Letter to The Editor - Australians also tend at present to adopt a cavalier attitude to this source of truth
To The Australian The death of Roger Scruton invites us to consider the nature of conservatism and the role it might play in the coming life of our own nation ("Life of a contrary don", 14/1). Scruton's horror of mob violence witnessed in France in 1968 alerted him to the need to oppose the revolutionary doctrine (it is nonsense) of human equality. He soon grasped that high culture was a vital bulwark in the defence of the ways of the elders. You are right ("Roger Scruton's brilliant mind") to applaud this life lived in devotion to "beauty, reason and tradition". However, the essence of conservatism is the honouring of the sacred, of the mystery of the holy; and Scruton does not seem to have been strong enough on this. Australians also tend at present to adopt a cavalier attitude to this source of truth, hence the current confusion generally in our intellectual forums. We can learn from Scruton, but we can learn more from the world's great sacred traditions and their wisest exponents.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic