Roger Scruton vs the New Left

Two thoughtful and lengthy reviews of FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS

“…he largely sets aside constructive philosophical work in order to dismantle the dismantlers. This he does with rhetorical vigor and flair, and though he often paints with the broadest of brushes and does not always make the distinctions perfect fairness would call for, his critique is a powerful one indeed.” And “Late in his book Scruton comments that he has searched these thinkers’ writings ‘in vain for a description of how the equality of being advocated in their fraught manifestoes is to be achieved.’ In the end, he says, ‘We know nothing of the socialist future, save only that it is both necessary and desirable.’

But for the reason the socialist faith is a blind faith. Scruton knows perfectly well what he thinks is worth building—or, more to the point, conserving—and in his final chapter, titled ‘What is Right?’, he gives a clearly concise a summation of his own political position as one could ask for. It is only 15 pages long, but it is by itself worth the price of admission to this book.”—Alan Jacobs, The American Conservative

“Scruton’s book is not the dispassionate examination and measured assessment of philosophical arguments typical of analytic philosophers. It is a polemical dissection and indictment of the perceived destructive aims and tactics of the left. Earlier chapters on Sartre and Foucault, and on members of the Frankfurt School, particularly Adorno, are the most engaging.” —Samuel Freeman, The New York Review of Books