June 12, 2010

THAT'S ACTUALLY WHY THINKING PEOPLE ARE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN...:

Simon Heffer applauds a fine defence of conservative thinking in The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope by Roger Scruton (Simon Heffer, 12 Jun 2010, Daily Telegraph)

One of the more elegant, and accurate, answers to the question “why are you a Tory?” is “because I am a pessimist”. Tories do not believe in the perfectibility of the human condition. They deal with human nature as it is. Despite often having a determined individualism, they recognise the superior wisdom of institutions and the lessons of tradition. That, in essence, is what Roger Scruton’s latest book is about.

It does what it says on the cover: it describes how useful pessimism as a cast of mind is in times when we appear to be ruled by people under the spell of various fallacies of false hope. Worse than that, the effect of other people’s optimism (and I, like Scruton, use that term in a wider than usual sense) on the rest of us is often negative and sometimes downright destructive.

He takes us through various fallacies of false hope, showing how they cause damage. One is the “born free” fallacy, which began with Rousseau. As Scruton says: “We are not born free. Freedom is something we acquire. And we acquire it through obedience.”


...the conservatism in politics is an effect. All the Long War boils down to is those who followed Descartes and Locke vs those in the line of Hume and Scruton. The central fact of the Anglosphere is its permanent skepticism about Reason.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2010 7:53 AM
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