Sunday, December 12, 2010

The (Not So) Great Compromise

Remember the one-time required (for college) critique, The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point, which attempted to explain to the nation's non-hippies what had just happened in America? (1970)

Its author, Philip Slater noted then:

"One reason (there are many others, some quite practical) why compromising liberals are so despised and extreme conservatives sometimes respected is that the greater moral absolutism of the latter, no matter how antithetical in content, strikes a sympathetic chord."

Monday, December 6, 2010

If They Ruled the World...

While reading the essay, "Horace", written by the grand old master, Agnes Repplier, I came upon this perpetually sobering observation:

The clear-sighted do not rule the world, but they sustain and console it. It is not in human nature to be led by intelligence. An intelligent world would not be what it is today; it would never have been what it has been in every epoch of which we have any knowledge. Horace had no illusions on this score. He did not pass his life in ignorance of the ills about him. Men lived on their elemental instincts then as now. They wanted to keep what they had, or they wanted to get what their neighbors had, just as they do today. Horace knew this, and he invented no fancy phrases to decorate a bald fact. To understand life was, indeed, a classic form of consolation, a mental austerity...