Thursday, 7 November 2019


If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

Carl Sagan

At least half of your mind is always thinking, I’ll be leaving; this won’t last. It’s a good Buddhist attitude. If I were a Buddhist, this would be a great help. As it is, I’m just sad.
Anne Carson

The term “Anglo-Saxon” is inextricably bound up with pseudohistorical narratives of white supremacy, and gives aid and comfort to contemporary white supremacists. Scholars of medieval history must abandon it. 

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The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection
and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers.... In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.
We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.
Hilaire Belloc

Today pluralism operates as a court religion, while having less and less intellectual credibility. Betraying the plastic terminology in which its directives are framed are the additions to the “Human Rights Code” passed in the Canadian province of Ontario in 1994. The Code cites “human dignity” to justify the criminalization of “conduct or communication [that] promotes the superiority or inferiority of a person or class because of race, class, or sexual orientation.” The law has already been applied to prosecute scholars making hereditarian arguments about social behavior, and its proponents defend this muzzling as necessary for “human dignity.” But never are we told whence that dignity is derived. It is certainly not the one to which the Bible, a text that unequivocally condemns certain “sexual orientations,” refers. Nor are we speaking here about the dignity of nonengineered academic discourse, an act that the supporters of the Ontario Human Rights Code consider to be criminal if judged insensitive. Yet the pluralist advocates of human rights codes that now operate in Canada, Australia, England, and on the European continent assume there is a human dignity. Indeed this dignity is so widely and passionately accepted, or so it is asserted, that we must criminalize unkind communication. In the name of that supposedly axiomatic dignity, we are called upon to suppress scholarship and even to imprison its authors.
Paul Gottfried, After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State


  1. I think that is my favorite Belloc quote.

    "At least half of your mind is always thinking, I’ll be leaving; this won’t last. It’s a good Buddhist attitude. If I were a Buddhist, this would be a great help. As it is, I’m just sad."
    Anne Carson"

    Contra US Grant "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."

  2. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader.

    Robert Lewis Dabney

    But the question I began with was not, do we have a bad pope, but is that a bad thing? The jury is always out, down here on Earth. As an old-fashioned Catholic my view is that authority descends from Heaven. My guess is that today’s quasi-socialist, radically political church will survive, but in Hell.

    David Warren

    “Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.”

    I doubt whether very much of Bloom’s work will survive. His chief interest, even when he pretended to be commenting on Romantic poetry, was always himself, a subject that naturally will fail to exert the same fascination on others as it did on him.

    Roger Kimball