Sunday, March 02, 2014

Deneen and Solzhenitsyn

A few days ago, we mentioned an essay by Deneen which pointed out that Liberalism is at the root of both (R) and (D) politics, albeit more virulent in the (D) iteration.

Deneen's line of thinking is not unique.  Solzhenitsyn's Harvard address (1978) says the same thing.

...Solzhenitsyn claims that the comfort and ease so enjoyed by the West as a result of our market driven economies, and our dependence on the rule of law as the arbiter of all right and wrong has softened us to the realities of the world. The former has led us to believe that material possession is the chief end of human happiness, and that the latter is absolute, so we need to dig deeper than the laws that we ourselves have written....

 “… We turned our backs upon the Spirit and embrace all that is material with excessive and unwarranted zeal. This new way of thinking, which has imposed upon us its guidance, did not admit the existence of intrinsic evil in man nor did it see any higher task than the attainment of happiness on earth. It based modern Western civilization on the dangerous trend to worship man and his material needs… Merely freedom does not in the least solve all the problems of human life and it even adds a number of new ones.

"Adding new ones" such as lawyers and their uncles in black robes.


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