Tha Crìosd air èiridh!
The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal has a short piece from Kirk that is included in The Politics of Prudence: “Ten Conservative Principles.” They are worth reading and embracing. For the most part, the principles are timeless reminders of what constitutes a healthy political community, though the wording appears somewhat dated. The tenth principle, “the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society,” is and will always be just as true as when Kirk first penned it, but the argument is somewhat more defensively labored than what would be necessary today. The enemies of civilization—of the enduring moral order—have won battle after battle for the last century. Yet, their success has revealed to the perspicacious the emptiness of progress.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that the postmodern twits have a point when they claim that contemporary man has lost his faith in the wisdom of experts to construct a progressive utopia. A few generations ago, almost all educated people disagreed with Kirk. The future would open up for us the gates of a pleasure paradise, natural science would answer all questions, and technology would resolve all problems. Who believes such now? For they seem like ridiculous fairy tales from a more naïve age. The success of the New Man has made dystopia far more believable. Who would have guessed our current state in A.D. 1960? We have personal computers, the internet, and cellular phones, and they are remarkable, but we are not anywhere close to the projected “advanced” state of which futurists dreamed. Even our current crop of starry eyed fideists of the future have lost patience with mankind. These “transhumanists” appear to be closest in spirit to the ambitious masters of nature before the West committed suicide, but their Zion is one without man, at least in his current form. Where has the full bodied, optimistic futurist gone? The far sighted no longer dream but live in anticipation of waking nightmares.
How difficult it is for us to learn necessary lessons. It seems that man must be continually reminded that the wages of sin is death.