sir Roger Vernon Scruton FBA FRSL is an English philosopher and writer who specialises in aesthetics and political philosophy, particularly in the furtherance of traditionalist conservative views.

ABOUT THE OXFORD UNION SOCIETY: The Oxford Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. Since 1823, the Union has been promoting debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.

One Reply to “VIDEO:  Sir Roger Scruton | Oxford Union”

  1. Thank you so much for for taking the trouble to post this video that I watched yesterday evening. I have long respected the work of Roger Scruton as he challenges any lazy thinking into which I might fall. I was also encouraged by the quality of the questions that he was asked at the end as I think he was too. It gives me some encouragement that Oxford University still helps young people to think as well as was demonstrated here.
    My own questions centre around two things. One is where Scruton would distinguish between a conservatism that is a defence of what we love and a conservatism that is a defence of privilege. There is a profound difference and I am not sure that he established it. At least not in the lecture he gave on this occasion. I respect his desire to defend those who voted to leave the European Union against accusations of mere stupidity. He is right to do so. But the Britain, the England and particularly the London of which he spoke, has always been a rich mixing of cultures. My own grandfather, born in 1900, a London taxi driver, was the son of an Italian mother and his son, my father’s brother, married the daughter of German parents who had settled in Scruton’s own East End of London. We may draw a distinction between an England that is a kind of indigenous culture against a United States of America that is a land of immigrants but I don’t think that it is a distinction that is entirely justified. This leads me to ask what it is truly loved in the conservatism for which Scruton argues.
    My other question was raised by one of those who spoke following the lecture. This asked what space exists within politics for the desire to make things better? I went to the same kind of school that Scruton attended that made the kind of education that had been available only in private schools a possibility for the children of working class families like his and mine. Like him I have long had concerns about the more recent educational reforms that largely abolished such schools. But the schools from which he and I benefited were themselves a reform promoted by the state through the Education Reform Act of 1944. One has to note the date in the last year of the Second World War to identify the social pressures to which the government was responding. A space was found to make a response to the strong desire for change at that time.
    I might add that I agree with Scruton in his critique of identity politics and the tendency of the left to find enemies. But as one of the questioners noted this tendency seems to exist on both left and right.
    Finally can I end these reflections by expressing my appreciation of your making this lecture available. I look forward to other opportunities to listen, to think and to question.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: