ABSTRACT | The Enlightenment idea of an Open Society, in which reason and toleration govern the relations between sovereign individuals, has lost none of its original appeal, despite all the failed attempts to embody it in laws and institutions. The reason for this failure is simple: that liberal individualism depends on conditions and boundaries that it also destroys, and makes sense only in a historical context that Enlightenment itself does nothing to create. The problem here goes to the heart of the European experiment, and is nowhere more vividly apparent than in Hungary and its immediate neighbours.
BIO | Roger Scruton is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis. Roger is a writer, philosopher and public commentator. He has specialized in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist. He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the British Academy.
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