Parallels

I’ve been re-reading Modern Times:  The History of the World from the 1920s to the 1980s by the great historian (and former leftist intellectual) Paul Johnson.

I highly recommend it for a sold re-grounding ni the history of the 20th century, including the century’s most noxious, toxic, and yes, evil impulses – the intertwined phenomena of Communism and Naziism, and the west’s initial bout of insanity – abandoning the great tenets of western civilization for the callow blandishments of “progressivism”, and the side effects that had.

And I was thinking – as bad as the sixties and seventies were, the current rot – of which Barack Obama was just a loud, friendly symptom – in many ways may be as bad as the intellectdual cancer of the thirties.

Along those lines, and reading just after the Berkeley “Yiannopoulos” riots, I found this quote – Johnson quoting Lionel Teilling, writing about the western lefts reaction to Stalin’s show trials in the thirties.  Trilling described…:

…an imposed monolithic government they saw the promise of rest from the particular acts of will which are needed to meet the many, often clashing, requirements of democratic society … they cherished the idea of revolution as the final, all-embracing act of will which would forever end the exertions of our individual wills.

In other words, the only thing worse than politics is the complete lack of politics.

Which you get, among other ways, by making politics too painful, risky and dangerous for those in “the middle”.

They’re right on track.

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7 thoughts on “Parallels

  1. Usual suspects to declare Johnson an anti-christ and Zinn as saviour in three… two… one…

  2. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 02.14.17 : The Other McCain

  3. “In other words, the only thing worse than politics is the complete lack of politics.”

    I had a revelatory moment with my adult daughter recently. She had always accused me of being “too political.” She leaned in and asked “When did EVERYTHING become so political?” I just pointed at her and smiled. It’s all just a part of the circle of life. “When you’re young, you don’t see it. When you’re older, you wish it would go away.”

  4. The trilling quote suits the book’s title. It could never be said about any age but the modern (which only means “how we do things now”). The modern age believes itself to be rootless, but it isn’t. It believes that it is based on truth, but it isn’t.
    The modern age is unique in that its world view is that the proper use of power is to gain more power, and nothing else.

  5. Mamm: The modern age has roots. They’re no different than prior generations. The difference is we now have a media telling us constantly how evil our roots are. God knows our evil. It’s why He gave us the antidote.

  6. TBS-
    I sometimes tell people that we are actually still in the Victorian age. 2017 is more like 1900 than 1900 is like 1800. Our tech is better than it was in 1900, but we use it for the same things the Victorians did: communications, record keeping, and replacing human and animal labor with machine labor.

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