‘How to be A Conservative’, for the American Audience

htbac104Gerald J. Russello reviews Roger Scruton’s How to Be a Conservative:

‘Scruton starts with the empirical defense of conservatism, addressed to audiences within what has been called the Anglosphere. Conservatism, Scruton writes, is a natural human impulse, perhaps the first impulse: to preserve the good things of one’s society. Conservatism starts from the “sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed but not easily created.”

Scruton has written this book for those societies that are heirs to the British tradition of ordered liberty. Americans, like the British, have inherited a specific set of good things that are worth defending and that are under attack, such as “the ability to live our lives as we will; the security of impartial law, through which our grievances are answered and our hurts restored; the protection of our environment as a shared asset, which cannot be seized or destroyed at the whim of powerful interests; the open and enquiring culture that has shaped our schools and universities,” as well as more specific products such as democratic elections and writs of habeas corpus.’

Read the whole article.

Published on the National Review Online, 5 January 2015.