Roger Vernon Scruton was born on February 27th, 1944, in Buslingthorpe, England. He grew up with his two sisters and parents in High Wycombe, where he also attended school. After very successful A-Levels, he went to study at the Jesus College of the University of Cambridge.
He attained a master of arts in philosophy in 1965 and later a Ph.D. in aesthetics. Besides his studies, another event had a significant impact on his future life. While in Paris, he witnessed the so-called May 68. That was a student civil unrest in France during May 1968. The students protested against capitalism and imperialism.
While many of his friends supported the French anarchists and socialists, Scruton did not. Disgusted by the, as he said, “mob,” he turned to conservatism. “I wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down,” he said.
roger Scruton, Author and activist
He founded a dining club called the Conservative Philosophy Group to support the UK Conservative Party. Among others, future prime minister Margaret Thatcher attended the club. Besides, he taught at the Birkbeck College of the University of London and was a founding member of a conservative journal called The Salisbury Review.
Further, he held underground seminars in Prague and other cities in Czechoslovakia. A country that was under communist rule until 1989. Along with other British philosophers, he also smuggled western books there. Future president Václav Havel awarded him a first-class medal after the revolution.
Scruton was a traditional conservative. His two most famous books on the topics are “The Meaning of Conservatism” and “How to be a Conservative.” He believed that society finds its points of contact in the rule of law and the importance of a nation. However, he did not think that the free market was the ultimate solution. He saw totalitarianism as the forced absence of authority.
In 2016, he received the knighted. Sir Roger Scruton, a symbol of conservatism who always spoke his mind, the author of over 50 books, died on January 12th, 2020, after battling lung cancer. Even his enemies on the left respected his devotion to philosophy and aesthetics.
“Being unpopular is never easy; but being unpopular in a good cause is a shield against despair.”Roger Scruton