Ideas have consequences by Richard M. Weaver

By Richard M. Weaver

"In what has develop into a vintage paintings, Richard M. Weaver unsparingly diagnoses the ills of our age and gives a pragmatic treatment. He asserts that the area is intelligible, and that guy is loose. The catastrophes of our age are the product now not of necessity yet of unintelligent selection. A healing, he submits, is feasible. It lies within the correct use of man's cause, within the renewed popularity of an absolute truth, and in the  Read more...

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It is this type o f m entality w hich w ill study w ith perfect naïveté a work on how to win friends and influence people. To one brought up in a society spiritually fused— w hat I shall call the metaphysical com­ munity— the idea o f a campaign to win friends must be in­ comprehensible. Friends are attracted by one’s personality, if it is o f the rig h t sort, and any conscious attem pt is in­ separable from guile. And the art o f manipulating personali­ ties obviously presumes a disrespect for personality.

People do not know w hat to expect o f one another. Leaders w ill not lead, and servants w ill not serve. It is a m atter o f common observation, too, that people meet most easily when they know their position. I f their work and authority are defined, they can proceed on fixed assumptions and conduct themselves w ithout embarassmcnt toward inferior and superior. When the rule of equal­ ity obtains, however, no one knows where he belongs. ” And when M ark Tw ain, in the role o f Connecticut Yankee, undertook to destroy the hierarchy o f Camelot, he was furious to find that serfs and others o f the lower order were not resentful of their condition.

Indeed, the assertion o f purpose in a world we felt to be purposeless would be a fonn o f sentim entality. " By thus assuming that we arc prisoners o f the moment, the objection well reveals the philosophic position o f modern­ ism. The believer in truth, on the other hand, is bound to maintain th at the things o f highest value are not affected by the passage o f tim e; otherwise the very concept of truth becomes impossible. In declaring that we wish to recover lost ideals and values, we arc looking toward an ontological realm w hich is timeless.

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