In Chapter 1 of Roger Scruton’s How to be a Conservative, we find the following description of an ordinary conservative in our present society.
Ordinary conservatives – and many, possibly most, people fall into this category – are constantly told that their ideas and sentiments are reactionary, prejudiced, sexist or racist. Just by being the thing they are they offend against the new norms of inclusiveness and non-discrimination. Their honest attempts to live by their lights, raising families, enjoying communities, worshipping their gods, and adopting a settled and affirmative culture – these attempts are scorned and ridiculed by the Guardian class. In intellectual circles conservatives therefore move quietly and discreetly, catching each other’s eyes across the room like the homosexuals in Proust, whom that great writer compared to Homer’s gods, known only to each other as they move in disguise around the world of mortals.
How ironic that Scruton uses the image of the secretive homosexual in Proust’s books to describe how the conservative must behave in intellectual circles today.