When I don’t understand it, it’s wrong. Fools, swindlers and rioters according to Roger Scruton

This label, which distorts and simplifies, which facilitates its spread in the media, can easily fit into all those who think critically about the past world of Western civilization. And they don’t even dare to see it as the best place to live. Today, social criticism is seen as undermining our certainty, as a misguided tool, maliciously undermining the “natural” world of our lives.

Unfortunately, this framework is also the starting point of this book Rogera Scrutona Fools, scammers and rioters. New Left Thinker (translated by Ladislav Nagy, JČU 2021).

Marx as the sign of Cain

The thought of Marx, with which Scruton’s “current” criticizes at all distances in one way or another, is the same as Cain’s sign for British conservative thinkers, a sign that ignites into all modern French and German texts of thought and influences the formidable British Isles.

Less than two years ago, the late Scruton, who was close to the Czechoslovak dissident movement of the 1970s and 1980s, was an educated reader: he brilliantly analyzed the complex concepts and contexts of the history of philosophy; however, as soon as the anti-Marxist light flashed, the thought ended.

Michel Foucault

Photo: Kindergarten

Scruton criticized a large number of select thinkers, from Sartre to Adorno to Foucault, Deleuze and Zizek, for their ideological bias, subversive leftism, which they supposedly contracted from the ailing Marx. However, he himself has committed offenses that have been criticized from the start, when he had the basis of “the common sense of the British countryside” apodically correct.

It’s almost a method: at first he begins to seriously analyze a philosophical work, but gradually he discovers left-wing perversions in it, which eventually empties everything, so Scruton has no choice but to laugh at the apparent logic of things as revolutionary nonsense. .

“Nothing means anything, and that is revolution, namely a machine that destroys all meaning,” wrote Scruton, whose key readership is above all the attempts of all the philosophies discussed to undermine natural language.

There’s nothing special about it, the philosophy of the second half of the 20th century was really marked by turning to language as a place of meaning and a favored battlefield of power. In this respect, Scruton’s critique is classic and legitimate. What has gone beyond these boundaries is the interpretation of the transition to language as the transition to Orwellian my newsletter, namely ideologically motivated tools to control people. Orwellova modern language from novels 1984 in Scruton’s view, it was the language of communist politicians, who obscured the meaning of words so they could control people more easily.

And even the existential absence of Sartre’s novels turns into an intent to dilute meaning with revolutionary subtext; Foucault’s analysis of biopower is an attempt to empty the meaning of community; Lacan’s baseless fragmented subject of the left’s hatred of burghers; Deleuz’s reflection on the flow of schizoid desire by diseased brain delirium, which precedes the difference in the substance of life.

“This revolutionary engine was built by Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze, and several others from the wastes of Freudian psychology and Saussure’s linguistics, which they attached to the hegelian Koyev, which they developed with their nonsense,” Scruton summarizes the psychoanalytic branch of French thought.

As soon as something incomprehensible appears, something Scruton doesn’t understand, an attack on the writer ensues. Scruton is a sharp-lipped man trained in English sarcasm and irony, and the whip is hilarious on its own, but the whip doesn’t work in the context of the thought under consideration, and often doesn’t even attempt to find meaning other than politics or the media. End of thinking – babbling, raving! And the ghost of Marx is everywhere.

Conservative Thinker Roger Scruton (right) with Karl Schwarzenberg, 2012

Photo: Petr Hloušek, Pravo

“Horkheimer’s critical theory is, in fact, Kant’s critical philosophy, transformed into an instrument of social criticism and shaped by Marx’s hammer blow,” writes Scruton, dealing with the idea of ​​the ideological formation of people as the subject of more or more. less visible work of the ideological environment of modern capitalism.

Habermas’ thought, which isn’t exactly captivating writing, acknowledges Scruton’s line of banal truth, but “the rest is damn chatter, barely intelligible, part of an endless stream of stylistic thought. on one side / on the otherinspired by one book or another that had recently caught the attention of Habermas, and full of sociological jargon.”

How to make something out of nothing

Incredibly fast, simple and predictable, Scruton uses to condemn the illogicalities and paradoxes that are at the center of the creative struggle with the language and ideas of the philosophical tradition. Acronyms for words too easy here vast, babbling, Thread. And it’s not just a lack of empathy and ideological prejudice, but also a lack of understanding of what these people are really doing.

Petr Fischer (1969) is a journalist and philosopher.

Photo: Petr Fischer arsip archives

“Work is measured by efficiency, speech by clarity. Therefore, the rules governing the former are technical in nature and concern the choice of means to an end. The rules governing the latter are constitutive, like the rules of the game, and serve to determine the meaning of what must be said. done,” explains Scruton.

The venerable English poet doesn’t seem to understand that the thought he despises is happily trying to figure out the basics of the rules of the game, and is therefore unable to speak the traditional language of pragmatic goals, which Scruton regards as the limit of any philosophy.

Scruton eventually recognized Badiou’s knowledge, Sartre’s writing talent, Foucault’s insight and essay prowess, and ižek’s education. However, they do not forgive them for their alleged hatred of the order they seek to break, which Scruton finds reasonable, nor for the fact that their critical “alternatives” are always negative: they offer nothing positive to develop. Scruton brings back the old question of how nothing can be created from whatever this thinking presents. It is in this less positive objection that Scruton’s critique can be considered strong, but emerges as a curious paradox: objections to the lost plan are justified by many left-wing thinkers, but Scruton is soon condemned for a destructive Marxist social act. manipulation.

One would say in the Scrutonians that there may be some hatred at work here, and at the same time thinkers “simply” say that we should hold onto status quo and to believe that human nature will somehow survive even the greatest calamities and changes. Trust me, if life can take you…

Camilla Salazar

"Unapologetic social media guru. General reader. Incurable pop culture specialist."

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