Roger Sandall from ‘Guardianship: The Utopia Of The New Class‘ finishes with:
‘One remembers Weber’s epitaph for the Protestant Ethic, as he contemplated a devitalised bourgeoisie spiritlessly tending the petrified mechanism their ancestors had raised. Adapted, without apology, it might also be used to depict that petrified Utopia of the New Ruling classes of the East.
‘Rulers without honour, administrators without heart, priests without conviction, this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilisation never before achieved.’
The ‘East’ at the time of publication was what was then behind the Iron Curtain (April 1983 in Quadrant Magazine).
I suppose I’m still baffled by the the 2015 decision to let over a million ‘asylum-seekers’ into Germany:
‘Merkel said she was moved by the sight of hundreds of migrants stuck at a railway station in Hungary last week, chanting their desire to come to Germany.’
I decided to look up Angela Merkel’s wikipedia page, and found the following as well:
‘In 2012, Merkel said, regarding her faith: “I am a member of the evangelical church. I believe in God and religion is also my constant companion, and has been for the whole of my life. We as Christians should above all not be afraid of standing up for our beliefs.” She also publicly declared that Germany suffers not from “too much Islam” but “too little Christianity”‘
As previously posted:
There’s plenty of German theory, pathology and overwhelming 20th-century collective guilt going on here. What many moderns and humanists can ignore are the deep impulses they have to make meaning, and to draw distinctions between the sacred and the profane, which in the West can manifest as a kind of sentimental Romanticization of Nature and Man (religious and anti-religious, truthfully, and perhaps some hybridization illuminated by German Theory).
Everyone wants to transcend and seek the timeless, the immortal, and the pure, I’m guessing.
There is also a particular myth of the ‘Noble Savage,’ alive and well in the Western World, where the local tribesman or displaced native is celebrated as an exotic but worthy adversary, or some kind of anachronistic adornment.
This stuff can be true and inspiring in the arts, synthesized as part of the Romantic school:
Perhaps the native is to be included under the net of secular human idealism or given land, a casino or a museum somewhere on the Western Estate and left to many of his own devices (many further Left likely see a fellow oppressed class of victims with whom to feel solidarity on the way to radical and revolutionary freedom).
But certainly with the triumphs of trade and commerce, the many benefits and successes of Western expansion (the thousand injustices and brutalities of State and privately funded imperialism), comes a lot of doubt, guilt, and shame.
What is true and right?
How should I live and what should I do?
I can say Orwell has caused me to think, reflect, and honestly take a look at myself in the mirror.
Much as the sciences require intellectual rigor, empirical evidence and much skepticism, there are bands of Western anti-science postmodernists in their wake, too, who can sink into a kind of nebulous modern mysticism, building museums as temples.
Just as there are humanists there are anti-humanists.
Perhaps not too much has changed.
Those Germans and their Idealism!: Tom Wolfe on Max Weber on one conspicuous use of art in the ‘modern’ world:
‘…aesthetics is going to replace ethics, art is going to replace religion, as the means through which educated people express their spiritual worthiness…‘
Update & Repost-Roger Sandall At The American Interest: ‘Tribal Realism’…From Roger Sandall: ‘The Slave Girl and the Professor’
As previously posted:
Full Misguided Nostagia for Our Paleo Past here.
‘The paleofantasy is a fantasy in part because it supposes that we humans, or at least our protohuman forebears, were at some point perfectly adapted to our environments. We apply this erroneous idea of evolution’s producing the ideal mesh between organism and surroundings to other life forms, too, not just to people.’
There’s a lot of confusion out there in the popular mind, apparently. Fascinating discoveries going on right now in genetics, genome research, and evolutionary biology, to name a few.
But there are also political and ideological movements displaying many characteristics of religious movements, and seeking to make laws we all must follow.
Repost-From The American Spectator: ‘Environmentalism and the Leisure Class’
Update And Repost-Skeptical Environmentalism From Fora.tv Via A & L Daily: Bjorn Lomborg @ COP15