AN 170 TS Eliot. Intellectual interest of his criticism. But the element of charlatanism. He is as romantic as Rossetti, though of a far more intellectual stamp. He has his prejudices against the 13th century. His views on mediaeval Catholicism, upon orthodoxy and the church, are tendentious. He smuggles in these amid all the sound stuff.
Like other writers of his era, Russell, Lewis, Crowley, Orwell, Aldous Huxley, he can play with the power of a pundit. Getting people to think as he does.
He overrates the perfection of Aquinas' system as found in Dante, as if it were complete and contained no tension. This peculiar form of romanticism. He calls the 17th century Spanish mystic romantic. But they were just different.
An 203& The whole world of work and promised success seemed predicated on suppression of individual will.
Whatever seemed oppressive is not so on certain assumptions. So the real battle comes to be on assumptions, Not on the world views fighting it out as they stand. For each one develops its own system of psychology in defence of itself.
But the battle on assumptions would not need to be fought, if sufficient persuasion could be effected without needing to resort to that level. Two world views confronting each other, the most attractive might win.
The pundit and his power to exert a high level of persuasion without ultimate argument. To sway people largely in accordance with his own tastes and values. This is something that seems to have decreased in the latter part of the 20th century, due to the force of democratic and egalitarian ideas.
Even that power to change minds, necessary condition of a great writer, seems to have passed away. Who after Solzhenitsyn?
We can say that culture has been largely dominated by the feminist movement.
In such a context, even art itself may become so contaminated by the idea of equal rights that it hardly functions as a resistance movement. So the prospect of victory, and all the problems that might bring in its train, is more remote than ever.
Idea of paper on ‘the will to power of the pundit’ covering Le Bon, Wagner, Crowley, GK Chesterton, Eliot, Aldous Huxley, Wyndham Lewis, Chamberlain, etc.
An 248 Unhealthiness of political thought in the thirties. Russell’s In Praise of Idleness. Numbing vacuity of it. Dogmatic approach of punditry.
Rationalism. Not just the politics of the era, a disjointed, confused type of political thinking, where the persuasion of large masses of people seems entirely feasible.
That insofar as it thinks of rights, thinks of abstract rights, that is in its very nature revolutionary.
The political style of the thirties as disease, an over heated hysteria.
Russell becomes absurdly moralistic. His advocacy of utilitarianism, simply ignores the real motives which move people. Whimsical pedagogy.
Fatuous development of altruism., Utilitarianism. As altruism seems to many people the only possible meaning to morality.
The idea of the moral society.
The only rational angle on such pseudo rationalism, a sense of liberty that points out the oppression.
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