The Battle of Lepanto needed strong leadership. Today, Europe is searching for similar leadership. Europe needs statesmen: men and women who think about the next generation, not the next election; people like Don Juan of Austria and Blessed Emperor Karl, animated by a deep sense of service, ready to put the interests of their peoples before their own.
All is not yet lost for those who believe in Christendom. Saner leadership seems to be emerging in Hungary and elsewhere in Central Europe. So, too, in Western Europe a new generation is looking for answers.
One of the West’s problems is that at the end of the Cold War, it has been uncertain of its purpose—which has engendered a moral and political crisis, especially in the face of the threat of Islamic terrorism.
We are all Germans now. What started out as the uniqueness of German guilt has mushroomed into an all-encompassing Western guilt, now tied to the legacy of imperialism and the transatlantic slave trade. And apparently, we can never finish atoning for our ‘sins.’
For the development of Swedish conservatism, a return to its deep cultural roots provided by Catholicism and the vibrant civil society formed by its Protestant free churches is essential. A relativistic or secular approach will not suffice.
Establishing anew the cause of nationhood by situating its defence in the moral life of its members was one of Scruton’s achievements. The conservative movement of the future would do well to concentrate on this facet of his philosophy.