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Scruton and Revolutions - Between History and Farce. From Edmund Burke to Malcolm Bradbury

    Time to read: 12 min

    1. Revolution? Revolutions?

    The year 1789 is commonly – and naturally – associated with the French Revolution, dubbed “the Great Revolution.” This stands to reason as the events of 1789 are deemed to have provided the matrix for all subsequent revolutions. Needless to say, much depends on how one understands the nature of revolution itself. According to Alexis de Tocqueville, for example, the beginnings of the French Revolution should be traced back to a much earlier date than the symbolic year 1789 (Dawny ustrój i rewolucja). And when characterizing a phenomenon as capacious as revolution in the Western world, a much broader time perspective can (and should) be adopted. This is done, for example, by John M. Rogers in his book The Age of Revolution. That being said, let us dwell on the year 1789 a while longer... When Victor Hugo published his last novel, its title Ninety-Three would probably not have made much sense to the readers without any reference to the process initiated – at least symbolically – by the year 1789. The situation is somewhat different with the year 1968 and its connections with the phenomenon of revolution. Some authors, who are emotionally connected with 1968, are inclined to see it not as just one revolution, but as multiple revolutions (Rewolucje 1968). Notably, years after the Paris events, one of the acknowledged leaders of the May 1968 uprising, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, wrote: “I may disappoint my supporters and those enticed by ‘The Revolution,’ but I’m not the leader of a revolution that allegedly occurred in 1968. (…) I was only the loudspeaker for a rebellion. Thus, ‘1968’ symbolized the end of revolutionary myths – to the benefit of liberation movements extending from the 1970’s until now. After all, the world of the 1960’s – the first global movement broadcast live on radio and TV – was defined by a variety of inter-connected revolts”(“Nieuchwytne dziedzictwo roku 1968”).

    As for the revolutionary significance of 1968, Immanuel Wallerstein raises no such doubts when he identifies the “world revolution of 1968” as one of the three turning points in the history of modern world-system formation (heralding the long final phase of the modern world-system) at which we now find ourselves and which undermines the centrally liberal geoculture that has hitherto been binding the world-system together. The two other – earlier – turning points are, chronologically, 1) the long 16th century during which the modern world-system emerged as the capitalist world economy; and 2) the French Revolution of 1789 as a world-wide phenomenon responsible for the following two-century long dominance of the capitalist world-system geoculture, marked by centrist liberalism (Analiza systemów-światów 10).

    Of course – and this is the other side of the coin about the events of 1968 – one can argue like Alexandre Kojeve that it was not a revolution, it could not possibly have been a revolution. There is no revolution without killing. Nobody is killing anybody. Students take to the streets. They shout at the police calling them the SS, but it is the SS that kills nobody, it is not serious, it is no revolution (Widz i uczestnik). Then again, this remark can well be supplemented by Sławomir Mrożek’s testimony. While observing the excesses on the streets of Paris in 1968, the playwright had absolutely no doubt. in his journal of that time, he wrote: “This nomenclature is obsolete. I can sense it when they utter the word ‘revolution’ and shake their borscht-colored banners for effect. The images they exhibit portray some long-dead bearded crocks. All of this – fully detached from what they choose to call it. I can feel, almost physically, how this nomenclature only breeds ridicule and nonsense. I am particularly sensitive to forms that fail to account for reality, to dead forms. So sensitive that even dwelling on them now makes me nauseous” (Dziennik t. 1 1962-1969 528).[1]


    2. Burke and Bradbury

    The former of the two figures featuring in the above subtitle lived and pursued his political and literary exploits in the second half of 18th century. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke analyzed the nature of the social change taking place across the English Channel. The latter, Malcolm Bradbury, a university lecturer in English literature and writer in the second half of the 20th century. He witnessed the social changes that swept through the Western world in the 1960s, culminating in the revolution of 1968. The nature of the changes and the consequences of the revolution as regards the university atmosphere were depicted by Malcolm Bradbury in his novel The History Man. What connects Roger Scruton with Edmund Burke, one of the main founders of modern conservatism, is both his understanding of the phenomenon of revolution and – firmly established after the Great French Revolution – the tradition of conservative thought.[2] With Malcom Bradbury, Scruton shared the experience of the 1960s and May 1968. With Burke, one of the main founders of modern conservatism – i.e., not traditionalism (Szacki, 2012) – Scruton was bound by ideology. When it comes to understanding conservatism, Scruton, while reconstructing its fundamental premises in the “Introduction” to the anthology titled Conservative Thinkers. Essays from ‘The Salisbury Review’, starts –  by no coincidence – with an outline of Burke’s position (Conservative Thinkers and The Conservative Mind). According to him, the pamphleteer’s “readers have always recognized in his works a distinct and powerful philosophy, which can be reduced neither to liberalism nor to any kind of social prescription. Commentators have agreed in calling his philosophy ‘conservative’: but it has neither system nor programme. Indeed, it expresses a deep-felt reaction against both, and in particular against the doctrinal politics of those who claim abstract argument as their ultimate authority” (Conservative Thinkers 9). There is no need to repeat this characterization; I refer those who are interested to the text in question. From my perspective, it is important to emphasize the philosopher’s deliberate affinity with the 18th century pamphleteer, whose letters to a friend in France triggered a real publicist war (The Great Debate and Wojna pamfletów w Anglii 1790-1793).

    Notably, Scruton was inspired by Burke’s important reflection, not by the literary form the pamphleteer had adopted. The latter was referred to by a well-known sociologist, Ralf Dahrendorf, two hundred years after the French Revolution and the opportunity for this reference presented itself when the Soviet domination of Central and Eastern Europe collapsed (Reflections on the Revolution in Europe). Not only did Dahrendorf’s essay provoke a publicist war, but it also met with appraisals that could hardly be considered invigorating. And so, in his sketch 'The Puzzling Edmund Burke,' Bronisław Łagowski wrote: ‘In his good-natured and banal musings, Dahrendorf paraphrased Burke's title and, just like him, used the epistolary form, so the reader has every right to believe that he meant to suggest an analogy between the collapse of real socialism in Central and Eastern Europe and the year 1789 in France. However, he did not substantiate this analogy in the text; he even explicitly denied it, and rightly so (“Zastanawiający Edmund Burke” 35).  As it turns out, it's not hard to draw the line between the revolution tout court and the velvet roundtable revolution.

    Scruton shared with Bradbury his experience of the 1968 revolution as well as the picture of changes it brought about in the sphere of mores in general, but especially in their social dimension, including universities. Indeed, Bradbury interests me here as an author of novels, and one sensitive to the social context of literature at that (Bradbury, 1971. Atlas literatury). It is because I bear in my mind Lewis A. Coser’s remark that a sociologist who ignores literature is bound to be not merely intellectually impoverished, but also a worse sociologist than they could otherwise be ( “Introduction”; “Literatura piękna”; “Socjologia literatury”). 


    Things are different with the revolution(s) represented by the date 1968.

    In his diary, Sławomir Mrożek noted: “They are promising they will change my life completely. Thank you very much. From what I know, they will most probably try to coerce me into happiness (Dziennik t. 1 1962-1969 527).” This was not an isolated opinion. Aleksander Smolar comments: “Let’s face it, there was a very strong totalitarian component in the 1968 movement. It was a general para-revolutionary mentality. It was then that the famous phrase was coined: ‘It is better to be wrong with Sartre...’ [than to be right with Aron - K.Ł.] – a proof of the highest stupidity on our part. Students boycotted Aron’s classes! Whatever he had to say was thought to be uninteresting, old rubbish, the matter of the past (Pokój z widokiem na historię 74-75).” As one might surmise, Raymond Aron a classical liberal, would today pass for a conservative. And like many conservatives before him (and after him) he was almost helpless “in the face of the irrationality of the authority of third-rate minds” (75). Jean Paul Sartre, “(a)s a committed writer, was passionate about politics, but his political opinions were a constant almost tragicomedy of errors. After the war, he fought fascism for many years and compared de Gaulle's rule to the cruellest tyrannies. But when in Berlin in 1934, he did not notice any fascism at all. It is interesting that Sartre did not lose his prestige by collecting compromises. One can even observe a reverse correlation in his life (Co jest lepsze od prawdy?16).” The figure of Sartre and his intellectual achievements are well characterized by Paul Johnson in Intellectuals. From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky and by Scruton himself in Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left.

    For Scruton, the impulse that led him to become a conservative was May 1968 in Paris. This 20th century incarnation of the Revolution (and the Spring of Nations) was seen and judged variously. Scruton, who as a young man watched it at the very eye of the cyclone, i.e., in Paris, saw it as an invasion of vandalism, stupidity, farce, and kitsch. He saw then not Youth and Freedom fighting on the Barricades against the System. No, he saw howling, aggressive students and frightened police who, in addition to the cobblestones and thrashing, also got themselves the nickname of “SS men. Magical for many, May 1968 brought with it a wide variety of experiences. Not only the sublime ones, so glorified later in countless memoirs of the generation’68, but also whole layers of trivial newspeak with artistic pretensions. In Paris, the students obviously wanted to fight the system, the bourgeoisie, even General de Gaulle's fascism – and all this was “treated by the young barbarians as the highest stage of situation theater, as an artistic transfiguration of the absurd contained in ordinary bourgeois lifestyle.

    Anyway, it was the Youth who unmasked the System in the name of Freedom. But is it not worth trying to expose the Denouncers? Both the great, like the Masters of the School of Suspicion, and the quite small, like students with cobblestones in their hands. Gombrowicz wrote: “Since Freud and Marx exposed a lot, maybe today we too should look behind a screen of the phenomenon called the left? I find it disturbing that the left turns into a screen for overly liberal and quite egoistic-imperialistic personal interests too many a time. (...) Socialism becomes a tool in the hands of liberalism, hiding behind it. Liberalism as such does not frighten me, but mystification on too large a scale does... (...) It is time to examine not only what motivates the consciousness of capitalist sharks, but also that of the student who blows off steam at rallies (Testament 151).” In the student rallying, Scruton saw barbarism laced with the sauce of a tawdry ideology of liberation and emancipation (one of the reasons being that it justifies everything and gives its preachers a privileged moral position). After all, that is what it was supposed to be about, more consciousness, new consciousness, and more freedom, true freedom. If only mending the world could be reduced to such simple formulas... And why don’t the Dialecticians look at their views a bit more dialectically?

    Scruton recalls:

    May 1968 led me to understand what I value in the customs, institutions and culture of Europe. Being in Paris at the time, I read the attacks on ‘bourgeois’ civilization with a growing sense that if there is anything half decent in the way of life so freely available in the world’s greatest city, the word ‘bourgeois’ is the proper name for it. The soixante-huitards were inheritors of this bourgeois way of life, and enjoyed the freedom, security and wide culture that the French state dispensed to all its citizens. They had every reason to appreciate what France had become under the leadership of General de Gaulle, who had made the French Communist Party as ridiculous in the eyes of the people as it ought also to have been in the eyes of the intellectuals

    To my astonishment, however, the soixante-huitards were busy recycling the old Marxist promise of a radical freedom, which will come when private property and the ‘bourgeois’ rule of law are both abolished. The imperfect freedom that property and law make possible, and on which the soixante-huitards depended for their comforts and their excitements, was not enough. That real but relative freedom must be destroyed for the sake of its illusory but absolute shadow. The new ‘theories’ that poured from the pens of Parisian intellectuals in their battle against the ‘structures’ of bourgeois society were not theories at all, but bundles of paradox, designed to reassure the student revolutionaries that, since law, order, science and truth are merely masks for bourgeois domination, it no longer matters what you think so long as you are on the side of the workers in their ‘struggle’. The genocides inspired by that struggle earned no mention in the writings of Althusser, Deleuze, Foucault and Lacan, even though one such genocide was beginning at that very moment in Cambodia, led by Pol Pot, a Paris-educated member of the French Communist Party (Jak być konserwatystą 19-20).

    4. Academics 1968  

    There is much to suggest that Professor of Literature, Malcolm Bradbury, a novelist, interpreted his own academic experiences in his own way, using the instrumentation provided by literature. After all, we read in an author’s note a somewhat curt remark by the writer: “It is a total invention with delusory approximations to historical reality, just as is history itself” (The History Man 5). Of course, one could argue that this is a highly subjective picture, that it is by no means representative of a description of the sociological milieu and the mentality usually associated with it, or that, in other words, it is a caricature rather than a realistic portrait.  However, there is no shortage of publications presenting a similarly sketched framework of academic life at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s.

    One academic philosopher wrote to Longman, the original publisher [of Thinkers of the New Left – K. Ł.], saying, ‘I may tell you with dismay that many colleagues here [i.e. in Oxford] feel that the Longman imprint – a respected one – has been tarnished by association with Scruton’s work.’ He went on in a menacing manner, expressing the hope that ‘the negative reactions generated by this particular publishing venture may make Longman think more carefully about its policy in the future’. One of Longman’s best-selling educational writers threatened to take his products elsewhere if the book stayed in print and, sure enough, the remaining copies of Thinkers of the New Left were soon withdrawn from the bookshops and transferred to my garden shed (Fools, Frauds and Firebrands 1).  

    What Scruton has in common with Malcolm Bradbury is the experience of 1968 and the university atmosphere of the times that started in the sixties. This is not just a matter of changing mores. It is also about theoretical and ideological attitudes. Scruton writes:

    It should be remembered that at the time – the late Seventies – socialist and Marxist ideas were orthodoxy in our universities, and indeed that it was almost unheard of for anyone openly to dissent from them. My own college – Birkbeck College in the University of London – contained, to my knowledge, two conservatives: myself, and Nunzia (Annunziata), the Neapolitan lady who served behind the counter in the Senior Common Room, and who showed her contempt for the fellow travellers who queued there by plastering her patch of wall with photographs of the Pope. Nunzia was the only person I could really talk to in the university (…) (Scruton, 2001:x-xi).

    Well, the situation of Scruton talking to Nunzia is not unusual for a conservative. In fact, quite the opposite. After all, the author of The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk, reminded us that: “Edmund Burke, the greatest of modern conservative thinkers, was not ashamed to acknowledge the allegiance of humble men whose sureties are prejudice and prescription; for, with affection, he likened them to cattle under the English oaks, deaf to the insects of radical innovation (The Conservative Mind). Such an attitude is not at all inconsistent with the fact that “the conservative principle has been defended, these past two centuries, by men of learning and genius” (32). And indeed, taking Burke’s work as a frame of reference, it would be difficult to indicate any leftist or liberal thinker of the time whose writings could be compared with Reflections on the Revolution in France. All of them certainly remain interesting to scholars of the period in which they were written, but for a 21st century reader they seem to have only antiquarian significance.

    Scruton becomes a conservative in the same year, 1968, only on the other side of the Iron Curtain. He becomes a conservative and discovers his conservative calling when, as a young man, he happens to observe the events of the famous May 1968. He sees young people, students, who destroy store windows, cars, anything that gets in their way in a fit of rage. They have their justification, namely it is a fight against the system, the bourgeoisie, even against General de Gaulle’s fascism.

    Set in an academic environment, Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man is undoubtedly a classic of the so-called university novel. And its author, a university lecturer (The Social Context of Modern English Literature; Atlas literatury), must have had many occasions to observe his colleagues from various departments of social sciences. Whether Bradbury’s mirror, to paraphrase Stendhal’s metaphor, strolling across the university courtyard should be regarded as a distorted image reflected in a warping mirror of satire, or whether it presented a slightly exaggerated model of the world (or “little world”) that literature can offer to sociology (“Literatura piękna”), will not be the subject of this article. Neither is The History Man an exemplification of Joseph Conrad’s principle of “meting out justice to the visible world.” Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the popular novelist, Malcom Bradbury, experienced fame only after the publication of The History Man (see

    Bradbury writes in “Author’s Note”: “It is a total invention with delusory approximations to historical reality, just as is history itself” (The History Man). The time of the novel is presented as a special moment, seen by many intellectuals of the time as the moment when “capitalist imperialism” ends. And then what? Well, what is usually promised in utopias, successive versions of a “brave new world.” Only that the “brave new world” will have to be fought for on the ruins of the old world, which is in the process of collapse. And in order to fight, you need – what a cliché – an enemy. And it turns out that at that time, in the early 1970s, it was not as easy to find an enemy as it might seem: “[E]verybody’s so low-profile these days you can’t get a fascist to perform a fascist action” (68). Well, if you really want to, you can find your enemy. The Department of Sociology at Watermouth University invites the renowned geneticist Mangel to deliver a guest lecture. And here is a chance, both for an enemy and for a fight. Admittedly, there are claims that Mangel has “serious, liberal views” (68), but the vigilance of a revolutionary spirit persists:

    ‘It’s all been exposed by the radical press,’ says Moira Millikin, ‘all that tradition. Jensen, Eysenck, Mangel. It’s all been shown to be racist.(…)

    ‘I think some of us are missing the entire point,’ says Roger Fundy to the table. ‘The point is that genetics isn’t an innocuous science. It’s a highly charged area, with deep social implications, and you have to protect your conclusions from having racialist overtones’ (149).

    Of course, as is unfortunately the case in this world, not everyone is alert enough; indeed, some academics would like to use distance and sarcasm to undermine progressive rationales and tendencies. And so, in response to Faundy’s declaration, Dr Zachery asks: “Even if that means falsifying the results?” (149) Foundy’s colleague, Millikin dispels any doubt on the matter: “If necessary, yes. (…) Why do you think all the radical press is attacking him? They know what they’re doing” (149).

    But this is all just a prelude, a reconnaissance of the positions before the main battle. Here it is. That is, a meeting. A progressive researcher Melissa Todoroff asks “if [the Chairperson] is aware that this invitation will be seen by all non-Caucasians and women on this campus as a deliberate insult to their genetic origins?” (157). She is succored by one of the student representatives:

    “This is trouble, man, (…) he’s a racist and a sexist” (Bradbury, 1985:157). Millikin echoes his words: “The point is that Professor Mangel’s work is fascist, and we’ve no business to confirm that by inviting him here” (Bradbury, 1985:157).

    Despite such clear, progressive argumentation, opinions continue to remain divided.

    “I had always thought the distinguishing mark of fascism was its refusal to tolerate free enquiry, says Marvin” (157). He is clearly a conservatist. Dr Zachery comes to his aid:

    I observe, among some of my younger colleagues, perhaps less experienced in recent history than some of us, a real ignorance of the state of affairs we are discussing. Professor Mangel and myself have a background in common; we are both Jewish, and both grew up in Nazi Germany, and fled here from the rise of fascism. I think we know the meaning of this term. Fascism, and the associated genocide, arose because a climate developed in Germany in which it was held that all intellectual activity conform with an accepted, approved ideology. To make this happen, it was necessary to make a climate in which it became virtually impossible to think, or exist, outside the dominant ideological construct. Those who did were isolated, as now some of our colleagues seek to isolate Professor Mangel. (…) Fascism is therefore an elegant sociological construct, a one-system world. Its opposite is contingency or pluralism or liberalism. That means a chaos of opinion and ideology; there are people who find that hard to endure (157).

    But who cares, in a situation where the truth is well known. And no matter what the facts are, they are not going to change that.

    It is perhaps not surprising that the “position of progressive elements” (158) is unequivocal. It is a harbinger of “righteous uproar and violent protest” (158). Seemingly off-topic (at least for the retrogressives), Mellissa Todoroff begins:

    “‘Castrate all sexists,’ [she] shouts (…) ‘Sisters, rebel,’ and, ‘Off the pigs!” (158) Her equally progressive colleagues give her the support she deserves: “‘Wishy-washy liberal equivocation,’ shouts Moira Millikin.” (160) “‘A crime against mankind,’ says Roger Fundy. (…) ‘A reactionary reason,’ says Moira Millikin” (160).

    What did Professor Mangel indicate his lecture would be about? It does not really matter. The topic was supposed to be “Do Rats Have ‘families’?” (Bradbury, 1985:218). But clearly, this is a “typical liberal evasion” (Bradbury, 1985:218).

    A radical student announces to those gathered in the meeting: “This lecture is forbidden by radical opinion.” The audience roars its assent, “‘Forbidden, forbidden,’ and ‘Fascist, fascist!’” (218). Somebody shouts out, “You’re the fascists; this is a crime against free speech” (218).

    That is when Melissa Todoroff steps in with a “Hysterectomize Mangel” poster (Bradbury, 1985:219) and throws something at a stranded conservative. And the brawl begins in earnest.

    As Todoroff later confides to Kirk, “I really blew my mind. What a trip. (...) The people chanting, the crowds roaring, all crying for goodness. It was Berkeley, Columbia, Vincennes. We were all so beautiful. (...) Will we ever be like that again?” (227).

    5. Fascism

    One of the flagship slogans of the 1968 revolution was the fight against fascism. In the novel The History Man, Professor and Mrs. Kirk’s children shouted: “The human will has a natural resistance to coercion. (…) It will not be repressed. By cornflake fascism.” And they yell this whenever they refuse to eat cornflakes. Professor Kirk himself used to shout, “It’s fascism!” to close every academic discussion victoriously. Not surprisingly, the Kirk kids quickly learned this simple trick from their dad.  It was worth it. It always worked.

    Well, George Orwell wrote back during World War II: Well, George Orwell wrote back during World War II:  “All one can do for the moment is to use the word ['fascism'] with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword” (As I Please. Tribune).

    Leszek Kołakowski summarized the fashion for using the word “fascist” at the end of the 1960s in the following words: “The word describes someone with whom I disagree, but I am unable to argue with him as a result of my ignorance” (Moje słuszne poglądy na wszystko 402). And a little further, he discusses the atmosphere in the West at that time: “By definition, a fascist is anyone who happened to be imprisoned in a communist country. In 1968 refugees from Czechoslovakia were welcomed in Germany by very progressive and absolutely revolutionary extreme left-wingers with banners saying, “Fascism Shall Not Pass” (403).


    The Roman Revolution  lasted for decades and was being conducted (not just conducted, but being conducted) almost imperceptibly for most of its contemporaries (Rewolucja Rzymska). And so the republic, maintaining its devices and institutions in an increasingly facade form, became a principate through the reign of Octavian Augustus. True, there had been dramatic moments before the fall of the republic, when the republic had convulsively defended itself against the one-man rule (tyranny). It is not a coincidence, after all, that one of them became the fodder for literature (including William Shakespeare), famous movies (such as Cleopatra) or quite popular TV series (an HBO series Rome). However, the term “Roman Revolution” itself has not entered the vocabulary of revolutionary movements for good. As Marx argued, far more violent than the Roman revolution, the French “revolution of 1789-1814 drape itself alternately as Roman Republic and as Roman Empire; nor did the revolution of 1818 know what better to do than to parody at one time the year 1789, at another the revolutionary traditions of 1793-95” (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte 11).

    What perspective does Marx propose? “Hegel says somewhere that great historic facts and personages recur twice. He forgot to add: ‘Once as tragedy, and again as farce.’” (12). Both Hegel and the afore-quoted Karl Marx meant the revolution. The Great French Revolution is an event on the scale of tragedy. The revolution of 1848 and the subsequent overthrow of the future Napoleon III in 1851 is read by Marx as a farce. In principle one can agree with this interpretation. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that even in the events that began in 1789, it is not difficult to find elements of farce. Tragedy does not exclude farce, and farce does not defend against tragedy. Take, for example, the capture of the Bastille, celebrated to this day as a symbol of victory over tyranny.   It was regarded as a symbol of royal despotism. But only seven prisoners were found in the fortress, well-fed and occupying spacious rooms – including four impostors, one pervert in the style of the Marquis de Sade, and two lunatics, who were soon confined to a mental hospital. There would be many more instances of tragicomedy similar to the celebration of such revolutionary symbols as the Bastille in the history of the Great French Revolution. But yes, the French Revolution certainly deserves to be called a tragedy – though not only in the sense that Marx intended it to be. More than 200 years after 1989 The Black Book of the French Revolution was published in France (Czarna księga rewolucji francuskiej). It shows convincingly that the revolution was a kind of bloody of genocide carried out in the name of falsely conceived human rights; and that it was primarily people from the lowest classes who died on the guillotine. The authors of the work, eminent historians, prove that it was not the people of France who caused the revolution, but a privileged minority actually set against the people, and that it was the people who were most harmed by the revolution. Yet it was a tragedy, a farce shall never (let us hope) equal it.


    * This article was originally published in the book entitled Tradition and Change. Scruton’s Philosophy and its Meaning for Contemporary Europe, European Conservatives and Reformists, Warszawa 2022.

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    [1] Fragments of Sławomir Mrożek’s diary and the whole article translated from Polish by Dominika Pieczka.

    [2] The question of the tradition in conservative thought diverges from, for example, the reading list recommended to conservatives. Thus, Wiker begins his list of such readings with Aristotle (see Benjamin Wiker, 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read Plus Four Not to Miss and One Impostor). Scruton himself, editing a collection of essays from The Salisbury Review, begins with texts on Richard Hooker, William Shakespeare, and Samuel Johnson (see Roger Scruton, editor. Conservative Thinkers. Essays from “The Salisbury Review.” The Claridge Press, 1988). Whereas Muller begins his excellent anthology of social and political conservative thought with David Hume (see Jerry Z. Muller [ed.], Conservativism. An Anthology of Social and Political Thought from David Hume to the Present, Princeton University Press, 1997).

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