Friday, January 29, 2016

This Week In David Brooks


"...Republicans have walked away from their traditional Burkean turf."

"I don't know who David Brooks is or if he's a compulsive liar or actually insane or what, but neither he nor Saint Ronald Reagan nor his Republican Party has ever had shit all to do with me or my work. So will someone please tell him to stop stalking me, getting giggle-drunk off of my cork and dragging my good name into his bullshit Whig fairy tales."

-- Edmund Burke


MikeAdamson said...


bluicebank said...

I see that Brooks had to cross an ocean to find someone who might fit into his imaginary Republican Party. David Cameron. Who could fit somewhere in the Democratic Party, but nowhere in the GOP.

Neo Tuxedo said...

On the contrary, DG, I think the Edmund Burke of Reflections on the Revolution in France would have recognized Our Mr. Brooks as very much a kindred spirit:

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles, and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision.

("The Queen of France just touch'd this globe,
And the pestilence darted from her robe."
-- William Blake, "Lafayette")

I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in; glittering like the morning star, and full of life and splendour and joy. Oh! What a Revolution! and what an heart must I have, to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration, to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace, concealed in that bosom; little did I dream, that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought a thousand swords must have leapt from their scabbards to avenge a look that threatened her with insult, but the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

("He contrived [...] to persuade the people of England that Liberty was an illiberal, hollow sound; that humanity was a barbarous modern invention; that prejudices were the test of truth; that Reason was a strumpet, and Right a fiction. Every other view of the subject but his ('so well the tempter glozed') seemed to be without attraction, elegance, or refinement. [...] It was an appeal to all women of quality; to all who were, or would be thought, cavaliers or men of honour; to all who were admirers of beauty, or rank, or sex. Yet what it had to do with the question, it would be difficult to say. [...] The author of the Reflections had seen or dreamt he saw a most delightful vision sixteen years before, which had thrown his brain into a ferment; and he was determined to throw [...] the world into one too."
-- William Henry Hazlitt, "Arguing in a Circle")

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I find it interesting that Burke spoke disparagingly of "economists and calculators". It points to a period of Western culture before the haute bourgeoisie had absorbed the old aristocracy, when they were still two distinct classes, and Caesar did not always bend the knee to Mammon.