Mark Dooley is an Irish philosopher, author, and journalist. He is the former John Henry Newman Scholar in theology at University College Dublin, and is a Contributing Editor to The European Conservative. His books include The Politics of Exodus: Kierkegaard’s Ethics of Responsibility, The Philosophy of Derrida, Roger Scruton: The Philosopher on Dover Beach, Why Be a Catholic?, Moral Matters: A Philosophy of Homecoming, and Conversations with Roger Scruton. In 2022, he published Against the Tide: The Best of Roger Scruton’s Columns, Commentaries and Criticism. He is Sir Roger Scuton’s Literary Executor.
Free societies need people like Eoghan Harris—courageous contrarians who defy the culture of amnesia. Such people are the vanguard of memory, reminding us that liberty is a precious but fragile asset that we must not take for granted.
If journalism helped Scruton to synthesise ideas in a single thought, it also displayed the rich literary gifts which first brought him to the attention of the British public in the 1970s. For him, journalism was much more than conveying information, news, or opinion. It was an attempt to stir the imagination of the reader so that the ‘unfashionable opinion’ being expressed might become theirs.
That is what the world is desperately yearning for, which is why people still flock to their churches to kneel down and kiss the Cross on Good Friday. Most may not fully understand why they are there, but they know that Christ did not give his life so that we would remain the same. He gave his life so that, having crucified the old self, the burden of bondage would be lifted forever.
If conservatives seek to uphold the law of the home, it is because they consider it neither feasible nor desirable to transcend it. Hence, they defend the local over the universal and the familiar over the anonymous. Their attachment to their country is founded on reverence and fidelity to that place which made them, and whose geography, law and culture constitutes the fabric of their identity and the object of their true affection.