Friday, October 14, 2005
Scruton - 'Democracy or theocracy?'
"The crucial point in all this is to recognise secular government as the sine qua non of democracy, and theocracy as its natural opponent. And secular government depends upon finding some other focus of communal identity and solidarity than religious faith ... The secular law in a country like the United Kingdom is made possible by territorial jurisdiction, and the territory in question is defined by permeable but historically vindicated national boundaries. Our political culture is a culture of the home and the homeland, rather than the faith and the faithful ... That kind of territorial patriotism has suffered erosion, not only from globalisation, but also from the mass immigration of minorities that do not share it, who define their communities in terms of religion rather than territory, and who do not in their heart accept the authority of a merely secular law. It has suffered too from a culture of repudiation among intellectuals who, for a variety of reasons, not all of them bad, have tried to discard national loyalty and to replace it with the cosmopolitan ideals of the Enlightenment ... The problem, as I see it, is that cosmopolitan ideals are the property of an elite and will never be shared by the mass of human kind." - Open Democracy.