Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anent "Freedom"

Another take on "freedom" and art in today's society, mentioning 'obligations,' which of course, are the flip-side of "rights," and which in fact are restraints to the Self.

Culture cannot exist without orthodoxies, because freedom cannot give itself the obligations necessary for its own perfection: the ordered liberty of assent to that which is greater. --RR Reno, First Things

Which follows up nicely on a political-science note from yesterday. Excerpt:

...a proper economy is cognizant of limits to moneymaking in the name of fundamental human goods of which prosperity is a part, but only a part. Those goods include healthy and stable communities which are both formed by culture and in which cultures are maintained and preserved; a sound culture that inculcates central human virtues and that is ably passed on from one generation to the next; a culture that makes and keeps good families; a culture that inculcates the very virtues that will be necessary for a good, humane, and moral economy (one that avoids the abuses that we have recently seen in our financial markets); a culture that strongly emphasizes a sense of gratitude and obligation between generations; a culture that encourages stewardship, conservation and fidelity; and perhaps above all, a culture that reins in and chastens our eternal temptation toward Promethean or sinful self-aggrandizement, that teaches and enforces limits, that calls to our mind our flaws, and that does not allow us to lose sight of our fundamental condition of being dependent upon one another. A further good is our ability to act in concert with one another to achieve and maintain such a culture and polity - citizenship as shared and mutual governance, which goes far beyond our current conception as citizenship as suffrage...

Which also comports with Rick Esenberg's discussion of gay 'marriage': (excerpt)

I distrust rapid changes in marriage brought about by the application of abstractions about equality and individual autonomy.

By no coincidence, it also happens to be tangentially similar to thoughts on art and beauty found here: (Excerpt)

Alasdair McIntyre, in his seminal book After Virtue, described this mode of thinking as emotivism, that is, the collapsing of all moral or qualitative judgments into mere expressions of personal preference. And this kind of thinking is the besetting sin of the post-modern West.

May even be thematic!

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