Skip to comments.How To Read A Society
Posted on 08/27/2019 7:08:18 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
In the dayssimultaneously not so very long ago and in the ancient pastwhen communism seemed a permanent feature of he political landscape, I traveled extensively on the other side of the looking glass that divided the world into two opposed camps. I did not take with me as literary guide and compass to my travels one of the Marxist-Leninist "classics"...
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
Fantastic article. Lots of food for thought.
Tocqueville understood, as few modern writers do, that pauperism is above all a psychological, not an economic, condition.
Tear down the statues! Burn the books! Bleachbit!
Custine grew up with his father murdered by the proto-Communists, the Jacobin French, then saw and correctly perceived the people in whom Marx found such fertile soil.
Super excellent!! So many passages could be highlighted!
I chose this one.
“As Tocqueville grasped, the shift of responsibility from individual to collectivity had an enormous and deleterious effect on how people thought and felt, and therefore upon society as a whole. Where this shift had taken place, economic progress was perfectly compatible with squalor of every kind, and general wealth with degradation.”
San Francisco is the poster child for that. In delegating our personal compassion to the state and making it a right, we’ve destroyed both the meaning and value of compassion and the need for gratitude on the part of those receiving it.
This essay should be mandatory reading at every school.
I admire Dalrymple’s writing and have several of his books. But I didn’t want to read the whole thing. The important part for me was at the end with Tocqueville. Mr. Toc is the shrewd observer of the character of Americans. For me it comes down to the tension between freedom and equality. The right is more about freedom and the left is about equality. The left now wants radical equality where everything is given to everyone by big government. Anything else is an injustice in their eyes. This does away with, as Dalrymple states, “all the trouble of living” and will be the ruin of the country. And this is what Mr. Toc predicted 165 years ago would be the outcome of America.
I find that society is becoming more liberal despite what party is voted in. A greater liberal society means more radical equality: an equality of outcome. This is a leveling of society to the lowest common denominator where people are not challenged to produce excellence for fear that they are acting superior and, therefore, not equal to their fellow man. Radical equality underlies all the talk of racism, sexism, feminism, the guilt of being white and all the Marxist grievances against western civilization. Non of the benefits of capitalistic society are ever mentioned by the left, but only that is an unfair society for being unequal to other peoples and cultures. This was the Obama apology tour: “Excuse America for being unequal to you.”
Equality and freedom are important, but so is moderation in their application. Too much of one or the other will give you tyranny.
That’s one of the best pieces by Dalrymple that I’ve read in a long time. I won’t make a fool of myself, contra such an example, by offering my own ignorant and ill-composed comment ...
... except to say that I hope such a long, original piece is a harbinger of a new book!
Just WOW. Thanks!
Daniel Pipes’ father, who wrote about Russia, would agree with Darymple’s assessment.
This is quite a good article with interesting references to important political commentators in history.
~”Custine grasped that the propensity to deceive and to be (or to pretend to be) deceived lay at the heart of Russia’s evident malaise”.~
This struck me as the crux of the situation, then in Russia, and now in our country.
A wonderful piece, thank you for posting! Much food for thought..
He is "both eagle and insect, soaring above the rest of humanity and at the same time insinuating himself into the fabric of their lives like a termite into wood."
Oh my, thats a wonderful meme!
Ping to you, upchuck, I think youll like this. Had you seen it?
A GREAT read! GW...I salute you! This (and the background books) should be required reading for today’s millenials.
Chilling, isn’t it...
Has anyone found the de Custine book in English translation?? All Amazon has is French language editions.
Hadn’t seen it. Thanks for the ping. Interesting...
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