Saturday, September 27, 2014
A very thoughtful essay, by Yuval Levin, at First Things. Here is a bit, from the end:
The permanence of the human longings for attachment and transcendence means that the endless parade of temptations and distractions we confront in modern life can yield an endless series of opportunities for the truth to recapture our imagination and prove itself indispensable. Traditionalists should therefore work to build room for their ways of living in the modern world not only as a means of defense and survival but as a means of persuasion and progress.
They should see themselves fighting not against the liberal society but for it. They should live out their faiths and their ways in the world, confident that their instruction and example will make that world better and that people will be drawn to the spark. This means traditionalists must see both the good and the bad in modern life, and must accept that our society is always getting both better and worse.
And it means that traditionalists must be committed to the preservation of spaces for private life that are protected from the perverse shortsightedness of politics. It means, in other words, that we should be intensely engaged in the struggle for the soul of our society—knowing we can expect no ultimate victory from politics, but also that we are by no means destined to defeat, and that by persisting in the struggle we make room for another generation to rise and thrive and seek to embody the good. Politics can do no more than that, but it must do no less.