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    Quotables: The Roots of American Order

    February 22, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    The Roots of American Order
    by Russell Kirk

    Lacking a knowledge of how we arrived where we stand today, lacking that deeper love of country which is nurtured by a knowledge of the past, lacking the apprehension that we all take part in a great historical continuity–why, a people so deprived will not dare much, sacrifice much, or take long views. With them, creature comforts will be everything; yet, historical consciousness wanting, in the long run they must lose their creature comforts too. {p. xvii}

    Quite conceivably men and women uninterested in the soul may forfeit their own souls, and a people uninterested in their history may cease to have a history, or to remain a people. {p. xix}

    Order is the path we follow, or the pattern by which we live with purpose and meaning. {p. 3}

    Our twentieth century, Simone Weil wrote, is a time of disorder very like the disorder of Greece in the fifth century before Christ. In her words, “It is as though we had returned to the age of Protagoras and the Sophists, the age when the art of persuasion–whose modern equivalent is advertising slogans, publicity, propaganda meetings, the press, the cinema, and radio–took the place of thought and controlled the fate of cities and accomplished coups d’état, So the ninth book of Plato’s Republic reads like a description of contemporary events. {p. 4}

    [O]rder necessarily precedes justice and freedom. {p. 6}

    In America, order and justice and freedom have developed together; but they can decay in parallel fashion. In every generation, some human beings bitterly defy the moral order and the social order. {p. 7}

    No order has ever been perfect, and it is tempting to fancy that we could create a new order nearer to our hearts’ desire. {p. 8}

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Go quickly and tell February 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    There a lots of quotable info in TRAO, so I think your idea of having a separate post for that is a good one.

    Here’s one of my favorite ~

    from 16th c. Richard Hooker, Anglican theologian

    Without order, there is no living in public society, because the want thereof is the mother of confusion.

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