Home

A year of awakening

In the last days of 2005, leading thinkers and scholars from around the world share their fears, hopes and expectations of 2006. Forty-nine of openDemocracy’s distinguished contributors, from Mariano Aguirre to Slavoj Zizek, Neal Ascherson to Jonathan Zittrain – offer their predictions for the coming year. Since this is openDemocracy, we did not expect them to agree. We were not disappointed. (Part Two)
Roger Scruton
22 December 2005

 

In Britain, I look forward to a revival of the Tory party under David Cameron’s leadership, and the adoption by Tony Blair and the Labour Party of a more tentative style of government. On the domestic front I assume that the Islamist threat will continue to grow, and that there will be atrocities at least as revolting as those we saw last summer.

Of course it is dangerous to make such prophecies – look what happened to Enoch Powell. But the country has received its wake-up call and it is now more acceptable to say what we all know in our hearts to be true – that immigration must be followed by integration if it is not to blow our society apart. It is a tragedy that people have to die before the truth can be publicly acknowledged, but that is the way establishments work.

In the world of culture there is much to hope for: the revival of tonality in serious music; the return to classical styles and principles in architecture; a new moral seriousness in art and literature. In architecture especially people are beginning to look for ways to escape from the vinegary prescriptions of the modernists, and to use styles and materials that blend with the urban fabric.

In this matter, as in so many others, the Labour establishment has remained bogged down in the 1960s, mulling over opinions that were once progressive and which have therefore dated far more quickly than the conservative sentiments they aimed to replace. The architecture of the 1960s, based in the half-crazed theories of Le Corbusier and Gropius, is one major cause of social breakdown in our cities. Thanks to the recent riots around Paris, educated opinion has begun to focus on exactly what happens to immigrants from village communities, when they are shut up in the satanic mills fabricated from Corbusian lego.

2006 may very well be the year when people finally wake up to the fact that the state educational system cannot be rescued, and that pouring money into this bankrupt organisation will only make matters worse. Whether an effective political consensus concerning the alternative will emerge I do not know. It could be that 2006 will see the beginning of a wholly new approach to education, and a recognition that, after all, it is not the business of the state.

 

US election: what's at stake for the rest of us?

Our editor-in-chief, Mary Fitzgerald, is on the ground in key battleground states ahead of the US election.

There's never been more at stake. But the pandemic has kept many foreign journalists away. Hundreds of international observers who normally oversee US elections aren't there.

Hear Mary describe what she's seeing and hearing across the country, from regular citizens to social justice activists to right-wing militias arming themselves for election day.

Plus: hear from the journalists behind openDemocracy's latest big 'follow-the-money' investigation, which lifts the lid on how Trump-linked groups have exported their culture wars across the world.

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 29 October, 5pm UK time/1pm EDT.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData