Duquesne University professor Patrick Lee Miller argues that we no longer live by liberal principles, nor will we be returning to them. The question is by which unwritten constitution will we live?
Excellent essay. Thank you for publishing it.
What a mess we are in. How did it come to this? Are they all so desperate for status they will sink the entire West to chase it? Who is that myopic? I often wonder given the world the bureaucrats and fellow travellers are creating, do none of them have children? If they do they surely must occasionally wonder at the world they will inherit.
You write trippingly, what a pleasure.
Curtis is my boy, but he is the opposite: so often unintelligible and intentionally me thinks. I wish he would be plain about his meaning. Irony needs go out of fashion, it has overstayed it’s welcome.
Curtis says the only power available against leviathan is to declassify everything: fox in the henhouse chaos. Your courageous politicians need to hear this piece of advice. You should tell them, you are credentialed, you could make a big contribution in this way.
This essay was fantastic, a brilliant formulation, I will enjoy rereading it.
Curtis has identified the mechanism behind all human affairs : the selective advantage of dominant ideas, and the concomitant inability of recessive ideas to compete. This is our self generated and unavoidable distortion field; the intersection of ambition and practical considerations. Your dear old mom taught you this: don’t be a weirdo my child, you gotta get along to get ahead. This distortion field needs to be taught to everyone, if we want to avoid the consequences: otherwise, “it will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events”. Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
It is going to get worse.
Did Plato really say Democracy was the finest of all constitutions (while it lasted)? That seems odd given that the democratic soul aims at a lower end than the aristocratic.
Also, what do you make of the argument that our Constitution is not fundamentally a liberal document drafted by fundamentally liberal founders? You seem to assume that the document is hopelessly liberal. However, the preamble of the constitution itself outlines securing the common good as the fundamental role of the government. Liberty is merely one of several desired effects of the national order.
I'm not proposing an orginalist jurisprudence, or a turning back the clock, or a rigid view of an unchanging constitutional order. But I do think that viewing the Constitution as a radical and liberal break from classical political philosophy already cedes too much ground to the post-WW2 liberal re-imagining of our nation's founding.
Addendum: the pitiless, crowbar of events is God’s work, it is built in, it is our fate. The apocalypse of war, the holocaust, it is ment to be, it is what we are, what we must be and what we will be forever. God is violence and death.
Bad news, but true.
That is why the story of the Son is so cathartic, such an elixir for our well earned despair. His story is the good news. It is the true and well judged assertion that the cultivation of love is our best hope to bear-up under the strain. The Christ, love, this is simply to say if we have each other.
I have not heard a better formulation.
This insight is applicable even for an unbeliever like me, or should I say, especially for an unbeliever. I’m just not down with the need to anthropomorphize fate, gravity, entropy, physics: call it as you like.
Curtis reckons we always pollute the clear waters of our intelligence with the effluent of our communal politics. My observations suggest he is correct.
Lest we forget? Please, we always forget.