Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"It’s a cliché to say that we fell in love, but we did. Its words became necessary for us; they became our Declaration. Through reading them slowly, we came into our inheritance: an understanding of freedom and equality, and the value of finding the right words"

Perhaps the only escape from this kind of situation is a kind of grace. I was, for several years, an untenured, divorced man who had my kids half time. An easier situation than a single mom with no man on the scene, and perhaps easier than what the author faced. I fell head over heels in love with the kids. That saved me. I’m not saying she ‘should have done’ this, because I didn’t do it. It just happened.
The first is a quote from Danielle Allen's book. The context for the second is discussed here.

The post linked in the first refers to Ayn Rand and Kurt Vonnegut as critics of egalitarianism; the references to literature are still to the pop crap "speculative fiction" read for pleasure by technocrats who read the speculative fiction of philosophers at work. But the first quote above is in a post, in 2015, though it won't get much response, and the second is in a comment in 2007 that was ignored almost entirely, though I never forgot it.

Drift: Technocratic liberals trying to come to terms with moral responsibility; the tension between Liberty and Equality slowly being reframed as the tension between Liberty and Obligation.

Republicanism is anti-individualist. Liberalism vs Republicanism, Aristotle vs Montesquieu

The post quotes two sentences from Tocqueville; the second is the first sentence in this passage.
When I survey this countless multitude of beings, shaped in each others likeness amidst whom nothing rises and nothing falls, the sight of such universal uniformity saddens and chills me, and I am tempted to regret that state of society which has ceased to be. When the world was full of men of great importance and extreme insignificance, of great wealth and extreme poverty, of great learning and extreme ignorance, l turned aside from the latter to fix my observation on the former alone, who gratified my sympathies. But I admit that this gratification arose from my own weakness: it is because I am unable to see at once all that is around me, that I am allowed thus to select and separate the objects of my predilection from among so many others. Such is not the use with that almighty and eternal Being whose gaze necessarily includes the whole of created things, and who surveys distinctly, though at once, mankind and man. We may naturally believe that it is not the singular prosperity of the few, but the greater well being of all, which is most pleasing in the sight of the Creator and Preserver of men. What appears to me to be man's decline, is to His eye advancement; what afflicts me is acceptable to Him. A state of equality is perhaps less elevated, but it is more just; and its justice constitutes its greatness and its beauty. I would strive then to raise myself to this point of the divine contemplation, and thence to view and to judge the concerns of men. 
It would take a philologist to study how Tocqueville reimagined an aristocracy he was born too late to know.

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