The Corner

RE: Demonic Males

Well, Andrew, I suppose we’re working from fairly different notions of what a civilizing force involves. Your notion is something that builds on man’s creative energies and so inspires progress, mine is more like something that restrains and channels man’s destructive tendencies and so creates a space for freedom and peace in which culture (and commerce) can thrive. Yours has more to do with material progress, mine with cultural and moral—though we both value both, to be sure, we just differ on which brings about the other. You have a lot more faith in human nature than I do. It’s an old argument, of course.  

Elsewhere I’ve called these two worldviews the anthropology of innovation and the anthropology of generations. Each has something to give us, and each has given us much, but you know which I take to be most crucial.

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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