Belmont Club

The Debate of the Dead

Gore Vidal died today. And William F. Buckley passed away a few years ago. But ideas they represented still remain locked in combat. The race is not over. It goes on. — Ben Hur.

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones — Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. — Ephesians 6:12

The ideologies animating the Cold War had centuries-long pedigrees, emerging by the early twentieth century as powerful and compelling visions for social change. These ideologies – explicit ideas and implicit assumptions that provided frameworks for understanding the world and defining action in it – were not antithetical to material interests, but often shaped the way foreign-policy officials understood such interests. Ideologies were lenses that focused, and just as often distorted, understandings of external events and thus the actions taken in response. — Ideology and the origins of the Cold War, 1917–1962

Messala: What do you think you see? The smashed body of a wretched animal? There’s enough of a man still left here for you to hate. Let me help you…You think they’re dead. Your mother and sister. Dead. And the race over. It isn’t over, Judah. They’re not dead.

Judah: Where are they? Where are they? Where are they?

Messala:Look for them in the Valley of the Lepers, if you can recognize them. It goes on. It goes on, Judah. The race, the race is not over.


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