Manliness - Walter Bagehot
Roger Kimball in Commentary describes Walter Bagehot as
"a delicious writer, commanding a manly, outdoor style, a quiet but infectious sense of humor, and a sensibility that was at once large and admonitory. Of course, those very qualities help explain why he is out of favor today. . .
Bagehot's prose is . . .sinewy, forthright, focused outward toward the world. His mind ranged nimbly over history, economics, literature, politics, and what we would today call cultural criticism. His collected works run to some 15 stout volumes.”
Bagehot believes that a liberal democracy requires manliness to survive -
"History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it." - Physics and Politics
I spent the afternoon reading Sharpe’s Fury by London-born writer Bernard Cornwell. As I am an odd duck I found the historical sections of the book more interesting than the fictional intrigue.
Manliness is Cornwell’s theme. The description of outnumbered British soldiers fighting Napoleon’s troops outside Cadiz is a remarkable story. While the Spanish troops sat about a mile away on the beaches (due to an unfortunate incident of supine Spanish leadership that horrified the Spanish people) British troops fought with discipline, bravery, skill and unbelievable endurance.
I think that manliness is an excellence and that, yes, it belongs to men, but I wonder, what is the true object of manliness? (I assume it needs a goal.)
Does manliness have a goal today? I believe it does.
Is that goal clearly articulated? I don't think so. Where is the modern Bagehot?
Thanks to Powerline for the Commentary link.