The conference at Assumption on “Reintegrating Man” with the help of French Catholic thought was one of the best ever, particularly because I got to have the first and last words. Thanks to Glen Arbery and Dan Mahoney for a fine time. More later on the many things I learned there. One thing is, as our Ralph said, that we should reintegrate man, but not too much. Another is that Maritain suffered some from the angelism he so perceptively criticized. That’s why he didn’t realize that WORLD GOVERNMENT is an oxymoron and more generally why his political judgment was less astute than, as Beneton explained with charm and depth, the more erotic (and more screwed up and more Pascalian) Mauriac. Still another is the best way to avoid characteristically modern misanthropy is to distinguish (as Flannery O’Connor does) CHARITY clearly from PITY. (Ralph and I were really glad to see Sam the Man Goldman learning with us from the French.)
The last stop on the BUILDING BETTER THAN THEY KNEW TOUR is next Wednesday (the 14th) at 8 p.m at the Younts Conference Center at Furman University in Greenville, SC.
You can see the title above. We’re stuck with virtue because we’ll always have to be good to reliably feel good. The “transhuman” man hoped for by the libertarians and the “last man” feared by the Nietzscheans will never be US. And we’re increasingly pro-life in this sense: We’re all about keeping around as long as possible the people around right now, beginning with ME. That means, of course, that we’re increasingly not all about generating the replacements we hope not to need. I hope to post an excerpt later on today.