Thursday, November 3, 2016

1908 versus 2016

While I'm not interested in baseball per se, some of the commentary about the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908 (how is it that a sport primarily played in the USA can have a "World Series"?) does interest me as it's an opportunity to reflect on all that has changed in the country and in the world since then, as some commentators indeed have.
While no one openly celebrates the many atrocities of unprecedented magnitude that have occurred during that historical interval, progressives (and not a few who call themselves "conservatives") otherwise seem to regard the profound differences between 1908 and 2016 as generally constituting an essentially uplifting narrative of improvement. As a monarchist, and more broadly a traditionalist, I cannot agree. While I acknowledge that it is not hard at a purely materialist level (which is not unimportant) to point out many ways in which life in 2016 is preferable to life in 1908, in every other sense--politically, culturally, socially, religiously, musically, architecturally, demographically--yes, I would prefer the Edwardian world of 1908 (not knowing what was to come 6-10 years later). So, without making any comment on the present U.S. presidential candidates, I cannot help but feel in the course of this campaign (mercifully soon to be over) that some liberals' shrill attacks on the very idea of nostalgia for an unspecified earlier time are implicit attacks on people like me too, even if monarchists are not numerous enough to be singled out. If that makes me "Deplorable," I guess I'm "Deplorable." 


Michael E. said...

Please forgive the ignorance (maybe my Asperger's has something to do with it), but....

When you say "materialist", what specifically do you mean--especially when you say it is not unimportant?

(I'm also unclear on what you mean by demographically....)

Ponocrates said...

We deplorables, we happy few, we band of brothers...

Theodore Harvey said...

I mean that there are many material aspects in which life is more comfortable now than in 1908: for example, medicine has improved and people can be cured of injuries or illnesses that would have killed them in 1908.

Demographically was a reference to what is currently happening in Europe and to a lesser extent the rest of the Western world, with immigration filling the vacuum created by low birth rates.

Michael E. said...

@Theodore Harvey:

Ah, I wondered about that specifically, about medicine having improved. Thank you for clearing that up.

Ah, yes, I understand now. I agree with you on both counts.

It would seem to me that a real democracy says "I would be happy with any of the candidates running but I think this one's the best, so I'm voting for this one and I recommend the same course of action to other voters."

Ours says "There is only one correct moral choice and it's our candidate--and if he loses, the candidate likely to beat him is going to bring the whole country to ruin." How is that a "choice"? I don't see any more choice with that than with only one candidate running--other than that that one candidate is guaranteed to win--and not that I'd want to live in that society, but at least that would be a more unified society than the one we have.

How do you be patriotic anyway, with political parties acting like religious cults or heresies and dividing the nation?