Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Culture Deprived of Inheritance (Part 2)

Reck-Malleczewen On Hollow Men

At the same time these hollow men are produced in ever greater quantities, there is a stunting of the feeling for the metaphysical, a feeling nature placed in man at the beginning of time. There is no caste, either of priests or of kings any longer, nor does the lawgiver and judge any longer carry the priestly authority. There is no metaphysical focal point today, around which all the varieties of human experience can crystallize. The result is that no speculative philosophy worthy of the name exists, nor could it; The sages at the universities presently engaged in this discipline are akin to a group of highly respected night watchmen who are limited to playing an endless old-man's game of tarok with the same tired, used-up formulas.

Despite the fact that even coral strives for form, that nature abhors the amorphous as the original indecency, mankind goes steadily on sinking deeper into formlessness, hatred of all form. The ideal is now that thoroughly bovine condition in which any distinction given to rank or profession is considered ridiculous, and all is confusion: the professor looks like a sportsman, the waiter like an aristocrat, the aristocrat like a headwaiter. The businessman raises thoroughbreds, and the cavalry officer speculates in Rand mining stock. It has come to the point where streetwalkers and perhaps burglars are the only remaining groups who still have about them something like a professional distinctiveness.

It is entirely conceivable that before the storm now in preparation actually comes, that Spengler's grim vision, in which he saw the last violin lying broken on the ground, the last copy of Mozart quartets going up in flames, may be fulfilled. But what is quite impossible is that a creature derived from rationality and so overdeveloped under its sway will survive a new invasion of the nonrational or the antirational. And the endless spiritual vacuity of our times makes this invasion well-nigh automatic.

Friedrich Percyval Reck-Malleczewen Diary of a Man in Despair