Quote note (#185)
After quoting Robert Frost on fences, Kevin Williamson (recipient of much reactosphere disparagement recently), notes appreciatively:
One has to admire the Burkean conservatism at work there: Confronted with the poet’s idealism, the flinty atavistic old farmer, ever mindful of the proverbs of his fathers, sets about rebuilding the damaged stone fence because it is there. Frost, it is worth noting, wrote “Mending Wall” some years before G. K. Chesterton (both men were born in 1874) published his famous advice to never knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. […] The European Union is one of the great fence-demolishing projects of our times, and it is not without its merits. There are some persuasive arguments for governing the movement of European capital, goods, and people under a very liberal regime; and, given the unhappy history of Europe in the 20th century, there’s a heaping helping of idealism at work, too, and as William F. Buckley Jr. once observed: “Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”
I’m not imagining the fizzing cognitive distress here, surely?