07 Mar 2012

R.M. for The Economist:

As we grind through the Republican primary process, it seems like the debate over morality in America has less to do with moral outcomes and more to do with a vision of how society should look based on idealistic remembrances of how things were.

An ideal that may never have existed at all. It is a desire for nostos: a return to some place that we think of as home, “back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame”.1

It is a sugar coating placed over old memories that make the past seem sweet, regardless of their substance. We moralize our own histories until they become founding myths that we believe are necessary for the creation of proper character.

(Via The Morning News)

  1. Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again