Culture War
Many from both the right and the left bemoan the state of the American culture today. Whether it is the lack of positive images in TV, movies, music, politicians, sports figures, police in schools and more, freedom and morality are discussed as being in conflict with each other. Benjamin Franklin once wrote on the subject: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need for masters." This should ring true to you today as we debate not only our eroding culture, but the role of government in our lives. Are culture and the need for more government control more connected than we realize?

Rediscovering the Wisdom in American History

8/23/19
by Wilfred McClay, Author, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story,
from Imprimus,
July/August 2019:

Land of Hope’s epigraph is a passage that has long been a source of inspiration and direction to me. Written by John Dos Passos, a man of the radical left in his youth who later moved to the sensible right, it is from a 1941 essay, “The Use of the Past,” and it is uncannily relevant to the present: Every generation rewrites the past. In easy times history is more or less of an ornamental art, but in times of danger we are driven to the written record by a pressing need to find answers to the riddles of today. We need to know what kind of firm ground other men, belonging to generations before us, have found to stand on. In spite of changing conditions of life they were not very different from ourselves, their thoughts were the grandfathers of our thoughts, they managed to meet situations as difficult as those we have to face, to meet them sometimes lightheartedly, and in some measure to make their hopes prevail. We need to know how they did it. In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present and get us past that idiot delusion of the exceptional Now that blocks good thinking. That is why, in times like ours, when old institutions are caving in and being replaced by new institutions not necessarily in accord with most men’s preconceived hopes, political thought has to look backwards as well as forwards.

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