Thursday 2 August 2018

Sir Roger Scruton

"A community that has survived its gods has three options. It can find some secular path to the ethical life. Or it can fake the higher emotions, while living without them. Or it can give up pretending and so collapse, as Burke put it, into the 'dust and powder of individuality."

"We have entered, as I see it, a spiritual limbo. Our educational institutions are no longer the bearers of high culture, and public life has been deliberately moronised. But here and there, sheltered from the noise and glare of the media, the old spiritual forces are at work."

"The sexual revolution of modern times has disenchanted the sexual act. Sex has been finally removed from the sacred realm: it has become 'my' affair, in which 'we' no longer

show an interest. This de-consecration of the reproductive process is the leading fact of modern culture."

"Some of the greatest works of art of our epoch are attempts – like the Four Quartets of T.S. Eliot, or Proust's Remembrance of Things Past – to discover an inward and imagined restoration of the self, that would have the redeeming force of cult, community, and sacrament."

"If you consider the high culture of modern times, you will be struck by the theme of alienation that runs through so many of its products. Modern literature, art and music speak of the isolated individual, his quest for home and community or lapse into solitude and estrangement."

"The rites and customs of a common culture close the gap between emotion and action: they tell people what to do, precisely in those situations where the ethical vision intrudes—where love, grief, anger or revenge are the proper motives, and where we face each other soul to soul."


  1. "He has read well who has learnt that there is more to read outsidebooks than in them."

    Thomas Hardy

  2. "dust and powder of individuality" as opposed to the force of the group. The West as an inheritance of the Greek individualism, may be the only culture that has this option between the individual or the group. The rest of the world is group driven. This may be the reason for the swings of the West, for the apparent stupidity of the West as well. However, individualism without God is deadly indeed. They say that Nietzsche was actually devastated when he declared 'God is dead', and for good reasons. We probably survived without God fo so long out of inertia of large systems. However, not everyone forgot God; Eastern Europe as well as the 'irredeemable' and 'clingers' in the US have not, so I wouldn't write individualism off yet. We are certainly approaching the eye of the storm, where everything will be shifting shape, right under our eyes.