Monday, July 25, 2016

Courts and courtiers …

… The University Bookman: A Return to the Thought-Murders. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

There’s a parallel between Grielescu and Ravelstein. They are men strangely removed from the killing fields. They—like the conservative movement, in our ongoing humiliation—are men who court power instead of noticing its victims. Ravelstein loves the “handful of human beings [who] have the imagination and the qualities of character to live by the true Eros,” the “great-souled”; the rest, the average American, he ignores.
I was — long ago, when I was young — much involved in the conservative movement (I identified with its libertarian branch). What passes for such now was long ago taken over by neo-conservatism. And that has devolved into the sour bloviation of the likes of George Will (currently in the most risible phase of his career). Bill Buckley's oft-quoted sentiment —"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."— is utterly alien to such people.

By the way, this is an excellent piece. The following paragraph is almost poetic:
In after years, the people who had gathered around those tables dispersed like their cigarette smoke. They went into think tanks and academic departments and magazines; many went to law school. Two or three entered the armed services, our other dream factory, where power becomes suffering and suffering justifies power. None of us were people who could tell you what the President was thinking.

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