a slave society which might be called either capitalist or Communist

George Orwell in “Second Thoughts on James Burnham” (1946): Chesterton predicted the disappearance of democracy and private property, and the rise of a slave society which might be called either capitalist or Communist.

a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory

Comments about secular modernity, Karl Marx, John Ruskin, classical liberalism, capitalism and nationalism from David Bentley Hart (in conversation with Jason Micheli) on Episode 230 of the Crackers and Grape Juice Podcast: David Bentley Hart— Once Upon a Time. This is my own transcription (used with permission but noting that all errors are my own): The wordContinue reading “a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory”

a ruin—but an entire ruin

From my daughter Nessa this evening: “I just reread my, so far, favorite scene in Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë: Descending the laurel-walk, I faced the wreck of the chestnut tree…. The cloven halves were not broken from each other, for the firm base and strong roots kept them unsundered below…. They might be saidContinue reading “a ruin—but an entire ruin”

even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight

This has been my Object, and this alone can be my Defence–and O! that with this my personal as well as my LITERARY LIFE might conclude!—the unquenched desire I mean, not without the consciousness of having earnestly endeavoured to kindle young minds, and to guard them against the temptations of Scorners, by showing that theContinue reading “even as the day softens away into the sweet Twilight”

a man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society

A man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society, for he will tend to misunderstand everything that other people say or do, and remain blissfully unaware of the significance of many of the things he does himself. E. F. Schumacher in A Guide for the Perplexed.

Top 50 Movies of 2010-2019 by Joshua Gibbs

(Not sure if he’ll publish this list elsewhere, but I’ve gleaned it from his Facebook page where he posted one by one.) 1: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2013), dir. Wes Anderson 1: “Eat Pray Love” (2010), dir. Ryan Murphy [a joke before the final reveal] 2: “The Master” (2012), dir. Paul Thomas Anderson 3: “TinkerContinue reading “Top 50 Movies of 2010-2019 by Joshua Gibbs”

the book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad

It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history. The legend is generally made by a majority of the people in the village, who are sane. The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad.Continue reading “the book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad”

we distant children of the pagans would not be able to believe in any of these things

Modernity is what comes …when Christianity has been displaced from the center of a culture and deprived of any power explicitly to shape laws and customs, and has ceased to be regarded as the source of a society’s highest values or of a government’s legitimacy, and has ceased even to hold preeminent sway over aContinue reading “we distant children of the pagans would not be able to believe in any of these things”

all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing

David Bentley Hart’s Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (2009) lakes up a theme that he’s gone much farther with in recent articles: Those of us who now, in the latter days of modernity, are truest to the wisdom and ethos of our age place ourselves not at the disposal of God,Continue reading “all these beliefs rest securely upon a more fundamental and radical faith in the nothing”

our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition

In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane gives a gripping account of knowing with our bodies (in comparing the writings of French philosopher Merleau-Ponty and Scottish writer Nan Shepherd). [Merleau-Ponty] argued that knowledge is ‘felt’: that our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition. Consciousness, the human body and the phenomenal world are therefore inextricably intertwined.Continue reading “our bodies think and know in ways that precede cognition”