Thursday, 12 September 2013

Nostalgia is not what it used to be

Ammianus Marcelinus c 390, after the defeat at the Battle of Adrianople 378, called for all and sundry to return to sobria vetustas (sobriety of ancient times). I do not know whether they did but doubt it. Classical literature teems with such imprecations, of course. What is interesting is that suddenly - in the last hundred years - people have stopped celebrating the past and now automatically consider it oppressive and wicked unless proven otherwise. This is very morbid indeed.

Has a historian explained why this happened? The First World War, Freud, technology, popular culture, the 
decline of religion and the decline of studying the classics, these all were factors. A bigger factor than any of those, I think, was Bolshevism and the baleful influence of the Frankfurt School.


  1. It didn't start in the 60's, not the 30's. When belief in God (The Church) falls, then belief in the Monarch falls, then belief in the state falls, then belief in humanity falls. In truth we're almost
    there. What is the next act?

  2. Forgive me if I seemed to discount your post and
    the link. I didn't mean to do that. The article
    was very interesting and to me informative. The Frankfurt School has a pre-Frankfurt School
    impetus/identity. This historical thought is full of malefactors/malfeasance.