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The Fatherland and the Nation

Embracing both, and rejecting the United States of Now.

Allen Tate, in 1952, argued that the first duty of the man of letters in the postwar world was to purify the language from the corruptions introduced by ideology and the destruction, more than physical, wrought by the recent world war.  He was not the only writer to believe that military victory over one part of the West by another part had not “saved” Western civilization.  Richard Weaver began his seminal Ideas Have Consequences (1948) by explaining that it was “another book about the dissolution of the West.”  George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, published a year later, was about what Tate saw as “the staggering abuses of language . . . that vitiate the cultures of western nations,” and “the usurpations of democracy that are perpetrated in the name of democracy.”  For democracy substitute the ancient and venerable word fatherland, a word common in its variant forms to the Greeks, the Romans, and the Germans, and you have the subject of this essay.  For did you realize that, in the last year or so (no earlier), the left—the universalistic, globalist, cosmopolitan, progressive, transgendered, multicultural left—is claiming to be patriotic?  So shall the nations be sacrificed—on the altar of the fatherland.

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