David Brooks on Memory, Aesthetics and the Politics of Just Authority, or the Decline of Male Heterosexual Power by Queer Atheist

Mr. Brooks begins his latest essay as a diatribe against contemporary monuments in the nations capitol, the mixture of aesthetics and politics is choice that leaves the regular reader of the platonically inflected political chatter of Mr. Brooks a bit confused, as aesthetics seems so far afield for a thinker, that reduces the facts of political history to more easily manipulable place holders. But then this essay devolves into an extended rant on the erosion, no the frontal attack on 'just authority'. 'Just authority' is code language for 'male heterosexual power'. Mr. Brooks is an adherent of both a religious, and a political tradition that exalts, indeed deifies male heterosexual power as foundational: as ineluctably justified in the eyes of 'God' and 'Political Tradition', both of which act in this essay the part of the voices of the self-exculpatory, the self-justified. Although, these rhetorical players remain in the argumentative background, this subtext is the great reservoir that fuels Mr. Brooks political indignation.

An illuminating quote:

Why can’t today’s memorial designers think straight about just authority?

Some of the reasons are well-known. We live in a culture that finds it easier to assign moral status to victims of power than to those who wield power. Most of the stories we tell ourselves are about victims who have endured oppression, racism and cruelty.”

I will close my comment here as Mr. Brooks' essay is worth reading in it's totality, it's suchness, as the expression of a deeply held and unquestionably justified patriarchal power.

Queer Atheist


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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