From one Scrutopian to others, and to readers who have yet to discover him, I say: take up his mantle. Too precious and true was his contribution to contemporary conservative thought to only treasure, protect and preserve. We must also ensure its future. Beyond his scruffy jumpers, his personal charm and intellect, Roger was evangelistic about Scrutonianism — not for commercial gain, but for the common good. Indeed, his analysis of Britain’s social condition, whereby conservatives are being “cowed into abject conformity around a dubious set of doctrines”, is devastatingly accurate.
Just as conservatism is not about conserving for the archives but for future generations, so we must not archive Roger’s legacy. In Human Nature (2017) he writes, “My freedom is not an uncaused eruption into the world of human events; it is a product of my social condition, and it brings with it the full burden of responsibility to the other.”
That responsibility is now ours; his books should be well-thumbed, open on coffee tables, and dare I say, in the classroom. Like another of Roger’s hobbies, drinking wine, his writing performs most excellently if out of the cellar and shared among friends.
So, let’s dig deeper into his writing, which spans over 50 books and myriad disciplines. Just as I did not need to be apologetic in that first encounter, rider or not, nor need we be shy in taking up his mantle. Anything else would be a disservice to our children.