Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reaction Defined

By Kenneth Minogue — In Praise of Reactionaries:
    Loyalty is the emotion that sustains reactionaries. They reject the universals that generate such political enthusiasm among radicals. It is the dream of perfect abstractions such as the nation, or internationalism, democracy, rights, and social justice that fires radicals’ blood and dismays reactionaries. These abstractions refer rather remotely to things that may be valuable in national practice, but separated from the history and traditions in which they are embedded, they often become dangerous sources of fanatical allegiance. Reactionaries are loyal to concrete experiences, usually to their country’s values—and sometimes to unreal memories of that tradition in contrast to the decline they see around them. This makes them in the highest degree critical, and it is ironic that “being critical” (i.e., a heroic antagonist of current prejudices) is a piece of self-flattery generally claimed by radicals rather than reactionaries.
Said Nicolás Gómez Dávila, "We reactionaries provide idiots the pleasure of feeling like daring avant-garde thinkers" — #2,598 of Don Colacho’s Aphorisms.

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