Dale Price has a gift for succinct common sense

Here he is, with a nice quote pointing out that democratic societies, pretty much get the civilization they deserve:

‘What happens next?’ We shattered the family and called it ‘liberation.’ We elected grifters and called it ‘self-government.’ We pillaged the future and called it ‘prosperity.’ We lionized theft and called it ‘commerce.’ We scorned our heritage and called it ‘education.’ We disposed of the helpless and called it ‘freedom.’ We laughed at virtue and called it ‘enlightenment.’ You really want to know ‘what happens next?’ That’s easy: what we deserve.

Plus, he likes the invaluable Brad Birzer.

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  • Steve

    It might just be me, but I tend to put the quote mark on the inside of the period when ending a sentence with a quoted word. So I’d write: We shattered the family and called it “liberation”.

    That just makes more sense to me.

    • I believe that is the standard in Britain. In the US we put the period inside the quotation mark. Are you British Steve? I find the US standard to make more sense. That gap between word and the period looks awkward to my eyes. The period inside the quotation mark looks tidier.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Correct. The difference is between US and British usage. I also break the US convention, though, when the sentence merely contains a quotation, and the sentence isn’t actually the quotation. But I know I’m breaking the rules.

        I suspect that Steve is American, also, since he called it a “period” and not a “full stop”.

        See? I did it there.

      • I’ve always included the punctuation within the quotation when I’m quoting actual speech: “There’s a dinosaur chasing me!” he said.

        But when the quotation marks serve to show a word being cited, or singled out as a word, such as the word “word”, I do not consider the punctuation to be part of what is quoted; therefore it does not belong within the quotation marks.

        I therefore find myself at odds with both American and British users of the English. Perhaps I’ll move to Australia. Or Canada.

        • Steve

          That’s exactly what I do too.

      • Steve

        I’m not from Britain. It looked odd to me at first, but after a while my mind got used to it. Now the opposite looks odd. The quotation mark looks like it is dangling off the end.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    You know, I’m enough of a grammar nerd to appreciate that so far every single comment has been an analysis of the puncutation. 🙂
    Seriously though, anyone who doesn’t see our civilization as broken isn’t paying attention.

  • Dan C

    Dale Price indulgences in melancholy. This is a hopeless stanza that smacks of culture war red meat. “Family” vs. liberation. Virtue vs. enlightenment.

    When did we have a society of virtue? And exactly how are we defining family? Is it the Lucan version of family (defined in response to the exclamation, “blessed are the breasts that nursed you…”).

    Why this now? And why not 10 years ago? What differs? Exactly…nothing. There is no real difference, there is no less virtue than when Ivan Boesky was the motivator for a generation of business men, without critique. When the Church was seeing its priests and bishops kiled in Central America and their killers guarded and given protection in Florida.

    Any consideration that there is anything different today than when Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin started their newspaper. The difference: Maurin declared “announce, not denounce.” Day herself returned to joy as she shared rooms and cells with a very very difficult group of men and women. Joy. Not a dyspeptic muttering.

    We have no time for this joyless indulgence.

  • tz1

    “Democratic” somehow means everything from a 51% majority of the people, or what the person in the oval office, or what most members of the supreme court, or Senate or whatever decide at the moment.

    It is not so much that things are democratic, it is that Satan chooses which “democratic” venue gets to decide between good and evil. Or even what words mean.

    The Constitution was designed to say “Thou Shall Not” to the federal government. And sometimes to states. Even if the “majority” wanted – it was natural law, and didn’t allow the demos to vote to dethrone truth.

    But that was so inefficient we couldn’t let those barriers stand. It prevented too much good.

    Divorce was too hard and people had to pretend, so we allowed no-fault divorce. We still have the penumbras and emanations of the 4th amendment and “privacy” which legalized contraception, yet the NSA? We couldn’t ask mothers about their sexual habits, just pay for the kids. And we wonder why the family is shattered?

    The world is one Milgram experiment writ large where the devil keeps telling us to press the button. At first it is good and innocent with the whispers that the it is good and necessary to press the button. Then isn’t so good but we are told that it is still good to press the button. Then evil and not so innocent but it is the “easy and good” button. Then objectively evil. Then gravely with knowledge and consent. We don’t stop pressing the button. No one goes from saint to hellion in one step. But we each will give up one principle at a time, until there are none left. And those who are pragmatic are doing evil.