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Monday, 17 October 2016

Whatever compromise we choose

It is a terrible dilemma in the life of reason whether it will sacrifice natural abundance to moral order, or moral order to natural abundance. Whatever compromise we choose proves unstable, and forces us to a new experiment.

George Santayana - Winds Of Doctrine Studies in Contemporary Opinion (1913)


As I sit by the fire and savour freshly-brewed coffee I detect a distinct personal fondness for natural abundance. It seems to be widely shared fondness if all those folk waddling around Derby are any guide. The human psyche has an abundant fondness for abundance.

In which case Santayana’s spectre of a new experiment in moral order looms close and large. Not the simple moral order of our forebears but a more modern, less rational version of compulsions and prohibitions. We see it already; we see it everywhere. A vastly growing tick-list – not something terse and reliable handed down on tablets of stone.

I sip my coffee again, pondering the moral order of a light supper

As the Clinton crone casts her spells
As the Middle East burns
As bloody Blair limbers up on the touchline
As May carefully sips her poisoned chalice
As the EU wallows in its ordure

As whatever compromise we choose proves unstable.

2 comments:

Roger said...

Abundance and moral dilemma did abound in the local park today. The local derelicts get turned out about 9am and congregate. They bring an abundance of bread to spread over the pavement for the pigeons and an abundance of lager and cider tinnies for them. The rubbish bin is an over spilling cornucopia of chip bags and pie wrappers. So far messy but harmless. But by 11.30 the derelicts are spaced out and snorting powder behind a tree. Moral dilemma - let them get on with it or bother the fuzz. Shrug shoulders - the damage is already done - there is no help anyone could afford.

A K Haart said...

Roger - when the genetic dice are rolled there are losers and that may be the damage already done. We see nothing as bad as that.