The Weekly Commonplace (7/8/17)


“As he noticed those details, Eragon also became aware of the presence of a strange, far-reaching consciousness within the chamber, a consciousness of unreadable thoughts and unfathomable depths, a consciousness that flashed and growled and billowed in unexpected directions, like a summer thunderstorm.” (Christopher Paolini, Brisingr, 501)

“…soon the strange sights and sounds of his waking dreams enveloped him—real, yet imaginary; vivid, yet transparent, as if the visions were made of colored glass—and, for a time, he was able to forget his responsibilities and the harrowing events of the past day. And all through his dreams, there wound the cradle song, like a whisper of wind, half heard, half forgotten, and it lulled him, with memories of his home, into a childlike peace.” (Paolini, Inheritance, 86)


“There may be a gap of years, of decades, between the onset of the impotence of a false world-view, and the decay and defeat of the power structure which has arisen upon the foundations of that world-view. But its defat is, given time, the necessary result of the re-emergence of truth in the consciousness of those who are concerned with matters of the intellect, with matters of the spirit, of those who—though they may have little control over material power at the moment—determine the foundations of the future.” (Frank S. Meyer, “Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism” in What Is Conservatism?, 9–10)

“Without just authority and respected prescription, the pillars of any tolerable civil social order, true freedom is not possible.” (Russel Kirk, “Prescription, Authority, and Ordered Freedom” in What Is Conservatism?, 29)

“Anarchic freedom, liberty defiant of authority and prescription, is merely the subhuman state of the wolf and the shark, or the punishment of Cain, with his hand against every man’s.” (Russel Kirk, 30)

“Without some principle of authority, life becomes meaningless, and political and intellecctual factions slip into the dustbin of history.” (Russel Kirk, 34)

(Image courtesy of Mike Wilson and


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