Nobody brought up in post-war England can fail to be aware of the educated derision that has been directed at our national loyalty by those whose freedom to criticize would have been extinguished years ago, had the English not been prepared to die for their country. The loyalty that people need in their daily lives, and which they affirm in their unconsidered and spontaneous social actions, is now habitually ridiculed or even demonized by the dominant media and the education system. National history is taught as a tale of shame and degradation. The art, literature and music of our nation have been more or less excised from the curriculum, and folkways, local traditions and national ceremonies are routinely rubbished. This repudiation of the national idea is the result of a peculiar frame of mind that has arisen throughout the Western world since the Second World War, and which is particularly prevalent among the intellectual and political elites. No adequate word exists for this attitude, though its symptoms are instantly recognized: namely, the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours'. Being the opposite of xenophobia we might describe this state of mind as 'oikophobia', meaning (to stretch the Greek a little) the repudiation of inheritance and home. Oikophobia is a stage through which the adolescent mind normally passes. But it is a stage in which intellectuals tend to become arrested. As George Orwell pointed out, intellectuals on the left are especially prone to it, and this has often made them willing agents of foreign powers. The Cambridge spies offer a telling illustration of what oikophobia has meant for our country. And it is interesting to note that a recent BBC 'docudrama' constructed around that episode neither examined the realities of their treason nor addressed the suffering of the millions of their East European victims, but merely endorsed the oikophobia that had caused the spies to act as they did.
Nor is oikophobia a specifically English, still less specifically British tendency (although Scots seem relatively immune to it). When Sartre and Foucault draw their picture of the 'bourgeois' mentality, the mentality of the Other in his Otherness, they are describing the ordinary decent Frenchman, and expressing their contempt for his national culture. A chronic form of oikophobia has spread through the American universities, in the guise of political correctness, and loudly surfaced in the aftermath of September 11, to pour scorn on the culture that allegedly provoked the attacks, and to side by implication with the terrorists.
The domination of our own national parliament by oikophobes is partly responsible for the assaults on our constitution, for the acceptance of subsidized immigration and for the attacks on customs and institutions associated with traditional and native forms of life. The oikophobe repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed on us from on high by the EU or the UN, though without troubling to consider Terence's question, and defining his political vision in terms of universal values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community. The oikophobe is, in his own eyes, a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism. And it is the rise of the oikophobe that has led to the growing crisis of legitimacy in the nation states of Europe. For we are seeing a massive expansion of the legislative burden on the people of Europe, and a relentless assault on the only loyalties that would enable them voluntarily to bear it. The explosive effect of this has already been felt in Holland and France. It may be felt everywhere soon, and the result may not be what the oikophobes expect.
(Roger Scruton, A Political Philosophy [London and New York: Continuum, 2006], 23-5 [italics in original; footnote omitted])