Dalrymple: Not the Work of a Moment

“When exactly did this downward cultural spiral begin, this loss of tact and refinement and understanding that some things should not be said or directly represented? When did we no longer appreciate that to dignify certain modes of behavior, manners, and ways of being with an artistic representation was implicitly to glorify and promote them? There is, as Adam Smith said, a great deal of ruin in a nation: and this truth applies as much to a nation’s culture as to its economy. The work of cultural destruction, while often swifter, easier, and more self-conscious than that of construction, is not the work of a moment. Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day.”

– Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What’s Left of It

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