Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Combating the Revolution

Mark Signorelli in his last of three essays on the continuing relevance of Edmund Burke has advice traditionalists of all stripes would do well to consider:

If rational politics presupposes some minimally accurate conception of human nature as its starting point, then we cannot currently practice politics, since we do not find, anywhere in our culture, a minimally accurate conception of human nature accepted by a sizable portion of the public; what we have instead are various travesties of such a conception, such as are provided by evolutionary psychology on the one hand, and multiculturism on the other.  This means that those who wish to redeem our politics right now should not be practicing politics, if by that term we mean to designate the holding of office, the deliberation of specific policies, the support of existing institutions – in short, participation in the civic life of America as presently constituted.  What they should be doing instead is the hard intellectual and spiritual work of reflection, raising their minds above the sordid state of affairs surrounding us and searching for a timeless understanding of our essential natures which will serve us in the work of social renewal.  Above all things, they should be turning to the study of literature and poetry, since, as I have argued before here at FPR and elsewhere, it is the study of these things which most effectively helps us to answer the ancient admonition, “know thyself.”  We can gauge the perfect unseriousness of contemporary conservatives by their almost complete neglect of the literary arts, when a cultivation of these things is the only possible starting point for us now in the combat with liberal dominance.  (Emphasis added.)

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