"Despite the loud title and the confrontational chapter names (a personal favorite is chapter six: “Nonsense in Paris: Althusser, Lacan and Deleuze”),Fools, Frauds and Firebrands is not what the reader might expect.
Not as much, I grant, as philosophers need music, but nevertheless the need is real.
In the past our musical culture had secure foundations in the church, in the concert hall and in the home. The common practice of tonal harmony united composers, performers and listeners in a shared language, and people played instruments at home with an intimate sense of belonging to the music that they made, just as the music belonged to them. The repertoire was neither controversial nor especially challenging, and music took its place in the ceremonies and celebrations of ordinary life alongside the rituals of everyday religion and the forms of good manners.
To read the full article, visit The Furture Symphony website.
Jive talkin’: top philosopher says modern dance has lost its soul. Dalya Alberge for The Guardian (Dec 15)
Professor Roger Scruton bemoans the way formal dances have been replaced by ‘jerking like a frog. He says the modern way is to dance ‘at’ rather than ‘with’ each other.
Across the country on New Year’s Eve, people will take to dance floors to groove away the last hours of 2015. But one of Britain’s most eminent philosophers is unlikely to be among the masses of humanity moving to a techno beat.
This article was published in National Review-December 21 2015
The observation is often made that political conservatives do not have anything much to say about the arts, either believing, with the libertarians, that in this matter people should be free to do as they please, or else fearing, like the traditionalists, that a policy for the arts will always be captured by the Left and turned into an assault on our inherited values.
Roger Scruton and the New Left, National Review. Ron Capshaw (Dec '15)
In his new book, Roger Scruton offers a diagnosis of and an antidote to the New Left.
‘ The important thing is that you should not argue with [Communists]. . . . Whatever you say, they have ways of twisting it into shapes which put you in some lower category of mankind, ‘Fascist,’ ‘Liberal,’ ‘Trotskyist,’ and disparage you both intellectually and personally in the process.”
Groupthink in the Ivory Tower, Wall Street Journal. Barton Swaim (Dec15)
How did an ideology supposedly predicated on struggle and revolution become the worldview of tenured professors with hefty pension plans?
In 1985, the English philosopher and polymath Roger Scruton published a book titled “Thinkers of the New Left” in which he systematically exposed the bogus intellectual underpinnings of 14 leftist intellectuals, among them Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, György Lukács and Eric Hobsbawm.
Fools, Frauds and Firebrands review – a demolition of socialist intellectuals. Steven Poole for The Guardian (December 15)
The New Left is rather old news. Hence the title change for this new version of Roger Scruton’s critique of rampant intellectual socialism, which was originally published in 1985 as simply Thinkers of the New Left.
Fools, Frauds and Firebrands - reviewed by Patricia Duffaud for The Book Bag
Thinkers of the New Left first came out in 1985, under Thatcher's government. British left-wing intellectuals gave it savage reviews. The publisher was threatened with a boycott and the book was withdrawn from bookshops. Roger Scruton feels this caused his university career to decline. In the introduction, he says he is reluctant to return to the scene of such a disaster.
- Why we need grammar schools
- The Polly Toynbee Debate
- Thinking Allowed on Radio 4
- Living with a Mind
- The Edmund Burke International Summer School Programme
- "Why it's time to turn the music off" BBC Radio 4 A Point of View (13 Nov)
- The International DUBLIN Literary Award
- "Offensive Jokes" BBC Radio 4 A Point of View
- The Catholic World Report Interview
- A Point of View: Why we should defend the right to be offensive