Wednesday, February 01, 2017


Positively Medieval

H.J. Massingham (1888-1952), Remembrance: An Autobiography (London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1942), pp. 117-118:
The complexity of our society is too heavy a burden for it to bear. Mediaeval society was intricate enough but not merely from without; its spiritual life was sufficiently developed to balance against its own errors, discords, cruelties and superstitions. Ours, alas, is so hollow as almost to form a vacuum. Consequently, its movement, abrupt or gradual, will be katabolic and towards simplification. In that sense, its direction will be from the modern towards the mediaeval, unless the disintegration is more radical. It will move from the bigger towards the smaller, from parasitism towards self-support, from centralisation towards federated groups, from urban towards rural, from the factory towards the workshop, from mechanisation towards the co-operation of hand and eye with brain. At least, it will if it is to go on living. These excellent things are all in essence mediaeval.

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