Here’s to hoping for an Islamic renaissance, but preparing for a continued challenge against Islamism and its discontents, including radicalism. Some Muslims will continue the return to purity and brotherhood against outside forces, seeking to control the internal debate within Islam.
Scruton touches on how important irony and Roman law are in the Christian tradition and the culture that developed from it, as well as the cultural developments which distinguish it from the Hebrew bible and the Old Testament.
He also touches on the Western problems of nihilism and postmodernism as he sees them.
Some of his essays here.
Interesting quote at min 6:35 of video 4/4:
‘Universal values only make sense in a very specific context…the attempt to universalize them, or project and impose them…just leads to their appropriation by sinister forces.”
Addition: Here’s a quote by Samuel Huntington, which seeks to highlight that this blog has yet to find a universal value, religious, human rights or otherwise, that isn’t subject to human nature and organization (how we define that is up for debate, Darwinian, Natural Law…otherwise). The main fight in the 20th century has been against the great dangers of idealism (Communism, Marxism, National Socialism etc.). Part of the 21st century’s strategic challenge will be battling the religious idealism of Islamists.
Here’s another quote:
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”
The quote is from The Clash Of Civilizations and is fairly well known, but I wanted to highlight it as it’s up for debate; coming into some conflict with Scruton’s thinking. Political Order In Changing Societies, by Huntington, info here, is a book likely worth your time.
Our form of violence is responsive to our institutions, laws, and traditions, much like our police forces are here to ideally ‘protect and serve.’
So, what’s the appeal to conservatism, and Scruton’s Burkean conservatism with some German influence? Well, I’m not entirely a ‘Scrutonian,’ but here’s a quotation from George Will on Stephen Colbert, which isn’t an endorsement of the Republican party, but a deeper conservatism when functioning well:
“What conservatives say is that we will protect you against idealism.”
That sounds reasonable. As for ‘peace,’ or world peace, or Kantian perpetual peace or the arc of history bending towards justice…I remain skeptical.
See also on this site: From Nigel Warburton’s Site: A Definition of Humanism?…A Debate: Would We Better Off Without Religion?…Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?…From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…
Roger Scruton At The WSJ: ‘Memo To Hawking: There’s Still Room For God’
4 thoughts on “Via Youtube: ‘Roger Scruton On Islam And The West’”
Despite Roger Scruton and Bernard Lewis (What Went Wrong) et al I can’t help but think that Chalmers Johnson (Blowback) will have the last word. The U.S. has more than 750 military bases that we know of around the world, many in countries that don’t like us or the bases. This seems a much simpler and more direct explanation for islamic terrorism than all these autopsies of islamic thought.
Point taken, But if you don’t think the Islamist ideology isn’t ultimately a threat, or will seek to extend itself, then I think that would be a mistake.
Some things aren’t all blowback, and our way of life will come into contact and conflict with others, and decisions will have to be made.
Ways of life don’t come into contact, individuals do, and left to themselves individuals tend to work things out at least cost to themselves i.e. without war.
Good point, but it’s not just individuals, it’s their ideas, cultures, interpretations of religion, religions, and languages that come with them. Their ways of life. They chose not to work it out peacefully, or without violence. Others have done and will do the same.
There are certain people, motivated by ideas and ideologies we can identify, who are likely radicalizing as we speak. They take themselves very seriously.
We’ll have to tolerate much of this to live in a free society, and a large security state and clunky bureaucratic mess of Homeland security isn’t proving entirely effective and comes at significant cost to freedoms.
Radical Islam will need more push back I’m afraid.