The Bible tells us that a prophet has no honour in his own land. As a man of faith, Prince Charles will no doubt be familiar with these words. Indeed, he might even be tempted to take them as a personal motto, such is his treatment in the British press. But writing in the American Conservative, Rod Dreher provides a refreshingly highminded profile of the "Philosopher Prince".
Giving voice to supporters and critics alike, Dreher explores the complicated relationship between the Prince's philosophy and various strands of conservative thought:
- Charles’s support for organic agriculture and other green causes, his sympathetic view of Islam, and his disdain for liberal economic thinking have earned him skepticism from some on the British right… Others, though, see in Charles a visionary of the cultural right, one whose worldview is far broader, historically and otherwise, than those of his contemporaries on either side of the political spectrum.
Roger Scruton, our greatest living conservative philosopher, is certainly in the latter category:
- “All in all, the criticisms of Prince Charles from self-styled ‘Tories’ show just how little they understand about the philosophy they claim to represent."
But perhaps the most interesting comment comes from Charles Moore, both a supporter and a critic of his royal namesake:
- “If you believe in conservatism as a force for good rather than just a negative thing, you have to respect Prince Charles… He doesn’t just say modern buildings are awful. He tries to help people build good modern buildings. We need more people like that, who will work to improve the cultural fabric, the environmental fabric, from a traditional point of view."
Positive conservatism. Now there's an idea we can all work with.