Scruton and Eagleton on the culture wars

“For well over three decades, Roger Scruton and Terry Eagleton have as public intellectuals put on an entertaining non-stop show as the lion and the unicorn of competing ideologies.” The Independent

On September 13, 2013, two giants of British intellectual culture came to the Intelligence Squared stage. Terry Eagleton, literary critic and long-time hero of the radical left, and Roger Scruton, right-wing philosopher who has written on everything from economic theory to literature, and architecture to wine. Both confound attempts to pigeonhole them – Eagleton, despite his Marxist credentials, has leanings towards spirituality, while Scruton, champion of traditional English conservatism, has written about the ecological threat to the planet.

They discussed what really divides the left and the right. It’s not disagreements over efficiency and equity; it’s not this policy for the NHS or that budget cut. What you have are two irreducibly different views of the world, where each tries hard to understand the other’s view. Scruton and Eagleton, the foremost engagé intellectuals of our time, came together for an ideological reckoning.


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