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mardi, 30 octobre 2012

Quotation of James Burnham

James_Burnham2.jpg"Modern liberalism does not offer ordinary men compelling motives for personal suffering, sacrifice and death. There is no tragic dimension in its picture of the good life. Men become willing to endure, sacrifice and die for God, family, king, honor, country, from a sense of absolute duty or an exalted vision of the meaning of history. It is such traditional ideas and the institutions slowly built around them that are in present fact the great bulwarks, spiritual as well as social, against the tidal advance of the world communist enterprise. And it precisely these ideal and institutions that liberalism has criticized, attacked and in part overthrown as superstitious, archaic, reactionary and irrational. In their place liberalism proposes a set of pale and bloodless abstractions — pale and bloodless for the very reason that they have no roots in the past, in deep feeling and in suffering. Except for mercenaries, saints and neurotics, no one is willing to sacrifice and die for progressive education, medicare, humanity in the abstract, the United Nations and a ten percent rise in Social Security payments."

— James Burnham, Suicide of the West : An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism

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