Tagged: history

Notes On the Passing Popness

Can someone tell me why a Hollywood biopic (an “epic,” as they say) about Napoleon would be relevant to a culture in which ninety-seven percent of the population would not know what country Napoleon was from, when he lived, what he is famous for, and what significance his life and actions had for future generations of thinkers and statesmen? Or why a man...

The Premises of Progress

The other day, a serious student who is reading Brave New World wrote with some musings and questions inspired by the World Controller’s explanation, in one of the later chapters, of the World State’s reasons for prohibiting all access to the great art and thought of the past. I reproduce her main questions (in italics) and my replies, below, with only a few...

How Progressivism Kills Higher Education

Almost two thousand years ago, the Romans rounded up Christians and other offenders against official beliefs and fed them to wild dogs and lions, as a form of popular religious expression/entertainment. A few hundred years ago, it was Christians of Europe and America rounding up alleged witches, and burning them at the stake or hanging them, as an expression of religious orthodoxy. What...

The Writer, The Past, and The Progressive

The writer’s primary goal is not to appeal to readers, nor even to appeal to good readers, but rather to be worthy of good readers. He cannot control whether any such readers will exist, or whether, if they do exist, they will ever discover or appreciate his writing. He must concern himself only with what he can control — though even that only...

Trimming the Fat, Progressive Style

The publisher and copyright holders of the famous children’s stories of Roald Dahl have systematically expunged certain progressively offensive words from the new editions of his books, in order to bring them into line with current progressive notions of “inclusiveness” (read Marxist mind manipulation). A character who was “enormously fat” is now simply “enormous,” lest anyone be infected with the horrific, antiquated idea...

On Defining Our Times

Any age, society, or political regime requires a justification for its existence, which is to say it needs a justifying person — a type or example of something great and enduring which was made possible, or rather more possible, by the prevailing conditions of that age, society, or regime. A human being who is recognizably of his time but also unqualifiedly for all...

Two Observations On Progress Today

Reason as hatred.— If disapproving of someone’s behavior, or disagreeing with his reasoning, is to be understood as an expression of hatred for the person, and if all hatred in turn may be regarded as violence, in the moral and perhaps legal senses, then all rational discussion or moral argument is effectively criminalized, and anyone who dares to express disagreement or disapproval of...

A Small Torrent

There is a sense of everything closing in or coming to a head. It is palpable. But this sense does not answer to simplistic and tribally convenient conspiracy theories. It belongs to the more complex realm of historical inevitabilities….

Systemic Oppression

Progressives believe, or say they believe, that the history of “Western civilization” is systemically racist, sexist, oligarchic, intolerant, and so on, not merely accidentally or on its margins, but as an essential element and raison d’ĂȘtre of its existence. In other words, these people believe — their political movement depends on the belief — that the entire philosophic, religious, scientific, artistic, and political...

Wisdom In Context

All thought, as expressed, is in part a temperamental response to circumstances. Thus it is a mistake to imagine any single great thought is The Thought, unless it be a thought arisen from universal circumstances. This is why all searches eventually return to Greece, which, partly due to its being the first flower of mature poetry, philosophy, and politics, appeals to all thinking...