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What Conservatism Really Means - Roger Scruton in Conversation with Hamza Yusuf

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Event Name: What Conservatism Really Means - Roger Scruton in Conversation with Hamza Yusuf
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 3/29/2019 8:41:10 PM
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What Conservatism Really Means - Roger Scruton in Conversation with Hamza Yusuf

 

I read your book recently how to be a

conservative and I think it's arguably a

serious question is conservativism still

alive at all because we've seen in the

united states for instance

conservativism has been reduced to a

type of free-market economy it's really

an economic conception and not really a

moral conception so maybe we could just

start yeah well this is one of the

worries that intellectual conservatives

like me have there aren't very many

intellectual conservatives it has to be

said we on the whole take the view that

ordinary people are conservative but

they just don't articulate it and not

ever pushed into the place where they've

got to find the way of expressing their

views rather than just having them and

acting on them but when it comes to

politics in a democracy politicians have

to offer things always and that means

that there is a natural tendency for

them to put their policies and their

suggestions in economic terms they say

you will be so much better off if you

vote for us than if you don't and

gradually the language of economics

takes over every question so that it

doesn't look as though there's any real

distinction between politics and

economics and I think this is this is

actually damage to the conservative

position greatly because precisely what

conservatives are trying to say is that

there are things that are jeopardized

things that are at risk precisely

because of our modern way of assigning a

cost to everything or seeing everything

in economic terms the profit and the

loss dominating everything rather than

those things that really matter to the

spiritual and moral health of the

community so but you're absolutely right

that because of this dominance of the

economic question conservatism tends to

be seen as simply an apology for a free

market economy

come what may you know and so if there's

a question about an institution for

instance what should we do to protect

the institution of marriage or primary

education or whatever it gets put into

and to another form you know what are

the benefits economically of the old

idea of marriage you know who can answer

that question

you know one of the things that that is

troubling to me Berkeley is probably one

of the edge most educated cities on the

planet just in terms of a sheer number

of PhDs people that have have been

through high levels of academic training

and a lot of our neighbors are our PhDs

we have one of the highest

concentrations of Nobel Prize winners

what's really interesting is this is

also one of the most liberal cultures in