Ideas from 'Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture' by Roger Scruton [1993], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Upon Nothing' by Scruton,Roger [University of Swansea 1993,0-86076-092-8]].

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1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 1. Continental Philosophy
Two marxist ideas have dominated in France: base and superstructure, and ideology
                        Full Idea: Two tenets of classical Marxism have played a decisive role in French culture during our century: the theory of base and superstructure, and the concept of ideology.
                        From: Roger Scruton (Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture [1993], p.7)
                        A reaction: It is striking how marxist attitudes permeate even the least political of French philosophical writings, to the point where you wonder if they are even aware of it any more. They largely have marxism and reaction, with liberalism passing them by.
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 6. Deconstruction
On the surface of deconstructive writing, technicalities float and then drift away
                        Full Idea: Deconstructive writing has a peculiar surface, in which technicalities float on the syntactic flood and vanish unexplained downstream.
                        From: Roger Scruton (Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture [1993], p.2)
                        A reaction: Not even the greatest fans of deconstruction can deny this, and Derrida more or less admits it. At first glance it certainly looks more like the ancient idea of rhetoric than it looks anything like dialectic.
Deconstruction is the last spasm of romanticism, now become hopeless and destructive
                        Full Idea: The subversive patterns of thought in deconstruction are a last spasm of romanticism: one that has given up hope of an otherworldly redemption, and set out instead to destroy the illusions in which other still believe, the source of their power.
                        From: Roger Scruton (Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture [1993], p.29)
                        A reaction: It seems to be strongly connected with the failure of marxism in Europe, but it also seems to inherit all the values of the Dada movement.
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / c. Social contract
The benefits of social freedom outweigh the loneliness, doubt and alienation it brings
                        Full Idea: While the goods of freedom, such as rights, property, education and prosperity, can be obtained only at a price - the price of loneliness, doubt and alienation - it is a price worth paying.
                        From: Roger Scruton (Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture [1993])
                        A reaction: A striking way for a liberal-conservative to confront the accusations of the marxists - by conceding a lot of their criticisms, but living with them. I still don't see why we shouldn't aspire to have both.
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 3. Conservatism
So-called 'liberation' is the enemy of freedom, destroying the very structures that are needed
                        Full Idea: The promise of 'liberation' has always been the enemy of freedom - in 1968 as much as in 1789 and 1917. Its first desire, and its only policy, is to destroy the institutions and traditions (the 'structures') which make freedom durable.
                        From: Roger Scruton (Upon Nothing: Swansea lecture [1993], p.9)
                        A reaction: There is a dilemma, though, if you legal system is corrupt. Far too many political attitudes are formed because of high-profile spectacular cases, instead of looking at daily routines. The latter might make a corrupt legal system still worth saving.