In Defence of the Nation



Over the last decade it has ceased to be either polite or politic for British subjects to defend the ‘national idea’ as the foundation of political order. Or rather, you can defend that idea on behalf of others — at least if they are engaged in some ‘struggle for national liberation’ — but not on behalf of your own community and kind. Indeed, you should be careful not to use words like ‘kind’, ‘race’, or ‘kin’. Loyalties, if they are not universalist, must be expressed surreptitiously, in the self-deprecating language of one confessing to a private fault. In a recent publication, Professor Bikhu Parekh shows why there is a need for caution. Parekh summarises a nationalist view (which he attributes to various people, including myself), in ‘four basic premises’:


Modern World National Idea Liberal Theory Political Order Liberal State 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
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© Roger Scruton 1990

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