Saturday, February 27, 2016

Neo-Cons avant la lettre

(Part of a continuing series of illustrative precedents  for phenomena that, to present citizens, might seem relatively new-hatched.)

Of the old reformers, only one was an active cynic, Charles A. Dana of The Sun.  Dana, for whom Brook Farm [ndlr: 19th-c. forerunner of the hippie communes of the 1960s ff.] had once been the hope of the world, was the enemy, in days to come, of all it stood for:  he ridiculed civil-service reform, opposed the control of monopolies, fought for high tariffs  and huge land-grants for railroads. … Dana alone, of the disillusioned farmers [i.e., the mostly intellectual participants in the Brook Farm experiment] seemed to take a bitter joy in reversing his former convictions.
-- Van Wyck Brooks,  New England:  Indian Summer (1940), p. 121

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