Thursday, 4 September 2014

In England - Where does the good stuff come from? What is the source of strength?

That there is good stuff in advanced modernity, deep and interwoven, is clear. That it is not enough and is too weak is also clear.

The nature and source of feebleness, weakness, nihilism and self-hating suicide is also clear enough - as is what we ought to do about it.

But I do not know, cannot locate, the source and nature of the English goodness that there is. Beauty has not been destroyed and is sometimes enhanced. In private, there are trustworthy and honest people. There is an urge to do good work: and good work is certainly done (in private, at least).

Strategically there is nothing at all: all big plans, all long terms plans are bad. What most people do with most of their time (the mass media) is bad - deadly bad: because English people believe their chosen media sources lock-stock-and-barrel.

Consequently, there is only manic hyperactivity (for a few people, for a while) or weariness; looking-ahead there is only the hope of pleasure, comfort, diversion and the fear of the opposites - consequently all high art is poison, and long has been.

Yet at this tactical, local, individual level there is much good - and good that is strong enough to withstand the relentless and rising tide of evil.

Its source and nourishment I do not know. But my hope is that since I do not know the source and nourishment which sustains actual good, there is hope that this source could do more: could even save us! - if we would let it, if we were courageous enough to live by it.


Francis Berger said...

Having recently moved to Morpeth, Northumberland from Toronto, Canada this post and its description of English goodness really resonated with me.

Each day I venture out to work or into town I am impressed by the warmth, courtesy, and hospitality of the people I encounter. I can't help but feel that the basis of this goes beyond mere politeness and does indeed extend into some source of inherent goodness.

Leo said...

I submit that the sources of the goodness are some of the very things disbelieved, disparaged, or despised in the mass media: God’s beneficence, heartfelt Christianity, sturdy families, venerable traditions, and honorable lineage.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FB - I particularly used to get this feeling from Smails Hardware shop in Morpeth - although that was some thirty years ago.