The Europeans : The Ideal & The Real

The Europeans : The Ideal & The Real

2018-00-00 widgets.001Was it accident or prescience, that in his celebrated fresco Raffaello Sanzio drapes Plato in red, Aristotle in blue? The lofty but malleable Ideal in disputation with the mysterious Real, which is always economical with the Truth. Flexible theology versus rigid natural law. Sentiment versus observation. The Up There contra The Here, Now & Then. Left versus Right. To borrow a cosmological principle, Raffaello seems to capture the Greek singularity from which European life and culture have flowed ever since in their prodigal variety, building breadth and depth with every century’s turn. The Europeans, to cut the matter short, identifies with Aristotle — while of course remaining in charmed and quizzical contact with the contemporary descendants of his mentor.

Trial By Irony

Trial By Irony

The historian and essayist, Jacques Julliard, analyzes the conservative push to which François Fillon’s victory in the conservative primaries testifies. He shows how anthropological issues (principally transhumanism) are now feeding a debate that recalls that between Parmenides and Heraclitus. Continue reading “Trial By Irony”

The Exhausted Lie

The Exhausted Lie

Intellectuals of the French Left are, often on their own admission, beginning to look as silly as the postmodernist clique who preferred arcane formulae to clarity of thought and exposition, and with whom they share a revolving door. In any system of rational thought, a proposition is true if it is supported by repeatable observations or rigorous deduction. In the postmodernist system of thought, a proposition is true if at least one poor wretch can be found to believe it. There has of late been a sharp decline in the supply of poor wretches. The Left has been exhausted as much by systematic lying as by hope long overstaying its welcome. What is this exhausted and enervating lie, essentially? It is the doctrinaire liberal lie of the end of history and the irrelevance of geography, both joyfully ceding the stage to the great Integrated Supply Chain that, given total freedom of action, will bless our race with indefinite economic growth, and the general felicity that must go with it…

In this recent piece for Le Figaro, Eugénie Bastié documents the baffled indignation of the French Left-intelligentsia, as they mourn the loss of their most piquant pleasure: moral blackmail. There is a litany of references to writers, political henchmen, and organizations, most of which will be lost on English readers: but they are not essential to the theme. In the age of Google, the reader can follow any of them up if he or she so wishes. A few of the more obscure are explained in the text…

Continue reading “The Exhausted Lie”