42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Uses of Pessimism: and the Danger of False Hope (Hardcover)
Once again, Roger Scruton is quite brilliant, writing with great depth in a way easy for the Common Reader to follow. He is attacking those responsible for the prevailing moeurs and shows up their inconsistency and lack of logic. Scruton is the scourge of the liberal and I think this is his best book on a politico-philosophical theme. Each of the main chapters exposes a common fallacy. For instance, one is THE ZERO SUM FALLACY. Here he easily refutes the fallacy that if one person is prospering it must be at the expense of someone else. The liberals say that is some children are receiving a fine education in independent or grammar schools it must be to the detriment of others. Scruton is at his best when exposing how the "Liberty and Equality" of the French Revolution and modern liberals are quite contrary ideas: if you want people to be equal you can do so only by taking away their liberty. Architecture is something about which Scruton has written before and he is at his best writing about it here.
This would be an excellent book for a clever sixth former or someone at university who likes to think and does not merely follow the crowd. The Amazon price makes this a bargain and it is, amazingly for a philosophical book, a good book to take on holiday. It is required reading for those who think. It is not in itself pessimistic as the title is ironical and paradoxical. It is cheerfully realistic.
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Initial post: 8 Apr 2013 15:03:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Apr 2013 15:03:37 BDT
freddie vh says:
Good review. One point : liberty and equality are not, as Scruton intimated, at cross purposes, if by equality, the French mean "under the law", and that's what I believe was their initial intention. (Of course, if it wasn't their initial intention, it should have been. :)
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