Postmodern Conservative

Roger Scruton, Functional Anthropology, and Foreign Aid

I can’t compete with Pete in the judicious assessment of Cruz department. 

So I will just note the story today that Rubio has turned Nevada into his firewall. The raging blaze threatening to consume is his campaign will be stopped there. Well, this is ridiculous in so many ways. Nobody cares about Nevada. If Cruz cruises through Iowa, obviously the wall will come tumbling down. Most of all, once a candidate starts talking firewall, you know he (or she) is succumbing to illusions about being able to control a process that has gotten away from him (or her). 

What about movies? My personal behavior corresponds with that of Damon Linker. I’m slow to see movies with star in the title. That’s not because, as Damon contends, they’re merely children’s tales, but because I’m not hardwired to leave this planet for enjoyment. Well, someone might say, you liked Interstellar some. That’s because it confined itself to the doings of members of our species. My four favorite films of the year are: Brooklyn (which I’ve already talked about), We Were Young, Love and Mercy, and Amy.  I know I have a lot of explaining to do, but not right now.

Here you can read pretty much what I said about the greatest living conservative thinker, Roger Scruton, at Rhodes. Thanks to Lauren Weiner, it’s a little better than what I said. At Perspectives on Political Science, 2016 will be the year of Scruton and the the greatest living student of political philosophy, Pierre Manent. Please send me any ideas you have along those lines. We’re working with Dan Cullen, who’s pretty much Roger’s agent in America, and Dan Mahoney, who does the same job for Pierre. There will also be, among other things, a panel on each of those thinkers in Newport, R.I., in April. Stay tuned for further details.

Why are we going to England and France in search of foreign aid? Scruton and Manent agree with Donald Trump that “a country is a country” or, to be more European, ”a nation is a nation.” But they’re classy, moderate, traditional, open to both science and religion, and deeply philosophical in explaining what that means. They show us how to avoid, in Scruton’s words, both xenophobia and oikophobia through a genuinely functional anthropology.

Peter Augustine LawlerPeter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College. He is executive editor of the acclaimed scholarly quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and served on President George ...

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