Localist LinkfestBy J. Arthur Bloom for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
Hillary Clinton’s Chipotle order:
Hillary Clinton, fighter of children
A bizarre and perverse paragraph in the New York Times:
Traveling this fascinating and contradictory land today, one must acknowledge a certain debt of gratitude to those generals who helped keep it in a state of penurious, suspended animation while most of the rest of Asia was incinerating itself in orgies of high-speed economic growth and environmental despoliation. By not providing much for them to consume, the generals also managed to protect their largely good-hearted and devoutly Buddhist people from the predations of rampant consumer culture. It was, of course, a bittersweet triumph.
Mark Malvasi on M.E. Bradford’s Southern patrimony:
Unlike the Transcendentalists and the environmentalists to whom they are sometimes compared, the Agrarians and later Southern conservative thinkers have not had contempt for humanity. Neither did they condemn all human interaction with nature nor exalt nature at the expense of civilization. Instead, as Bradford showed, the Agrarians, like their Southern forebears, assumed that God had created the world for the benefit of humanity even as He entrusted it to their care.
The consummation of the New England ethic was the development of a civil theology based upon the special status of the American regime. America was regarded as the “New Israel,” expressing similarity with the Biblical and historical narrative modes of expression. America’s situation in the pantheon of world religious and political history was understood as unequaled. The regime was special, a providential gift offered to the world, a city on a hill, a light amidst the darkness of political despotism. The transcendent aspects of American civil theology served a rememorative purpose, providing a basis for appreciating the generosity of the Divine while also looking to the future.
This was only half, and the least important half of the story. Commencing with the earliest movement of American religious and political thought an important bifurcation in the conceptualization of a humane social order can be observed and is of great importance to the transmittal of an appreciation of the good life.
While not as explicit as one might hope, the Agrarian-Distributist worldview of Who Owns America? proclaimed that alongside the development of New England, there arose a less dogmatic and more explicitly pastoral presentation–and we should associate this with the other great colonial settlement, Jamestown. The Virginia colony, nearly simultaneous in date of origin with the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony, shared a related history and many aspects of its political development, while also exhibiting a distinctiveness. At the end of the day, preserving an organic regionalism was, as Donald Davidson argues in Who Owns America?, the “principle” that could maintain a stable polity and secure liberty.
Cool cover of the Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies
Commentary on the moral urgency of Anna Karenina
New Zealand constitutional monarchy conference next month
The documentary ends with him not only overcoming his dirty-hands phobia – at least overseas – but also debating whether to shoot, to take another man’s life. He misses but he wants to make clear that he meant to do it. He had the guts, the manliness, and the freedom to kill. No phobia there. Mission accomplished.
Yet for all the exciting adventures VanDyke experiences, it is impossible to get out of one’s head the idea of a reenactment, of middle-aged office workers walking through the woods in Civil War uniforms and young men playing paintball between mounds of dirt. It is all so clumsy, so sad and trivial. He travels to Afghanistan to place an American flag in Bin Laden’s house. He makes the first real friends of his life in combat. Van Dyke’s whole life, his whole idea of freedom, consists in this idea of acting, repeating typically dangerous situations under the gaze of the camera, and while the adventures he finds himself in are ostensibly new, they feel old and worn out. VanDyke very much wants to believe otherwise. He wants to believe his experiences are immediately made hallowed through the ever-present camera, which turns the ephemeral and pointless violence he witnesses, the aimless and meandering journey he travels, into something much more. But it doesn’t quite come off. The camera instead dictates his adventures, hollowing out his experiences, transforming a war and people’s lives into an unfunny Jackass skit.
Jake Bacharach on meritocracy:
The smartest people in business do frequently get fired, yes, but it’s when the latest round of right-sizing cans the smart toilers on the lower end of the pay scale. The cream rises, yes. What that really means is that fat floats. David Brooks doesn’t get an endowed chair at Sulzberger University in spite of his mediocrity. All of the institutional incentives are designed to reward it. It is the curricula of his vita.
Brooks has lately invented himself as a kind of genteel moralist, and you can imagine him cast by George Eliot as a gently satiric country priest whose bit of Greek impresses the parish but makes him an object of fun at the manor.
Sam Goldman on the “mirage of a classless society“:
The conservative position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one. It’s that an egalitarian society is impossible. Every society includes rulers and ruled. The central question of politics, therefore, is not whether some will command while others obey. It’s who gives the orders.
Radical leftists understand this. That’s why Lenin’s “who, whom?” question became an unofficial motto of Bolshevism. The Bolsheviks promised that a classless society would one day emerge. In the meantime, however, they were open and enthusiastic practitioners of power politics.
Grant Babcock sounds similar notes at Libertarianism.org
Vaclav Kaus on Barack Obama
Latino Anglican community in Queens joins the Ordinariate
75 new Greek texts online at the British Library
Some beautiful photos of Texas churches
To the Pentagon, the Bible and the Constitution perpetuate sexism
Orthosphere notices First Things’ recent illiberality
Alan Keyes being boycotted at a Washington State Republican Lincoln Day dinner is a story I’d like to know more about. He touched on it at a column this week at TheDC. There were a couple of dueling letters to the editor, which describe the objectionable speakers as libertarians.
Mark Lutter on the Age of Exit
W&M alumna Elizabeth LaPrelle:
The Band does Springsteen:
Groucho Marx resurrects an Irving Berlin anti-war tune
Enjoy the great weather y’all. Ping me if you’ve got suggestions for links to include.