IT IS with great sadness that we write today of the death of the greatest twentieth and twenty first century conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton, at the age of 75.
He was an extraordinarily brave and independent thinker, a man of the utmost clarity; forever calm, forever reasoned and reasonable – even in face of unreason – who graced us with the gentlest but no less perspicacious of humour.
Swimming against the tide throughout his working lifetime, he was responsible for the best, the most original and thought provoking ‘counter-cultural’ and moral thinking of the modern era. His writing about conservatism was, beyond anything else, what we looked to at TCW. It has been his thinking, his analysis of the bonds that cohere society and ensure civility, more than anyone else’s which has framed our own critique of modern ‘progressive’ politics and society. Fundamental was his understanding that ‘Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created.’
One of the simple but important truths that defined his social conservatism. We owe him much.
His death is a terrible loss to the country, to academe and of course to his family and close friends, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.
In the coming days we will be writing our tributes to him and explaining why, at the moment of his parting, his analysis of ‘how to be a conservative’ was never more important for our country and its future.