To Roger Scruton, Art Was a Sign of a Society’s Moral Integrity

The late English philosopher Roger Scruton devoted much of his career to probing the links between tradition and the moral life. Another abiding concern of his work was beauty, a philosophical subject about which he published major studies, covering music, architecture, and the visual arts. Reviewing a new book by Ferenc Hörcher on the role of aesthetics in Scruton’s thought, Ronen Shoval writes:

As one of the most prominent and productive conservative thinkers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Scruton lived a long and prolific life as he dedicated himself to exploring philosophy. His life was characterized by a deep appreciation for tradition, community, and the aesthetic aspects of the human experience. He was renowned for his ability to combine theoretical understanding with practical applications.

One of the central themes Hörcher developed in his book is “aesthetic conservatism,” a term that captures Scruton’s belief in the importance of beauty and art in a healthy society. Scruton argued that art, culture, and tradition are not only intrinsically valuable but also essential to a community’s social and moral fabric. He saw the degradation of art and culture as symptomatic of social decline.

Read more at Public Discourse

More about: Art, Conservatism, Philosophy, Roger Scruton


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security