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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Effects of the "Liberal Revolution"*

Oliver Kamm complains about a debasement of public life, in particular public grief. He talks about the frenzy that occured after the death of Princess Diana, but then turns to the more recent death of the Queen Mother. I quote:

Yet in my view an even more dispiriting thing happened on the death of the Queen Mother. I recall watching the television pictures of her funeral procession and noting that instead of maintaining a dignified and respectful silence, many of those who had gathered by the road-side applauded as the hearse went past. Presumably to them it was a mark of approbation, fitting to the occasion, yet I can't recall a precedent for this and I found it arch and inappropriate.

Oliver Kamm is a self-professed liberal, but I think like so many liberals he fails to connect the modern miasma he here identifies with the "liberal revolution"*of the 1960s and 70s. The cult of the new that tore up traditional organisations and mores without thought in that period has led directly to the "replacement of ritual with fashions of convenience" that Oliver Kamm so regrets. I feel it is up to him, and others with similar views, to decide if he feels the deep damage done to the fabric of society is a worthwhile price to be paid for the changes that are rooting in those times. Today we reap what has been sown.

*An explanation of the quotation marks. While I do think the cultural changes of those two decades were revolutionary I don't find them to be particularly liberal, or rather I find that their most vocal proponets are extremely intolerant to those who disagree. Since tolerance is supposed to be one of the hallmarks of the liberal revolution ... let's just say that I think liberal is something of a misnomer given other meanings of the word. I can't really explain further however because I am only 24, and I don't have everything worked out.

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