In Conservatism, Roger Scruton offers the reader an invitation into the world of political philosophy by explaining the history and evolution of the conservative movement over the centuries. With the clarity and authority of a gifted teacher, he discusses the ideology’s perspective on civil society, the rule of law, freedom, morality, property, rights, and the role of the state. In a time when many claim that conservatives lack a unified intellectual belief system, this book makes a very strong case to the contrary, one that politically-minded readers will find compelling and refreshing.
Scruton analyzes the origins and development of conservatism through the philosophies and thoughts of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman, among others. He shows how conservative ideas have influenced the political sector through the careers of a diverse cast of politicians, such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Disraeli, Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. He also takes a close look at the changing relationship between conservative politics, capitalism, and free markets in both the UK and the US.
This clear, incisive guide is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Western politics and policies, now and over the last three centuries.