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Crucial features

Roger Scruton spells out "some of the critical features of the Western inheritance" -

THE FIRST of the features that I have in mind is citizenship. The consensus among Western nations is that the law is made legitimate by the consent of those who must obey it. This consent is given through a political process in which each citizen participates in the making and enacting of the law. The right and duty of participation is what we mean by “citizenship,” and the distinction between political and religious communities can be summed up by the view that the former are composed of citizens, whereas the latter are composed of subjects who have “submitted” (which is the primary meaning of the word islam). If we seek a simple definition of the West as it is today, it would be wise to take this concept of citizenship as our starting point. Indeed, it is what the millions of migrants roaming the world are in search of: an order that confers security and freedom in exchange for consent.

Scruton is always bracing.

Comments (1)

A Betts:

law is made legitimate by the consent of those who must obey it. This consent is given through a political process (determined by minority political parties) in which each citizen participates in the making and enacting of the law.


Since when did Parliament allow individuals to participate in the making of laws? It acts for interest groups, lobbyists & the politically self-righteous only. It overrides any withholding of consent it does not agree with by manipulation of the political process!

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