Fear or Hope?

At the Quadrant, a retrospective series seems to be about the difference between gods of fear and a God of Hope.

Sir Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilisation’: a guide and celebration. 51 years ago “Clark had unwittingly tapped into grim, often unspoken fears of the time – that the social fabric of civilized life in the West was being torn asunder; that it was being undermined by endless war, random violence, moral decadence, and the ennui that corrodes any society overwhelmed by unprecedented material prosperity and a consumer mentality.”

“Now, half a century on, we are embarking on a fascinating journey into the history and nature of Western Civilisation. This 15-week series will provide a guide to Civilisation: A Personal View. It can be used to accompany the DVD version or the episodes available on YouTube, or it can be read by itself as a synopsis of Clark’s great work.

It Doesn’t End Well. Roger Kimball – “The hooligans smashing up courthouses and police stations as they pursue indiscriminate carnage are fired by the same unholy “train of disorderly appetites” that Edmund Burke anatomized 230 years ago.”

“Denis Diderot, model of the French Enlightenment that he was, gave memorable expression to that movement’s inveterate anti-clericalism. “Man will never be free,” said the energetic Encyclopédiste, “until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

They don’t talk much about kings and priests, but the civilization-hating anarchists of the Black Lives Matter movement would applaud Diderot’s sentiments. Although they sometimes wrap their destructive actions in fine-sounding rhetoric about justice and anti-racism, what they are really about is hate.

How to explain the mind-boggling disjunction between the violent savagery of the BLM crusaders, on the one hand, and the nauseating spectacles of frightened though congratulatory self-abasement by the white elite, on the other?

Inveterate, all-too-human vices cause the storms, but we often miss the link because we are distracted by the lofty rhetoric with which such grubby vices swaddle themselves.

Burke’s point is that “Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.”

The cleanup from the riots in Denver isn’t going quickly… or cheaply. [Hot Air VIP via outline] Jazz Shaw – “the staggering amount of property damage taking place is also a part of the equation. The question is, what do these cities do in the aftermath when downtown storefront windows have all been replaced with graffiti-covered plywood sheets, walls and roads are festooned with paint and lights, statues and other public property has been destroyed?”

“Denver is quickly starting to look like a slum, if not a war zone. There are not unlimited resources to restore the streets to how they’re supposed to look if the rioters and vandals continue to wreak havoc every single night. What we’re seeing is another formerly proud city being turned into a wasteland by these so-called “protesters” and Denver’s elected officials appear to be powerless to restore order. Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the saying goes. They’re going to need to look for alternate options soon or Denver will quickly turn into another casualty in the ongoing war against the anarchists.

More willful blindness by the media on spying by Obama administration. Jonathan Turley – “What is astonishing is that the media has refused to see what should be one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence.”

“Willful blindness has its advantages. The media eagerly covered the original leak and the false narrative of collusion, despite mounting evidence that it was false. They filled hours of cable news coverage and pages of print on a collusion story discredited by the FBI. Virtually none of these journalists or experts have acknowledged that the collusion leaks were proven false, let alone pursue the troubling implications of national security powers being used to target the political opponents of an administration. But then, in Washington, success often depends not on what you see but what you can unsee.

The distraught and desperate Democrats are flailing. Patricia McCarthy – “No verbal assault is too low for leftists. As usual, the Democrats make the mistake of assuming that Trump-supporters are rather stupid, easily manipulated by their mono-minded media and sound bites. They don’t seem to grasp the fact that much of America is laughing at them for their misplaced arrogance and crying for the residents of those cities being destroyed by leftist officials and the well organized, well funded anarchist groups that have turned them into war zones.”

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia is on the right track with activist investor reform. Charles Sauer – “The first rule of a fiduciary should be to put the economic interests of its clients first. Some haven’t exactly followed that rule and have let personal politics and beliefs get in the way, investing in assets that sacrifice returns for environmental, social, and governance activism — also known as ESG. On the individual level, this is not an issue, but someone else making a political point with your 401(k) money should be a choice that is off the table.”

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