Posted by Peter Lawler
The manly Mansfield
explains WHO was the greatest MAN of the 20th century.
Thanks for the heads up... I had yet to go to the WS today... but perhaps this link will work better.
Also I fear that Larry Arnhart again will Strike here because the mere mention of Mansfield and manliness we will have to hear about his nihilism and etc.
And although I loved Manliness there were flaws in it's reasoning and clarity.. esp in the TR sections and discussion of nihilism and manliness that I think Bloom's student Waller Newell dealt with much better in his Code of Man (which I think not only stole Harvey's Thunder, but also wrote the style of book in the lieu of Closing that Harvey wanted to write but could not over come his style of serious close reading scholar).
One more point.. re: manliness and the current Georgian crisis. Bush needs to make a 911 recovery of reign of his administration by echoing his going to NYC to the ruins of the WTC.. that is by going to Gori. By doing something Dramatic like that he would Bring the eyes of the world with him and actually change the facts of what is going on at the ground. He could bring the NGOs and IOs and witnesses, along with the Media. It would be a Reagan-like move, at the DMZ or at Brandenburg Gate something to recover from the dive of the post Katrina turn of his administration.
Solzhenitsyn IS indeed the MAN of the century. And this is a profoundly personal essay by THE philosopher of manliness. He even notes the Greekness of The First Circle! Clifford, if Arnhart rants once more about Manfield's nihilism after this essay, he (Arnhart) is even more of an idiot than I have thought he was. And Peter, is the Harvard Address not indeed the charter statement of POST-MODERN CONSERVATISM?
Mansfield writes a hero-worship article, and Lawler links to Mansfield out of hero-worship. Maybe there is something in Reagan's diary about it! This piece just suspiciously reads like trying to lasso the Russian writer as an advocate for conservative militarism. I am beginning to see why no one takes Mansfield seriously as a theorist, especially with the setting of the neocon sun. The military is certainly not the only 'courage' element in a community. If you want to see the best political thought to come out of Harvard, read Rawls.
Rob, right, I briefly make that point in POSTMODERNISM RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD. And Ken, you make a lot of sense.
Wickedly funny last line of your comment #6, Peter.
The distinction between moral and physical courage is certainly a helpful one but still has a kind of abstract quality to it like the distinction between body and soul.......already at the level of physical courage there's a kind of transcendence of the body insofar as one risks the body itself and this transcendence might put in the direction of moral courage...one could say Solzhenitsyn was such a fantastic examplar of courage precisely because he showed the interconnection between its two variants...it might also be the case that courage has proven to be on of the classical virtues most recent to both relativization and the leveling of egalitarian impulses.....
Most resistant to versus most recent.....one day I'll get the hang of the english language....
Sterty, you have hit upon it! Instead of No Child Left Behind, McCain should institute the Rawls and Solzhenitsyn Mandatory Reading Program. Require every high-school senior to read a novel by Solzhenitsyn and a political theory book by Rawls! Within a decade, there wouldn't be more than one liberal for every ten non-liberals under the age of twenty-five. Please, please, lefty academics, FORCE YOUR STUDENTS READ RAWLS! Please, please, keep on using your academic authority-speak about how he is the "best-of-the-best-of-the-best,sir!" in political theory. And then we'll slip 'em a book by the MAN who came to Harvard rather than out of it.
Carl, love the Men in Black reference!
I laughed at the mandatory Solzhenitsyn-Rawls reading requirement. It actually would not be a bad idea of high school seniors to read either or both. But the snark eluded me, since it was not clear you were talking about Solzhenitsyn as the 'man' who came to Harvard rather than out of it, or Mansfield, who of course came out of it, but must be included in your sweeping generalization, no doubt, of the institution as a whole.
I've tried teaching Rawls several times to undergraduates with pretty mixed success...and mostly failure. This probably speaks to my limitations as a teacher but also surely speaks to the fact that Rawls really is boring precisely because he seems so remarkably tone deaf to the actual character of real political life.
I confess, Rawls is boring, and Solzhenitsyn is gripping. You win on that front. You no doubt think Rawls needed to tune his snark-fork to NLT. Maybe he would have benefitted from some of Mr. Lawler's (attempted but failed) humorous posts.
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University | 401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 | (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)