Are you a reactionary?

French Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut interviewed in Der Spiegel, responds when asked “What do you say to people who call you a reactionary?”

Finkielkraut: It has become impossible to see history as constant progress. I reserve the possibility to compare yesterday and today and ask the question: What do we retain, what do we abandon?

SPIEGEL: Is that really any more than nostalgia for a lost world?

Finkielkraut: Like Albert Camus, I am of the opinion that our generation’s task is not to recreate the world, but to prevent its decline. We not only have to conserve nature, but also culture. There you have the reactionary.

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One Response to Are you a reactionary?

  1. Let us leave aside politics and economics for a moment.

    I think that art, music and architecture have generally (generally) declined over the last century or more.

    This does not mean that their is not good carving, painting, composing, and so on today – but the cultural elite despises such things. What they tell us is “great and modern” looks and sounds vile. We were told we would grow to love it – but after many decades of it we (the despised ordinary people) still do not.

    And in building – the modern style (at least since World War II – all over the world) has been boxes, boxes with flat roofs. Boring and bland – and the same in every country.

    Look at photographs of what ordinary towns and cities looked like in the 1920s or even a century ago – and compare that to the same streets today. Compare such things as the old Penn State station with what took its place.

    If thinking this is decline is “reactionary” – then we are all reactionaries.

    Even us ordinary people have declined in style. Now we are fat and badly dressed.

    Just look at typical street scene 50 or 60 years ago – and compare it with now.

    And I am the same – to make an effort would make me stand out and I am too cowardly to stand out.

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