Sunday, March 29, 2009

John Holbo responds to Charles Murray, Goldberg, Douthat et al.
Chris Bertram responds to Holbo in a post from 2007
"Seem[s] to me that something like the following is going on … (glib and oversimplistic summary follows)

SoH regret that the things they value about England are being squeezed out by a crass commercialism (partly of US origin, partly not). They also regret that English people are ignorant of their own folk traditions. This is also true though a good deal (though not all) of the loss happened with 19th C industrialization and a good deal (though not all) of the “folk tradition” is a manufactured response to the same. Lots of stuff that strikes a chord there – loss of authenticity, commodification etc etc.

Lots of people who also feel, with them, the loss of that sense of place and belonging also (unlike them) blame their own anomie, alienation, etc on immigrants, the EU and so on.

A rallying cry to defend English culture attracts a lot of the same people, unfortunately.

This kind of dialectic has been played out since the dawn of industrialization and, of course, it leads the market-utopians to want to tar all the particularists (for want of a better word) with the same brush. That’s a charge that should be rejected because William Morris ain’t the BNP (or even UKIP). But we’ll carry on squirming and feeling uncomfortable because the left and the right both share a discontent with modernity."

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