Friday, April 13, 2018

Liberal Classism

David Brooks on the ridiculous new Jonah Goldberg book --

His conservatism is missing the bonding sentiments of Edmund Burke, and the idea that the little platoon of the family is nestled in the emotional platoon of the neighborhood and the emotional platoon of the nation.

That little platoon phrase is often pulled out of context from where it appeared in Reflections on the Revolution in France --

Turbulent, discontented men of quality, in proportion as they are puffed up with personal pride and arrogance, generally despise their own order. One of the first symptoms they discover of a selfish and mischievous ambition, is a profligate disregard of a dignity which they partake with others. To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those who compose it; and as none but bad men would justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage.

Burke didn't mean just family. The little platoon was your place on society, and it was better if you didn't get notions about being above it. Conservatives have struggled with this for a while.

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