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Kenneth Clark - Looking for Civilisation

Monday, 20 Jul 2015

Kenneth Clark on Dr John Dunn. First posted on Saturday, 2 August 2014 at 08:54

Quite amazing to think that, despite his CIVILISATION being broadcast by the BBC at the height of the cultural Marxist assault on the values of discernment and discrimination, Clark still managed a small, but subversive defence of art against barbarism. His parting words at the end of that 13-part series are well worth reading.

β€œAt this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.”
― Kenneth Clark, Civilisation.

Posted by John Dunn.

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