I am saying, or suggesting, only this: when the faith and the institutions of society which nurtured beauty are fallen into disuse, neither money nor governmental decree can revive beauty. Manners and beauty are not the subjects of fiat. The arbiters of manners and artistic taste, as of morals, Davy Hume said, are men of strong sense and delicate sentiment, whose impressions force themselves upon the wills of their fellow men. Destroy that class of persons, and you destroy manners and beauty.~Russell Kirk, The Intemperate Professor, p. 159
And, manners and beauty vanished, no culture survives that is worthy of the name. That consummation attained, the best a society may hope for is an endless boredom of utilitarian ugliness; but the odds are that soon such a "civilization" will feel at its throat the prick of the bowie knife.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
And there are things which rightfully we ought to fear, if we are to enjoy any dignity as men. When, in an age of smugness and softness, fear has been pushed temporarily into the dark corners of personality and society, then soon the gods of the copybook headings with fire and sword return. To fear to commit evil, and to hate what is abominable, is the mark of manliness. "They will never love where they ought to love," Burke says, "who do not hate where they ought to hate." It may be added that they will never dare when they ought to dare, who do not fear when they ought to fear.
~Russell Kirk, The Intemperate Professor, p. 74