March 18, 2005

The River War

I've been reading Churchill's "The River War" recently (I love online libraries).

All great movements, every vigorous impulse that a community
may feel, become perverted and distorted as time passes, and the
atmosphere of the earth seems fatal to the noble aspirations of
its peoples. A wide humanitarian sympathy in a nation easily
degenerates into hysteria. A military spirit tends towards brutality.
Liberty leads to licence, restraint to tyranny. The pride of race is
distended to blustering arrogance. The fear of God produces bigotry
and superstition. There appears no exception to the mournful rule,
and the best efforts of men, however glorious their early results,
have dismal endings, like plants which shoot and bud and put forth
beautiful flowers, and then grow rank and coarse and are withered by
the winter. It is only when we reflect that the decay gives birth to
fresh life, and that new enthusiasms spring up to take the places of
those that die, as the acorn is nourished by the dead leaves of the oak,
the hope strengthens that the rise and fall of men and their movements
are only the changing foliage of the ever-growing tree of life, while
underneath a greater evolution goes on continually.

I love his writing.

I think of the decay in our artworld and I look for signs of new life. New enthusiasms indeed.

?Por favor, hombre!

Posted by Dennis at March 18, 2005 11:14 AM

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