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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daniel McCarthy Nails the Difference Between Someone Who Loves Tradition and Someone Who Is a Traditionalist

Here: "It’s a tart irony that people who imagine themselves champions of Christian, Western, and American tradition are in fact undermining the pluralism and elasticity that characterize those traditions in practice: conservatism like that is an act of taxidermy, preserving the form while losing the life."

I demonstrated this difference vis-a-vis Rome in Oakeshott on Rome and America: the Romans had always loved their traditions. But as those traditions began to slip away, at a certain point, there arose "the traditionalist": the traditionalist did not love Rome's traditions as living, mutable creatures; instead, he wanted to mummify and preserve them unchanged forever. This is like "loving" one's children by killing them at a young age and then embalming them: the impulse, while understandable, is perverse.

3 comments:

  1. "This is like "loving" one's children by killing them at a young age and then embalming them: the impulse, while understandable, is perverse."

    Yes. That's why I stopped after the first.

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  2. Landsburg links a lovely example of how to be be inspired by tradition without being stifled by it. http://www.thebigquestions.com/2012/11/30/looney-tunes/

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