This cursed plot, this spectre’d isle

I ran across a heartbreaking lament of an England that is lost. Please go read it, because it speaks to something that I feel to a lesser degree about our own nation as well. Where are we going? Have we lost our moorings to the same degree as the English? I don’t think so, but we’re rapidly heading in that direction.

I catch myself wondering, though, whether traditionalists in all ages have made similar complaints. Did men of 1850 look back nostalgically at 1750? Did the newfangled polyphonic music of the Renaissance sound as jarring to their ears when compared with Gregorian chant as rap and heavy metal do to classically-tuned ears today? Did the Scholastic theology of St. Thomas Aquinas rub the traditionalists of his own day as badly as liberal theology does us?

I say no. Developments in the past were grounded in the further past, and those that were not were largely rejected. Ours today purposefully reject tradition, looking to the future as a panacea for ills that can only be remedied by a re-anchoring in our roots. No, our developments are not developments at all, but corruption.

The English village of 1930, even 1960, is rapidly becoming no more. But, one could recognize in the hamlet of 1930 the hamlet of 1830, 1730, 1530, 1330. Today’s mini-malls, freeways, and housing developments have lost that connection. Is the severing permanent?

(HT: Paul J. Cella)


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