Monday, April 14, 2014

Conservative philosophy

 Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton with Ezra Levant:


Anonymous said...

Interesting take. I would generally concur that is what conservatism in its purest sense means mind you no party whatever its label is blindly follows any ideology, rather its what they are closest to. I would be nice to hear one on want liberalism is as outside North America, liberalism has a very different meaning. Its usually about freedom and government doing as little as necessary, not about big government like North American liberals advocate, that's social democracy not liberalism.

The one part I would question is conservatives aversion to change. Margaret Thatcher was very much about tearing down the old way. When she came to power militant unions were the norm and most major industries were nationalized. She rightly recognized this was not working and rather than staying with it due to aversion to change, she took on the unions and privatized most of the inefficient state owned enterprises. Yet listening to his definition, that would sound like she is not a conservative in the traditional sense. I would argue a better statement is conservatives are wary of social engineering and prefer to avoid it and when done move back to where it was before especially if it fails since unions weren't always militant and prior to WWII most industries were private and delivered better results.

JR said...

Yes, present-day North American "liberalism" has become the opposite of "classical liberalism". Liberals have become distinctly illiberal.

There's an interesting excerpt from Joseph Heath's new book in today's National Post that deals with the origins of conservative philosophy and the "hubris of modern rationalism" - also a constant theme of Friedrich Hayek's writing. I'm looking forward to reading the book.