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The Vandals in Retreat, Theodore Dalrymple

29 December 2010

Theodore Dalrymple

Beauty makes the soul soar and it’s as essential to the spirit as food and water is to the body. Yet it’s mocked as sentimentality.  I share many of the same views on modern architecture that Theodore Dalrymple describes in this interesting article.

The Vandals in Retreat by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Autumn 2010.

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  1. 24 November 2011 9:36 pm

    I share many of his views too and can only be saddened that he is part of the problem and not part of the solution. The problems of the world are now being addressed (and many of feel intensified) by that group of people made up in part by politicians, psychiatrists, social workers and other social engineers. At one time people turned to God – often through His Church and this other group have taken over the duty of helping human being to rise above this life and become what they were intended to be. Science and government have not only failed to help mankind but have dug us deeper into the pit we were supposed to be climbing out of. Modern architecture is surely no more than an outward sign of decay and wrong-headedness. We are going in the wrong direction and we will continue to do so. It will take a cataclysm of enormous size and strength to shift the world and its societies out of the present path toward the ultimate end.

    God is the answer and I find the mild mannered and generally perceptive Dalrymple and his psychiatrist to be nothing more than the man telling us what most of us have known for many, many decades. None of us are uninvolved observers in this life. There is no fence that we can sit on. We are either on the side of good or the side of evil.

    Clever and insightful though this man may be he is still either unable or unwilling to see that the answer lies in front of every one of us. I am of the opinion that he sees it clearly enough but knows that to accept it would require more of him than he is prepared to give and I call that a shame and a loss to others as well as himself. Then instead of a finely crafted article about the ugliness of the world and how it is mirrored in its architecture as in its language and manners he might step out and write something about the next few steps beyond mere complaining. A large proportion of the population are very well aware of what is wrong with the world. Let him give us an article about evil and sin and follow it to its proper conclusion – namely what good is and where it lies.

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