The Empty Plinth

With the Midterm Elections safely behind us, should we count on the left to renounce the fun of castigating nonleft types for their racism, sexism, and hetero normativism?  Not on a bet.

We’re at a new place in the world.  I mean a world that, especially in its European components—this includes, naturally, us—has to widespread and newfound horror been spreading civilization around the globe.  Civilization, alas, of a special character: founded on belief in a Creator-God and His divine will; on procedures that guarantee freedom and justice insofar as possible; likewise, founded on respect for norms of human behavior, including those that—to the present century’s special shock—define right relationships between men and women.

The Greeks, who erected and embellished the plinth for that great monument we call civilization, had a word for the reaction to their achievement, and the achievements of the many who came in their train.  The word is anarchia.  And, oh, what a day anarchia appears to be having after so much general (as distinguished from constant) respect for the ideals of the good life.

Anarchy, as we naturally understand it, is the condition that obtains when somehow the old rules have been smashed to dust and no logical replacement is pending.  If not quite arrived at that unfortunate destination, we have nevertheless a...

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