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.